Damnation and Salvation

Friday, September 26, 2014

“And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them, derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God” (Luke 23:35 KJV).

Today’s Scripture is proof that God’s ways and God’s thoughts are truly higher than ours!

Imagine that you literally and physically stood right before Calvary’s cross as Jesus hung on it. You would see a truly awful sight, a body so disfigured that the Bible says it did not resemble that of a human. “As many as were astonied at thee; his visage [appearance, particularly his face] was so marred [disfigured] more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men” (Isaiah 52:14). It is doubtless that those who actually witnessed it ever forgot that scene they saw on Golgatha, when the Son of God was crushed under the weight of Father God’s wrath and man’s wrath.

From all outward appearance, Jesus had lost. The Roman and Jewish governments had finally arrested their chief enemy and had condemned Him to death. He was now nailed to a cross, wearing nothing—His lacerated skin rubbed against the splintered wood as He pushed Himself upward to exhale. It was becoming harder to breathe, and the onlookers taunted Him (today’s Scripture; cf. Matthew 27:39-43; Mark 15:29-32). “You saved others and You cannot save Yourself! Come down from the cross and we will believe You!” (They fulfilled Psalm 22:7,8, written almost 1,000 years earlier.)

The God of the Bible always thinks differently from us humans, just as He said in Isaiah 55:8,9: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Jesus Christ appeared to be weak and defeated on Calvary, but as God saw it, He stayed there so that His damnation would result in our salvation. He could have saved Himself, but then He would not have saved us! He chose not to save Himself—He chose to save us instead! What wisdom! What selflessness!

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