Behold the Lamb of God
Long before the cross was even used an instrument of torture and death there was a prophecy which foretold crucifixion. Psalm 22 offers a perfect description of the crucifixion of Jesus:
I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are disjointed;
my heart is like wax,
melting within me.
My strength is dried up like baked clay;
my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.
You put me into the dust of death.
For dogs have surrounded me;
a gang of evildoers has closed in on me;
they pierced my hands and my feet.
I can count all my bones;
people look and stare at me.
They divided my garments among themselves,
and they cast lots for my clothing. (Psalm 22:14-18)
What was the purpose for such an agonizing death? The Prophet Isaiah tells us:
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:3-6)
In the face of so great a sacrifice on our behalf what are we to do? The Apostle Peter, on the day of Pentecost, declared:
Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him. (Acts 2:38-39)
Let us draw near to the cross.today. God is calling each of us to keep watch during the hours that Jesus poured out his limitless love for all humankind. He poured ti out for each one of us.
In Hebrews we read:
Therefore, brothers, since we have boldness to enter the sanctuary through the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that He has inaugurated for us, through the curtain (that is, His flesh); and since we have a great high priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water. (Hebrews 10:19-23)
The cross always brings us to the point of decision. We cannot look away from it. We must look upon the Lamb of God who suffers for us.
Through the Prophet Isaiah God speaks:
See, my servant shall prosper; he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high. (Isaiah 52:13)
Jesus told his disciples:
Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die. (John 12:31-33)
And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. (John 3:14-15)
Good Friday was a day of agony for Jesus, but it was also a day of triumph. He defeated sin, the grace, and Hell. Is his victory we find our victory? Not if we look away. We must look upon the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.