Friday April 12: 7 Aviv
Today is the seventh day of the month Aviv which means we are approaching the season of Passover and Unleavened Bread. As we enter into this time, we should begin contemplating its meaning. The essence of the Passover story reveals the Creator’s commitment to our redemption, so much so, that 2,000 years ago He sent forth His Son to make atonement for our sins, once and for all. Sadly, there are times when God’s people get so focused on other issues that this fundamental and life changing principle – Messiah’s sacrifice and subsequent resurrection – gets pushed to the side. Unbelievably, there are times when it is ignored, outright. Even more disturbing is the fact that, in a quest for knowledge, some have stumbled over what we always knew to be true – not because we understood it but because we believed it.
What I’m getting at is that some “scholars” have taken the position that if they can’t explain something according to logic and reason they tend to dismiss it. Specifically, in the eyes of some, Jesus may have been the Messiah but only because He was a righteous man appointed to be the Messiah. In other words, some “learned people” refuse to believe that He was born of a virgin and reject the notion that He was resurrected from the dead.
Obviously, we wholeheartedly and vehemently disagree with that falsehood. There are many passages that, in my opinion, put that idea to rest. In fact, there are many examples that clearly demonstrate Messiah was more than just a man. One particular passage that comes to mind centers around the paralytic who was let down through the roof, so that he could reach Jesus. The Bible says:
When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, “Why does this man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, “Why do you reason about these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins” — He said to the paralytic, “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God. (Mark 2:5-12)
The point that needs to be addressed is what the Scribes were thinking – only God has the authority and right to forgive sins committed against God. No ordinary man, not even a righteous man, has that authority or the right to forgive sins committed against God. Consequently, can an ordinary man, even if he is righteous, grant eternal life to those to whom He wishes to give it? Christ acknowledged that He had that authority.
“Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him.” (John 17: 1-2)
What the Scribes were thinking – “Who can forgive sins other than God?” – was an accurate assessment. Only God can forgive sins that are committed against God. Only God has authority over all flesh and only God can grant eternal life. So then, am I to believe that God would invest that kind of authority in a mere man, righteous though He may be? Am I to believe that Jesus was just one of many messiahs, as some would argue? Am I to believe that He paid the penalty just for my unintentional sins because only God has the ability to forgive willful sins?
I do not believe theses things and I’m sure that you do not either. We believe that Jesus is the only begotten of the Father, that He is the Son of God and is the Messiah. He is the Word of God made manifest in the flesh. He is the Creator of all things, manifest in such a way that we could begin the process of comprehending the Creator. Jesus is the expression of God’s commitment to our redemption which means that Jesus was more than just a man. Thank God for the Lamb!