And behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

Matthew 3: 17

 

God spoke. He spoke words of profound truth into the narrative of the life of Jesus. Here we see a man. He was a living, breathing, grieving and laughing, suffering and dying man. Yet, He is not like any of the rest of us, for Jesus was also the Son of God. He was unique in all of the history of humanity in that in and of himself, Jesus was worthy of God’s description of being thoroughly pleasing. He did not contain the contagion of sin that plagues all of the rest of us. Although Jesus was born as we are, grew into adulthood, and walked the streets and the paths of this world in a manner like all of us; He was utterly different in that His relationship with the Father was perfect and complete. Nothing separated them one from the other.

 

For this reason He was also the only possible answer to that separation for the rest of us. Jesus would be that perfect, spotless sacrifice that God required in order to cleanse the residents of this fallen world from our sin and to mediate the separation from God that it causes. Sacrifice is essential for us in that it is the means by which we internalize the words of repentance that our minds create so that our hearts are open to the change that Christ seeks to work in and on them. Jesus offered Himself as the ultimate, the final sacrifice that was essential for my sins and yours to be forgiven by God. However, we still need to yield ourselves to the cross of Christ in order to enter fully into the life that He is calling us to live.

 

It is only when we recognize the enormity of what it meant for Jesus to allow Himself to be taken to the torture of the cross with the totality of surrender to death that this act entailed that we can begin to grasp the nature of what it means to give ourselves to Christ. This giving requires us to yield control of our lives to the will and the rule of Christ. In order for me to do this I must be willing to set aside comfort, fear, reluctance, and self-rule as I place my life on that cross with my Lord and enter into the death of all that I have been. The realization of this moment of surrender is that time of coming into the revealed glory of Christ and the beginning of being made fully alive in the hope of Christ’s resurrection.

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