March 11 - The Need of a Sacrifice

By George Flattery

Today's Scripture: Mark 15:24

Central Thought: We come into the presence of God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross.

    You cannot automatically come into the presence of God. God is holy. God is righteous. By that very definition God demands a holy people. In Old Testament times sacrifices of sheep and goats were given to bring people into a right relationship with God. Different sacrifices were given for both intentional and unintentional sins.

    Sacrifice is not a fun word. It's not a word we would choose for our top ten list of experiences in life. Yet sacrifice is necessary. We all sin. We all make mistakes. We all fail. None of us are perfect on our own. We need a sacrifice. We need someone to bring us back into a right relationship with God. That 'someone” is Jesus!

    Mark writes in Mark 15:24, 'and they crucified him”—four words that hardly express the agony, suffering, and sacrifice Jesus went through so men and women could communicate with God and experience eternal life. Do we understand and appreciate the incredible implications of the crucifixion? In The Life of Christ, Frederick Farrar describes crucifixion as horrific, eliciting the worst human experience in emotional anguish, physical pain, and public humiliation. The thirst, the starvation, the sleeplessness, the pangs, the anxiety, and the shame—all of this and more occurred while being kept just short of unconsciousness. What a cruel, torturous way to die. This was our Lord's sacrifice for us.

    How can I overcome my sin through the sacrifice of the cross on a daily basis? Let's use an acrostic for cross:

C     Come into God's presence.
R     Realize what you have done wrong.
O     Open your heart up to Him.
S     Speak words of confession.
S     Show gratitude for the forgiveness that God gives.

    The next time we pray or worship the Lord, let us remember the sacrifice Christ made for us.
Because of His sacrifice, we can enter His presence.

Devotional Prayer: God, show me what I have done wrong. Forgive me for my failures and lead me in the path of holy living.

Today's Bible Reading: Numbers 15:17-16:40; Mark 15:1-47; Psalm 54:1-7; Proverbs 11:5-6