Let the Savior Take Your Place
We want so badly to cover our own guilt and shame. Apart from Christ, life is just one exhausting pursuit of trying to cover the sin that poisons us. Our first parents tried this in the garden after they fell from that most happy state of life lived in perfect fellowship with their Creator (Genesis 3:7). However, it was a hopeless effort—for only the Redeemer could cover.
TO THE LAST DROP
As Jesus approached His death, He prayed in the garden of Gethsemane: “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will" (Matthew 26:39). It is hard to imagine anything more agonizing than death on a Roman cross, yet this physical suffering was only part of Christ’s dread, a dread so great it caused Him to sweat drops of blood (Luke 22:44). Something much worse would soon take place…He would drink the cup of God’s wrath on that cross, the cup that would have taken an eternity to pour out on you and me.
This is the wrath we most certainly deserved and not the sinless Savior who instead took our place and drank it to the last bitter drop. The agony He suffered was the full and total wrath of God—without abatement. As Paul explains,
“He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Guilty weary soul, the invitation of the Gospel is this: let the Savior take your place. Whenever we grow stale, whenever our affections fail, when we’re tempted to pursue fading pleasures, let us remember that Christ, in drinking the cup of God's wrath, was treated as the sin-bearer and received the punishment we actually deserved. Though it would be complete and total agony, He would seek it out to tenderly cover our guilty and shame-filled hearts for His eternal glory and our eternal joy. There’s no more compelling love than the Gospel of Jesus Christ of which, we have for life, death, and all of eternity to astonish and delight us. Though He was without sin, He endured its penalty. May our hearts burst with thanksgiving and joy at the realization that in Christ, we have been fully reconciled to God forever and ever—Amen.
Read one of the Gospel accounts of the crucifixion: Matthew 27:11-55; Mark 15:1-41; Luke 23:1-49; John 19:1-29. Ask the Lord to help you to see the sinfulness of your sin and appreciate His sacrifice and love in accomplishing your redemption. If you've never placed your faith in Christ or if you have questions about the Gospel, we encourage you to read more here.