The scripture for today, February 24 (2/24), is 1st Peter 2:24 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:
Many people do not understand what Jesus dying on the cross has to do with rescuing us from hell and leading us to heaven. After all, if we don’t murder, steal, abuse others and only lie a little, Satan has no claim on us and God has no choice but to take us into heaven. As far as Satan is concerned, one sin is all it takes to be a sinner. Further, God is perfect, so cannot co-exist with imperfection ~ even one tiny sin.
Romans 3:23 says all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. And Romans 6:23 says the wages of sin is death. So, all through the Old Testament era, whenever we sinned, God told us to kill/sacrifice a perfect animal and spill its blood to collect the death wages in our place. Notice, the animal had to be perfect. This was a temporary fix; Satan could be held off only so long.
Eventually, God materialized in a body and put his words in that body to be tempted in every way that we are (see Hebrews 4:15). Satan gave it all he got. But Jesus resisted all temptations and lived his entire life sinless. He was perfect morally, just as the sacrificial animals were perfect physically.
Then as the perfect Lamb of God (John 1:29), Jesus became the final sacrifice. Now, with a human body, he died in our place. He took the terrible wages of death from Satan for our sins. On the cross, he died spiritually (forsaken by God) and physically with blood dripping from the wounds in his hands and feet. Then the Father basically told the world, “I will consider you perfect too; all you have to do is believe in and follow my Son, my Words who was with you in your form and died for you.” But how?
It is explained further in Romans 6:3-4. Just as Jesus died bearing our sins, we die to our sinful nature ~ the part of us that sins and doesn’t care. Then just as Jesus was buried in his tomb, we are buried in the watery tomb of baptism. And finally, just as Jesus rose up out of his tomb the Savior, we rise up out of our watery tomb the saved ~ born again to a new life.
Indeed, by Jesus’ wounds we can be healed. We fall at his feet and say, “I am a sinner and so unworthy. How can I thank you enough for rescuing me from Satan?”
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