Would You Take The Place Of This Man?
Jeremy Camp's song asks, "Would you take the place of this man?"
This is an interesting question. Would I willingly stand in front of a mob of my peers who were shouting to have me crucified? Would I allow people to spit on me and hit me? Would I be willing to have them scourge me? Scourging is one of the most brutal forms of torture, and the Romans perfected it. Would I then allow them to drive nails through my hands and feet, fastening me to a wooden cross until I died? Would I be willing if it meant the whole world would have the opportunity to be saved?
I, like Timothy, will never have to make this decision since I am not a worthy substitute for the man who did die on that cross, "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief." 1 Tim. 1:15. It was the reason He came, "For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." Jn. 3:17. The difference between the person who has sinned the most and the person who has sinned the least is minuscule compared to the difference between the person who has sinned the least and Jesus. It doesn't matter how much I have sinned because Jesus wants to bring me into the presence of God. A God so perfect that any sin will leave me ashamed in His presence.
Here are just a few of the examples of how we would act in His presence; we will start with Abram, "And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying," Gen. 17:3, then Moses, "And Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they fell upon their faces: and the glory of the Lord appeared unto them." Numb. 20:6, next, the people in the desert, "And there came a fire out from before the Lord, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces." Lev. 9:24, and Ezra, "And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground." Neh. 8:6, and Ezekiel, "As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake." Eze. 1:28, and John, "And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:" Rev. 1:17.
One day, we will experience this moment for ourselves when we are face to face with God at the judgment, "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works." Rev. 20:12. What a humbling experience this will be.
No, I could never take His place, and that is the point. Only a perfect being could be the sacrifice for my sins. Thank you, Jesus!
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