{I wrote this piece to read aloud after our family dinner at Granny’s today.}

“God’s Glorious Sky” — Photo by Emily Rose.

The prophecies of His coming spanned over hundreds of years, saying that He would come. They said the Son of God would actually come to earth, and that He would die for a reason. Some who heard believed, and they all looked, waited, and longed for the day when He would appear.

The very first prophecy was spoken in the Garden of Eden. When God made Adam and Eve, He placed them in the garden and would visit them in the cool in the evening and talk with them.

But one day, they used their will to rebel against the order God set up for their happiness. God told them to completely avoid the Tree, and even though they had a whole garden to reap from, they were tempted by Satan and chose to actually eat of this Tree. It was the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. And as soon as they ate, they knew they had done wrong. Shame and horror filled them as they realized they had committed a crime in a prefect world. And for the very first time, the birds stopped singing.

A deadly hush crept through the branches as guilt snuck up behind them. It laid hold of their shoulders and its vile stench would not let them go. They searched for a place to hide and cover themselves, and bitter, angry whispers rasped between them, and before they could even realize what their choice entailed, they saw Him enter the Garden. And God could see their guilt.

While they frantically blamed each other for their fall, God told them of the consequences – labor pains, envy for power, cursing of the ground with sweat and thistles, and a death of returning to dust. And even though the pain and death of their bodies would come, more terrifying than that was the separation. They had been severed from their relationship with God.

Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden forever, but God in His love for mankind had a plan for rescuing them (and all mankind) from eternal death and cleansing them from their guilt. But it would take Blood. Perfect blood. Thus came the first prophecy when He said His Son would come and destroy the tempter (Satan) and eternal death. “He shall bruise [Satan’s] head, and [Satan] shall bruise His heal.”

We can move forward into history and see just how God began to work His plan. He chose a nation named Israel, to whom He gave His law. He also gave them His temple where, where through a holy priest and the offering of sacrifices (spotless sheep or cattle, with no blemish), they could receive forgiveness for their sins. When Israel lived by His law and rejoiced in it, God richly blessed them and it grew into a strong nation. But after awhile the people turned away from God, and followed the practices of the heathen nations around them.

The pictures of sacrifice they saw year by year was just that – a picture. The ultimate sacrifice was Jesus, the One prophesied to come. God, in His overwhelming love for mankind, made a way for His children to be permanently redeemed from their sin and guilt – bought back and rescued from the consequences. But to buy us back it would take Perfect Blood. And so He chose to send His Son Jesus to earth as a man so that He might suffer and die on our behalf.

While He was on earth, He lived a life free from sin. When He was handed over to be tried and executed for claiming to be God, they refused to believe Him – His very own people, the Jews who had been told so many times and had been given so many signs that He was The One – and so killed Him like a criminal. His execution was gruesome as He was stripped and beaten with fists and whips until He bled.

With His body nailed to the wood, His perfect Blood flowed from His punctured wrists and feet, while the ugliness and weight of our guilt covered Him. And while Jesus never once disobeyed any of God’s commands, God could not look at His Son any more. He could not look upon even one “little” sin with approval, and so He turned away. He had to turn His back on His only Son with whom He shared the greatest fellowship. Jesus’ lasts moments were spent in the torment of knowing that His Father had rejected Him. This was the final sacrifice for our sins, Spotless Lamb of God.

The prophet Isaiah, hundreds of years before He was born, foretold His suffering and sacrifice:

He was wounded for our transgressions;
He was crushed for our iniquities;
upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
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 has laid on Him
the iniquity of us all.

…like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,

although He had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in His mouth.

Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush Him;
He has put Him to grief;
when His soul makes an offering for guilt,

He poured out His soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet He bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors
(Portions from Isaiah 53:5-12)

All this for for love. Because He loved His people so much, He took on this suffering so that we might be with Him in everlasting life and eternal joy. But this would be such a sad, pathetic story if this was the end. “God came to earth and died. The end.” But its not the end!

The Sunday morning after He died, He rose from the dead and left an empty tomb. And that is why we are celebrating Easter Sunday today. God was pleased with the sacrifice of His Son’s perfect Blood, and now He reigns victorious over death.

2 Timothy 1:10 “…And which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”

Romans 6:4 “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”

.:. .:. .:.

Revelation 5:11-13 “Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, ‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!’ And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, ‘To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!'”