Our Lord Jesus Christ intentionally and voluntarily gave His life for the sheep. Do you understand the wonder of this? Jesus Christ Who was perfectly righteous and holy laid down His life. Our Lord freely suffered the penalty for sin! He died for our sin! This is an amazing wonder, beloved young people. It is one which must constantly be a motive for a life of gratitude.
The death of the cross was the penalty for disobedience. The essence of the death of Christ is the suffering of the wrath of God against sin. How is this possible? Is it not unjust that the perfectly innocent Christ dies suffering the wrath of God against sin?
He freely walks to the cross as the Good Shepherd. He dies for His elect sheep, for you and me! His sheep are sinners and they are worthy of damnation, but Christ takes their place. Christ may do this because He entered into our state. Christ was appointed from eternity to be the Head of God’s people. And Jesus took upon Himself our flesh, becoming our legal representative; so that all the sins of His sheep given Him of the Father can be and were imputed unto Him. Therefore, Christ assumed the responsibility for sin and took it freely to the cross. There our Lord sustained the infinite wrath of God against sin. Christ completely satisfied God’s justice. I say, what an amazing wonder of God’s grace, He took our sins to the grave!
Not only did Christ lay down His life, but He laid it down for the specific purpose of taking it up again. The life that Jesus takes up is the resurrection life; the life of glory, immortality and honor. A life of perfect fellowship with God forever! Once again remember, covenant youth, Christ did this as our Head and in our behalf. Christ laid down His life suffering God’s wrath that we might partake of a new resurrection life with Him. Great wonder of grace! We do not deserve such life, for we walk in disobedience according to our nature. But, God of His single good pleasure gave His Son sheep from before the foundation of the world. And Christ our Good Shepherd laid down His life that we may live. Walk as obedient sheep in gratitude for this wonder of wonders!
Originally Published in:
Vol. 29 No. 2 April 1969