While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, â€œTake and eat; this is my body.â€
Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, â€œDrink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Fatherâ€™s kingdom.â€ Matthew 26:26-29 (NIV)
From Adam, we have chosen sin over God. Sin separates us from a holy and sinless God. He cannot remain holy, He cannot remain just and let us â€˜off the hookâ€™. There had to be an innocent volunteer that would die physically and spiritually to take manâ€™s judgment. Only Godâ€™s Son, God-in-the-flesh, would be perfect enough. The rest of us have â€œsinned and fallen short.â€
Jesus is not a son but the Son of God. Jesus had no beginning just as God had no beginning. It is one of those mysteries that my finite mind cannot wrap itself around: Three Person in One God. Jesus came in total humility. Born in a stable, raised in a village of no account, and surrounding Himself with uneducated, poor disciples, Jesus came â€“ to die. satan trembled that night in Bethlehem. He knew that his victory over mankind was threatened. From Herodâ€™s laughter of the innocent babies to the cross, satan tried to derail Jesusâ€™ mission. Yet Jesus never wavered and He never sinned. He taught. He served. He spoke. He listened. He walked toward His destiny with the peace of purpose that comes when we walk in the center of Godâ€™s will. Jesus said He laid down His life. He showed me that there is always a choice. I believe that is the ultimate piece that makes the sacrifice perfect â€“ choosing to do it. It was not the nails that held Jesus to the cross. I t was His love for me â€“ for you.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8 (NIV)
The suffering of Christ was not in the scourging and the cross. Men before Him and after have experienced such a death. It was the spiritual suffering of taking the TOTAL sins of all mankind. He who was sinless â€“ became sin â€“ losing all sense of the Fatherâ€™s presence that He had always known. In that hour â€“ alone â€“ â€œMy God, why have You forsaken me?â€ There is no way for me to know, comprehend, the value of that sacrifice. Jesus did not need that sacrifice for Himself. He only did it for me. He only did it for you.
Only in the cross can sin be atoned. Only in the cross can there be forgiveness for my sin. Only in the cross can I begin to see Godâ€™s extravagant love. Only in the cross is there salvation, eternal life.