Wednesday, May 05, 2010

A New Personal Insight into Jesus' Taking our Sin on the Cross

I have been reading two books by Henry Blackaby, Experiencing the Cross, and Experiencing the Resurrection. I find that even though they are simple books, the very simplicity of the truths they contain provides excellent material to stop and ponder. I am not reading quickly through, but (partially just because of the structure of my life) picking them up and reading in small chunks, which is ideal for some of the insights that he gives to sink in with meditation.
One such thing he gave in Experiencing the Resurrection was that one most meaningful verse for him was 2 Corinthians 5:21, He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. He made it evident that he had comprehended that verse in more depth than I ever had: he said that he had prayed about that verse and that at times when he was pondering it in prayer, he would weep at the thought of it. I had never even approached that comprehension of the meaning of the verse. So I considered the meaning of it...sinless Jesus Christ, taking and becoming the sin of all the world (or all who would trust in Him, at least, depending on what type of atonement theology is accurate). I started mentally listing all the different kinds of sins I could imagine...the list was long but hardly exhaustive before I grew weary of the thought. Of course there are many types of sin that never occurred to me. Just pondering those that had, though, and all the times that they might have occurred in every life whose sin He took on Himself: all those in history; all those occurring just in the present, and all those which would occur ever in the future until He comes again...then from another angle, all those which I personally had ever knowingly or unknowingly committed. Either way, it was overwhelming.
Part of what helped me put any portion of Jesus' suffering for sin into human perspective was the remembrance of a time when I was accused of sins which I had not committed. Even in recent memory I dealt with this, and though it was a fairly isolated event with a limited focus of accusations, the injustice was difficult for me. But it gives me a tiny personal realization of what a weight it is to have condemnation for sins I had not committed even in the eyes of a mistaken human, a tiny sample of what Jesus did in love and innocence, intentionally adopting our actual guilt for such a multitude of sins in the eyes of an all-knowing God.
I don't think I would have made this connection if it had not been for Blackaby's book. It's an example of how the writings of another can help us to deepen our theological understanding in ways that would never happen on our own. It redeemed what I dealt with, in that my experience helped me to understand the sufferings of Christ; and I also pondered a significant and meaningful verse that I had only dealt with summarily before.

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