Thursday, June 15, 2006

Sparing...not sparing

We may not know, we cannot tell
What pains he had to bear;
But we believe it was for us
He hung and suffered there.

So wrote Frances Cecil Alexander in a beautiful, and justly famous hymn, "There is a green hill far away." It brings to the surface something that is dear to us, the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ. He died "for me." He have his life "for me".

It thrills our souls to think of it, even though we may not fully understand it. It is interesting to think of the trajectory of this thought through the Scriptures. Paul, for example, tells us in Romans 8;32 and God "did not spare his own Son" at Calvary. The apostle may well have been thinking of the story of Abraham and Isaac on Mount Moriah when, in the Greek translation of the text (the Septuagint, the Bible version Paul read, if you like) we read Abraham was willing not to spare Isaac! God spared Abraham's son but not his own!

It is also interesting to recall how the Gospel writers record Jesus cry of dereliction on the Cross when he uttered the words, "My God, why have you forsaken me" having earlier cried in Gethsemane, "Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me." God did not spare Jesus! And why not?

So that our sins might be atoned for!

And atoned for they are!

Everyone who trust in Christ alone for salvation may be assured that full and complete atonement has been won for us:

If thou my pardon hast secured,
And freely in my room endured
The whole of wrath divine,
Payment God cannot twice demand
First from my bleeding surety's hand
And then again at mine.
[Augustus Toplady]

No comments: