Today is Wednesday, February 21, 2018. Day 21,895.
17 days until Glen Rose.
Mary Chapin Carpenter, born on this date in 1958, said, “When I think of the artists I admire and seek out musically. It’s because I’m curious about where they’re going to go the next time they have a chance to put a record out. It’s not about where I find them on the radio dial, or how many records they’re selling.”
The word for today is epigrammatic, an adjective which means, “terse and ingenious in expression; of or like an epigram.”
It’s raining and cold here, this morning. 34 degrees, which is not, of course, unseasonably cold for this area. But it’s supposed to rain at least through Friday. At least it’s not below freezing.
That’s all I’ve got today, so on to the important stuff.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted
Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause against an ungodly people, from the deceitful and unjust man deliver me!
For you are the God in whom I take refuge; why have you rejected me? Why do I go about mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling!
Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.
There is no heading for this one, but the fact that it ends the same way as Psalm 42 makes me think it’s another “Sons of Korah” Psalm. I love to pray verse 3. “Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling!”
(From Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came To Die, John Piper)
8: To Become A Ransom for Many
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
John Piper begins by clearing up any myth that a ransom had to be paid to Satan to free sinners. The Bible knows nothing of this idea. When Christ died on the cross, Satan was not paid, he was defeated. Hebrews 2:14 says, “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil.”
The focus isn’t so much on who gets the payment as it is on that the payment was the life of Christ, and that he was free to serve rather than being served.
Who received the ransom, if that is even an issue? We believe that the Bible makes it clear that God, the Father, received the ransom.
Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
. . . how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
The very reason that this “ransom” was needed was that we had sinned against God, and were accountable to God. When Christ paid this ransom, we became free from any condemnation. (Romans 8:1)
The price of this ransom was, of course, the life of Christ, his life lived and then given up, not taken forcefully or coerced. “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve.”
Father, how can I adequately thank you that this ransom was paid by Jesus Christ? By lifting up the cup of salvation and thanksgiving to you. There is no other way. I cannot give enough gratitude. I can simply live in this life, walking in your kingdom. By your Spirit, help me to stay on the path. Send out your light and your truth, and by your Word be a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
Grace and peace, friends.