Any effort we expend to try and magnify the intent and extent of the love that God has for us always falls short because while we were yet sinners God loved us to the point of giving us all that he had. God’s love is so far-reaching that he stepped out of his way, clothed himself with flesh, suffered our pain and endured our depravity in order that he may say to us, ‘I understand your pain’.

Here in is the scandal.

Though he committed no sin, yet by choice he carried the weight of our sin. Though he was truly God, the creator of the ends of the earth, he suffered depravity and oppression at the hand of his very creation. Though he held and still holds all power in his hand and could have called ten thousand angels to fight on his behalf, he willingly laid his life. Though in him was life and light that dispels all our darkness, he laid down his life and went down into the pits of darkness for 3 days, so we could experience his light forever. Though he suffered no disease, he allowed himself to be scourged with many stripes to ensure our healing.

What kind of love is this, that goes through scourging and woundings just to ensure healing? What kind of love is this that will be wounded for someone else’s transgression? What kind of love is this that will hang on a tree that it created, battered-naked and mercilessly pierced on the side just for you and me? What kind of love is this that will die such a painful and gory death in order to give you and me life- everlasting? What kind of love is this that will willingly and knowingly allow himself to be betrayed and go through all this for another? It is a scandalous love, the scandal of divinity.

Now, God demanded Abraham to ‘take now’ his own son, his only son Isaac, who he loved and go to a place… (see Genesis 22), offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which God would show him. If I were Abraham, I would be discomforted and discombobulated. I would be asking all kinds of questions, I would put up a fight. I most probably would never have gone through with it. But Abraham obeyed God throughout his journey and while he did not ask for a son, God did miraculously bless him with one, but in the same breath, God wanted the blessing back. I would ask why it is that you gave it to me in the first place if you knew that you would demand the same back? Oh but it’s a scandal! God will never ask you to bring to him what he has not given you in the first place. He never asks for what he has not given you, Abraham obeyed God and went where he was told to go and when he saw the place where the scandal was to take place he did not draw back but instead, soldier on. When he got to the foot of the mountain he said something outstanding to his servants, that he was not going to offer a sacrifice, he and the lad were going up the mountain to worship. It is scandalous to think that offering a son to a God as a sacrifice is worship, but Abraham understood that it was not a sacrifice to give back what he had been given in the first place. It is utterly disrespectful to think that God owes you something, everything you are and everything you hope to be was given to you freely by God, giving it back to him should not be a sacrifice although it may be painful, it should become an act of worship.

When you read the passage in Genesis 22 you will find that Isaac carried the wood and the fire up to the mountain like a sheep going to the slaughter. He was meek and obedient. The reason that gave Abraham confidence to carry out this task was the truth that God had given him the sands of the sea and the starry hosts of the sky as the number of his children. I mean if God gave me all that for one, that would have been a good deal. When it was time for Abraham to follow through with his intention, he unflinchingly tied his son upon the wood, and when he was about to slay him with a dagger, right in that moment of absolute obedience, God showed up Himself, not providing a lamb but came down himself as the ram that was caught in the thicket. Whenever you obey God implicitly, he shows up himself, that is why Abraham called the name of the place ‘Yahweh Yireh’ (Jehovah Jireh) The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “ On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.” genesis 22:14

Now, Jesus Christ paid a price, the ultimate sacrifice that no one could afford. He bled and died a sacrificial death, a gory death, a death that we would not have been able to bear. A sacrifice so costly that we could never afford it. He came down from heaven to relieve you and me of our burdensome miserable lives. Paul asks the Romans in the 6th chapter of his epistle in verse 1 and 2, ‘shall we remain in sin so that grace may abound?’ Shall we remain in the grave when Jesus is calling us out to come forth? Shall we remain in sin just because his love is so great? Would that not be crucifying him afresh? Hebrews 6:1-6 There is a popular song that says ‘Jesus came down and he lifted me up’, this song is packed with so much truth, because we were all stuck in deep mire, wallowing away in our dirty trappings, unable to move or progress in any way. We were doomed and so stuck up in our ways, but Jesus stretched out his hand because of God’s love and reached out and pulled you and me out of our mess. The challenge of today is that often we profess that we want to be elevated, we declare that Jesus lifted us up with our mouths, and we show much enthusiasm in songs about his blood and about the cross, but our hearts and hands are hardly up for this elevation. Jesus Christ ensured your victory, he gave the strength you need for the journey you face. So it is up to you to do those things you are already empowered to do, to go on to become that person you were destined to be. The challenge is that we are often so entangled in the now, so entangled with the temporary gratifications, the fleeting thrills of temporary satisfactions that we often forget that we put our hands on the plough in the first place. (see Luke 9:62) Lastly, you are empowered to run you race, to plough your field with diligence, don’t ever get tired of doing well, ‘due season’ is fast approaching. The scandal of God’s love for us provided insurance and assurance, which means that those that embrace his love are set free for life, it means that there is no excuse to fail. In this season of Passover as we reflect on the perfect sacrifice that God gave to save all man, we must reflect on the lives we lead because our lifestyle is our gift back to God for all he has done in our stead. Take a moment and just appreciate God for his great love for you

There is a popular song that says ‘Jesus came down and he lifted me up’, this song is packed with so much truth, because we were all stuck in deep mire, wallowing away in our dirty trappings, unable to move or progress in any way. We were doomed and so stuck up in our ways, but Jesus stretched out his hand because of God’s love and reached out and pulled you and me out of our mess. The challenge of today is that often we profess that we want to be elevated, we declare that Jesus lifted us up with our mouths, and we show much enthusiasm in songs about his blood and about the cross, but our hearts and hands are hardly up for this elevation. Jesus Christ ensured your victory, he gave the strength you need for the journey you face. So it is up to you to do those things you are already empowered to do, to go on to become that person you were destined to be. The challenge is that we are often so entangled in the now, so entangled with the temporary gratifications, the fleeting thrills of temporary satisfactions that we often forget that we put our hands on the plough in the first place. (see Luke 9:62) Lastly, you are empowered to run you race, to plough your field with diligence, don’t ever get tired of doing well, ‘due season’ is fast approaching. The scandal of God’s love for us provided insurance and assurance, which means that those that embrace his love are set free for life, it means that there is no excuse to fail. In this season of Passover as we reflect on the perfect sacrifice that God gave to save all man, we must reflect on the lives we lead because our lifestyle is our gift back to God for all he has done in our stead. Take a moment and just appreciate God for his great love for you

Lastly, you are empowered to run you race, to plough your field with diligence, don’t ever get tired of doing well, ‘due season’ is fast approaching. The scandal of God’s love for us provided insurance and assurance, which means that those that embrace his love are set free for life, it means that there is no excuse to fail. In this season of Passover as we reflect on the perfect sacrifice that God gave to save all man, we must reflect on the lives we lead because our lifestyle is our gift back to God for all he has done in our stead. Take a moment and just appreciate God for his great love for you

Take a moment and just appreciate God for his great love for you

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