The Word For Today

The transforming truth about Calvary 2

'He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross.' 1 Peter 2:24 NLT

Second, Calvary was vicarious, which means 'an act undertaken by someone in another's place'. Seen through the lens of sentiment or superstition, the cross may affect your emotions but it can't save your soul. But seen as substitution, the cross can save any soul!

The apostle Peter writes, 'He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right' (1 Peter 2:24 NLT). Had Jesus reneged at Calvary, God would have been forced to sentence us to death for our sins. Instead, as our substitute, Jesus suffered our justly-deserved punishment, freeing us and giving us eternal life. Substitution was historically God's idea to deliver his people from the penalty of their sin. When Adam and Eve sinned, God substituted an animal to cover their iniquity. He accepted Abel's sacrifice of the 'firstborn of his flock' (Genesis 4:4 NKJV), and Abraham's ram caught in the thicket in exchange for Isaac's life (see Genesis 22:13). But without question God's greatest soul-saving theme - substitution - was once-for-all-time demonstrated when Jesus offered himself at Calvary. Because of Christ's atoning death, God expunged our record and pronounced us innocent in his sight! God '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 NAS). On the cross Jesus became what we were - sin - so we could become what he was - righteousness! Everything Jesus did from his virgin birth, sinless life, redeeming death, miraculous resurrection, glorious ascension, and priestly ministry in Heaven, he did as a substitute and saviour.

Soulfood: Jam 1-2 Luke 23:1-12 Ps 7:1-9 Pro 10:16,


The transforming truth about Calvary 1

'They...come to...Calvary, there they crucified him.' Luke 23:33 NKJV

The word 'Calvary' appears only once in the New Testament, but what happened there changed our destiny. In spite of the myths and misunderstandings, the truth is clear and life-changing. Let's look at it.

First, Calvary was voluntary. Those who watched it thought Jesus was a victim of circumstances beyond his control: the collusion of Jewish hatred and Roman might. How wrong! Jesus rejected Peter's well-intentioned but misguided defence, saying, 'Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels' (Matthew 26:53 NIV)? Jesus could have chosen to live without hardship, pain or death. No one coerced him into going to the cross. He said, 'No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again' (John 10:18 NLT). Calvary was certainly unjust and unfair. But it wasn't assassination; it was atonement! His enemies intended Calvary to end his life, but Jesus intended it to save us from a lost eternity. And after they had done their worst and failed to stop him, Peter confronted them on the day of Pentecost with this victorious truth: 'In accordance with his own plan God had already decided that Jesus would be handed over to you; and you killed him by letting sinful men crucify him' (Acts 2:23 GNT).

Even the Father didn't force him. Jesus 'gave himself as a ransom for all people' (1 Timothy 2:6 NIV) - including you!

Soulfood: Dan 11-12 Luke 22:63-71 Ps 16 Pro 10:15,


FEAR False Evidence Appearing Real

'I trust in God and am not afraid.' Psalm 56:4 GNT

David said, 'I trust in God and am not afraid... What can a mere human being do to me' (Psalm 56:4 GNT)? And David should know, because God enabled him to defeat a lion, a bear and a giant. The story is told about the man who approached a farmhouse and every few yards he noticed signs that read, 'Beware of Dog'. When he finally reached the farmhouse, he discovered the dog was a tiny Chihuahua. 'You mean to tell me that little dog keeps people away?' he asked. The farmer smiled and said, 'No, but the signs do!' Fear roars like a lion, but much of the time when we confront it, it's just a Chihuahua!

The truth is, you can face anything when you know God has promised: 'I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, "Fear not; I will help you"' (Isaiah 41:13 NKJV). So instead of fearing the worst, start believing God for the best. And you do that by personalising his promises: 'Do not fear [anything], for I am with you...I will strengthen you... I will certainly take hold of you' (Isaiah 41:10 AMP). 'And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to his plan and purpose' (Romans 8:28 AMP).

Don't let fear get the upper hand. Instead of giving in to it, stand on the word of God and believe he's going to bring you through your circumstances and make you stronger.

Soulfood: Dan 8-10 Luke 22:54-62 Ps 103:13-22 Pro 10:14,

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