Do you have something in your life that causes you to dread? For many of us it might be a visit to the dentist. For others it might be a medical test or an operation. I have had this feeling several times. A dread takes hold of you that causes you to cry out to your heavenly Father and ask for strength to go through it. For some this dread might last for a few hours, for others it might last a few weeks and some months or even years.
In reference to the cross of Christ, we note this passage of Scripture
Rev 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
1 Pet 1:19,20 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
How is it that Jesus was slain from the foundation of the world? As Peter indicates that it was before the foundation of the world. Before the creation of the world, the Son of God pledged Himself as the lamb of God. Jesus has not suffered simply from when He was born in Bethlehem, He has lived with the dread of being cut off from His Father for over 4000 years. The Father also lived with this dread, knowing that His Son would have the guilt of an entire world laid upon Him and this guilt would crush out His life.
How did Jesus cope with knowing these things for thousands of years?
Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
The joy of sinners saved kept Jesus focused on enduring the Cross. As each year passed and the horror of a great darkness came closer and closer, the resolve of Jesus to pay the price of our rebellion and guilt grew stronger and stronger. The more imminent the cross, the more determined was His decision. Christ and our Father have lived in the shadow of the cross from before the foundation of the world.
Yet this suffering has not ceased. As our dear Father and our Lord Jesus behold the great expense paid for our sin and then to see the world still absorbed in self and sin, their sorrow is only increased! In the light of the cross, sin becomes dramitically more sinful. It's rebellious, selfish ambition is exposed before the anguish of the begotten Son of the Father upon the cross.
Will we continue to cause sorrow to our Heavenly Father? Will we allow the irritations of life to submerge our gratitude and love for God and His Son? No! a thousand times No! Let us behold the lamb of God upon the cross and see in this only a glimpse of the suffering that God and His Son have endured for us. Let us weigh the cost our salvation, let our hearts be filled with thanks for all that has been done to purchase us and grant us eternal life.
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As I behold the lamb of God, my sin becomes exceeding sinful and my yearning for purity of heart and mind breaks the selfish routines of daily life. My soul yearns for a deeper gratitude, a sweeter disposition, a kinder attitude to friend and foe.
Lord Jesus, how I love you for facing that dread of the cross from before the dawn of time. Who can fully appreciate what you have suffered for us. Grant me your Spirit of self sacrificing love and allow me to walk in the atmosphere of thankfulness always. I trust you will present this request to our Father in your name Amen.