“And without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh…” 1 Timothy 3:16. O that all of Adam’s race would ponder the wonder of these words–God came down in the flesh; in the form of man! Dear reader, stand in awe. Marvel at His tremendous condescension to fallen, sinful man. Be amazed at so great a love. YOU were the object of His unfathomable love, dear reader, you!
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotton Son.” I exalt in praise with the apostle Paul: “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift”! Unto sinful, helpless, and hopeless man a Son is given!
No man can save Himself from sin, and no amount of good works can earn him a place in heaven, for such an offering is filthy rags. So baneful is the curse of sin, so diseased the sinner, and so horrendous his crimes that supernatural intervention was man’s only hope. Wonder of wonders, heaven sent our cure! God Himself came down to be the perfect, holy sacrifice to take our sin away!
O reader, you know the history! So zealous was Jesus Christ to destroy the works of the devil by delivering man from all sin that He willingly offered His hands to be nailed and the spike to be driven through His blessed feet; those feet that went about doing good for all, then marched to the cross to prove His love as He offered Himself as an atonement for our sins.
Cruel, hateful Roman cross! Depraved man designed such an exceedingly torturous instrument of death; an ignominious punishment reserved for those esteemed low and vile. Sin deserved to be nailed there, but on that history-changing day, the spotless Lamb lay His already-bloodied body on the rough wood that the guilty rebels might go free! O hardened sinner, will you not weep? There is no greater love. There is no greater Friend of sinners.
He was not stopped by the cruel reproaches, mockings, and blasphemies from His own creation. He faltered not when the metal of the whip tore His skin in that most unjust scourging. He endured the excruciating sufferings of the cross, having before Him the joy of setting sin’s captives free.
Even nature mourned, the sun refusing to shine, as the Spotless Sacrifice endured the extremities of agonizing pain. Then, it was finished. The sacred head bowed in death. “The veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent.”
The crowds were hushed to silence at the strange events, and the heathen soldiers declared, “Truly this was the Son of God.”
So great a Sacrifice could only but bring so great a salvation. The fountain of blood was opened! Come ye rebels! Throw down your arms. Surrender in tears and be washed in this crimson flow; this fountain of love. Be made clean! Be free! There is now power for man to conquer sin. Dare to believe it. Jesus Christ paid the full price to redeem our souls and to enable us to live holy in this present evil world, thus fitting us for heaven. O how high the cost to purchase our deliverance! O how great the love!
Incarnation…crucifixion… resurrection–great indeed is the mystery of godliness! If the whole world could but comprehend the extreme love and mercy exhibited in God’s plan of salvation, hearts would melt and all would adore this great lover of souls.
How can we but joyfully cry out with the apostle John, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us”!