Lent Devotion for March 6
"The Blood of the Lamb"
Reader: “At just the right time…”
Response: “Christ died for us sinners.”
SCRIPTURE: Exodus 12:12-14
12 On that night I will pass through the land of Egypt and strike down every firstborn son and firstborn male animal in the land of Egypt. I will execute judgment against all the gods of Egypt, for I am the Lord! 13 But the blood on your doorposts will serve as a sign, marking the houses where you are staying. When I see the blood, I will pass over you. This plague of death will not touch you when I strike the land of Egypt.
14 “This is a day to remember. Each year, from generation to generation, you must celebrate it as a special festival to the Lord. This is a law for all time.
SCRIPTURE: Romans 5:6-11
6 When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. 7 Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. 8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. 9 And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. 10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. 11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.
Reader: “The word of the Lord.”
Response: “Thanks be to God.”
Lent can be a season where we become extremely self-focused. What am I doing with my life? What am I “giving up for Lent?” While self-denial and introspection can certainly be beneficial and necessary in our walk with Christ, we dare not neglect or overlook the real significance of these days. What was the significance of the transaction between God and mankind that was taking place during the days leading up to the death and resurrection of Christ? Some people have found the whole idea of a blood sacrifice very repulsive. And yet it is central to the Christian faith. Over the next few days, we want to look a little more closely at the whole sacrificial process in an effort to gain a greater understanding of the depth of God’s love for His Son and His people.
To begin with, God is perfectly holy and perfectly just. We are neither, yet He desires communion and fellowship with His people, with you and me. You can easily see we have an enormous problem! God hates sin because its presence brings death, death to any connection or relationship with the people He created in His own image. The wrath of God is poured out on sin. We want a God who expresses wrath toward sin. The alternative is a God who is indifferent toward His people and His world. “God’s wrath in the Bible is never the capricious, self-indulgent, irritable, morally ignoble thing that human anger so often is. It is, instead, a right and necessary reaction to objective moral evil.” (J.I. Packer, Knowing God, p.151)
So, how did God go about solving the problem because humans are not capable nor in any kind of position to bridge the insurmountable chasm? As we dig a little deeper into the problem, we begin with blood because it is the source of life. No blood, no life. We learn in the book of Leviticus (17:11) that the “life is in the blood.” Justice demands that sin is judged by God, the perfect Judge. The wages of sin is death. Death is caused by the shedding of blood. If God is going to deal justly with sin, then sin must die. Blood must be shed. Death itself must die. God’s justice is another expression of His love for you and for me. Remember, without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sin.
MUSIC: "There Is A Fountain Filled with Blood" by (uncredited)
Father, I want to know Thee, but my coward heart fears to give up its toys. I cannot part with them without inward bleeding. But gracious Lord, may they bleed to the death. I do not try to hide from Thee the terror of their parting. I come trembling, but I do come. Please root from my heart all those things which I have cherished so long and which have become a very part of my living self, so that Thou mayest enter and dwell there without a rival. Then shall my heart have no need of the sun to shine in it, for Thyself wilt be the light of it, and there shall be no night there. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
–A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God, p.31, adapted by Dan Sharp