Wednesday, February 25, 2009


"Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love as Christ also has love us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma."
-Ephesians 5:1-2

The cross of Christ was a sweet-smelling aroma to the Father in heaven. The most joyful man who ever lived (Hebrews 1:9) gave his life as a sacrifice for our sins on the altar in heaven (his cross). Christ said that he did only that which pleased the Father. Scripture records how on several occasions the Father spoke from heaven declaring his pleasure in his Son. But at the cross the heavens seemed to be silent as the great multitude beheld "the Lamb of God take away the sin of the world." When the Lamb died, the veil was torn from top to bottom, the earth shook, the rocks split, graves were opened, and the three-hour darkness was over. It was over. It was finished! The multitude had watched the mystery of the ages unfold. The way into the presence of the Father was open, simply awaiting the Ascension and Pentecost.

The Father did not need to speak at the cross because he had already declared his pleasure there in that great Messianic passage, Isaiah 53: "Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him." How could the Father be pleased to bruise so horrifically his only Son--whom he loved from before the foundation of the world and in whom he was well pleased? How great must our sin be and how perfect must his holiness be. Our sin separated and alienated us from him and yet the Father in Christ said in John 17, "I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am that they may behold My glory." He desired to dwell with us, and he, our gracious Father, loved us while we hated him. His perfect righteousness and his exceedingly abundant love met at the cross to reconcile usunclean, disobedient, and abominable sinnersto himself. It is no wonder then that Christian communion is a "celebration" of the cross. Our souls ought to be overflowing with thankfulness and joy in every thought of the cross. Do we see it?

Let's not tolerate any complacency concerning the cross to grow or even linger in our hearts. Oh how he has loved us. And our sin is far more vile to him than it is to us. But he sees us through the cross. When you see your sin, do you see his cross? He always does. Let us thank him and seek to see more as he does.

"Dear Father, thank you for loving us while we hated you and for loving us just as you love your Son. Thank you for putting your love for your Son in our hearts. Please give us a fresh vision of how wide and long and high and deep your love is for us. Please begin today. In Christ name. Amen."

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