Today’s Bible Journaling comes from Hebrews 2:17, “Therefore, it was necessary for him to be made in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. Then he could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people.” Jesus was fully God and fully human! That’s something that our finite minds just can’t fathom. It’s hard for us to wrap our minds around that. But God required a spotless, pure, blameless sacrifice for our sins.
In the Old Testament, God required an appropriate sacrifice for the sins of Adam and Eve, a spotless lamb, perfect in every way. (Genesis 3:21, 4:4) Although Scripture doesn’t explicitly say God sacrificed a lamb, it does say that an animal was killed in order to provide animal skins to clothe Adam and Eve. One commentary (from Abide in Christ Ministries) said that garments were symbols for righteousness. The fig leaves that Adam and Eve made for themselves is a representation of man’s attempts at righteousness through good works and religious ritual. Man-made attempts at righteousness are poor substitutes for the proper sacrifice required by God. Only the blood of a spotless lamb could cover sin.
Jesus is called “The Lamb of God” (John 1:29) and He is our sacrifice for our sins. He had to be fully God to fulfill the requirements for a perfect sacrifice. But He also had to be fully human in order to identify with our life here on earth. He went through all the temptations, trials, joys, sorrows, everything we experience, He experienced. How else could He understand our predicament? One thing is different, however; He went through everything we do, but did not sin! Jesus was tempted by Satan, just as we are, and He came through the temptation victoriously. There is no way we could ever be that spotless, perfect sacrifice, nor can we ever pay for our sins. We can’t buy our way, we can’t work our way, nor can we ever be perfect enough to provide the proper sacrifice for our sins. The work Jesus did on the Cross was the full requirement of payment for our sins. All we are required to do is decide whether we will accept His free gift of salvation, as punishment for our sins. God’s plan provided a way of escape for us. He sent Jesus in the form of a tiny helpless baby.
This past Sunday our church had their Christmas program, and a song was sung that pretty much sums up the feeling of most people who don’t understand what God was doing. The song is called, “What a Strange Way to Save the World”. The song is sung about Joseph as he is trying to understand why God would choose to provide salvation for the world by choosing to send Jesus as a baby, by choosing Mary to be His mother, by choosing Joseph to be His Step-father.
The Bible says that God’s ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9), His ways are higher than ours. He sees the grand scheme of the plan, and we see only a small portion of His plan for us. We can’t see how things are being set out, nor can we see the final outcome for our lives. God’s plan is perfect, and He has the best in mind for us. His plan of salvation is the best plan, and He put it into motion because of His love for us. He wants a relationship with us. Our sin breaks that relationship. He made a way for us.
The girls in our Youth group did a painting as part of the Christmas program….as far as I’m concerned, it was true Bible Journaling without painting on a Bible page! As they painted, our worship team sang the song, “He Made a Way in a Manger”. It was so powerful! The picture covers Jesus birth, His ministry, His death, His resurrection, and shows His great love for us! Our girls did such an amazing job on this! Everyone was just spell-bound! That’s the Gospel from beginning to end.