I ate the lamb shank—the lamb I ordered—Sunday night. For those of you who are vegetarians, I’ll try to be sensitive. Truth is, I found that shank extremely tender and tasty. Still, I wonder if I ought to partake of an animal that was “sacrificed” for my sake. Why can’t I even eat a tasty lamb dinner without thinking of the spiritual connections?
Maybe the answer has something to do with the fantastic, nine-month study I’m doing on Romans with Community Bible Study International.
I keep thinking of a Scripture passage we studied together recently about the peace we have with God through faith.
Since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.
More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
We all need to be reconciled to God because God is holy and He will not be associated with sin. Would we want any other kind of God? Since we are all sinful (less than perfect), we are separated from God. Our sin deserves punishment—payment—just like a criminal has to “pay” in order for justice to be served. Instead of punishing us with the death we deserve, God accepted the “death sentence” and execution of Jesus in our place. In my place. In your place. Jesus came and stood in our guilty shoes—the spotless, guiltless, sacrificial lamb—and God accepted his sacrifice as the once and for all complete payment—the complete justification for sin. My sin. Your sin. All sin.
Now we can rejoice in Christ’s work on our behalf and can now be close to God instead of being enemies.
Every time I read this passage, every time I contemplate Christ’s sacrificial death and resurrection, every time I feel sad about my sin or recognize my weakness or suffer in some way from the trials of this life, I can rejoice.
I rejoice in Christ alone.
For He alone has ransomed me from the grave and given me true life. He has given me the power to live for Him while still weak in this flesh.
Oh, how He loves us!
Oh, that we might love Him more!
I finished the lamb shank Sunday night. Every bit of it. And as I ate each bite, I couldn’t stop thinking of the Lamb of God, given for me—for you—for all.
Some may be repulsed by the thought of eating meat. I respect such sentiments.
But those who might be repulsed by the thought of God dying so that we might live? Of feasting on Him?
There is no forcing to accept here.
Just an invitation to the table.
Just an invitation to partake of the Lamb of God—to accept, by faith alone, His unconditional sacrifice of Himself so we can all come, and stay, in the presence of our Holy God and dine at his deliverance table.
Forever and ever.
Let us worship God together here, with The Lord’s Prayer, sung by Andrea Bocelli, the most heavenly version I’ve ever heard? It’s worth the few minutes. Because you’re worth His whole life.