Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Today’s Topic: He Did It!
Today’s Text: Isaiah 44:22-23 (ESV) I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you. 23 Sing, O heavens, for the LORD has done it; shout, O depths of the earth; break forth into singing, O mountains, O forest, and every tree in it! For the LORD has redeemed Jacob, and will be glorified in Israel.
Yesterday afternoon was Liam day. Every Tuesday my wife and I take one of the school-aged grandchildren and spend some alone time with them. We play games, do projects, have fun, and eat supper together. I wish I could do it with the grandkids who live a few hours away.
Anyway, yesterday it was Liam’s turn, and after we finished the birdhouse painting, the Easter egg decorating, and the Swedish pancake supper, we sat down to play a game of attack Uno. After winning the first game, grandpa was already at Uno in the second game after playing his next to last card. Liam, whose hand was loaded with cards, was next to play. A slight smile started in the corner of his mouth as he reached for a card. The smile grew as he laid it on the discard pile. He spoke with excited enthusiasm and said, “I trade hands with grandpa!”
He couldn’t control himself any longer. He had just played a trade hands card and now only had one card in his hand while I sat there sorting through 20 of them. On the next turn around the table he played that last card and won the game. He laughed. He jumped. He showed off that contagious smile of his. His enthusiasm was abundant as he repeated the same phrase over and over again. “I did it! I did it!”
While it is a great story, it’s not a perfect analogy of what happened on the cross, but it will suffice for my heart for a while. Hanging on the cross, Jesus traded hands with us. I had a losing hand which guaranteed my eternal defeat. Jesus had the winning hand. In the game, I would never have initiated the trade, but Jesus did. He took my losing hand as His own and gave me a winning hand I didn’t deserve. My trade with Liam was forced upon me, but Jesus traded willingly. He did it!
As I thought about that trade, I was reminded of its cost from the prophetic twenty-second Psalm. Read the selected verses carefully as it describes the scene and emotions of Christ on the cross, then notice the highlighted words at the end.
Psalm 22:1-31 (ESV)
1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? 2 O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest…I am a worm and not a man, scorned by mankind and despised by the people. 7 All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads; 8 “He trusts in the LORD; let him deliver him; let him rescue him, for he delights in him!”…Many bulls encompass me; strong bulls of Bashan surround me; 13 they open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion. 14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast; 15 my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death. 16 For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet— 17 I can count all my bones— they stare and gloat over me; 18 they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots. 19 But you, O LORD, do not be far off! O you my help, come quickly to my aid! 20 Deliver my soul from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dog! 21 Save me from the mouth of the lion! You have rescued me from the horns of the wild oxen! 22 I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you: 23 You who fear the LORD, praise him! All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him, and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel! 24 For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, and he has not hidden his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him…The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the LORD! May your hearts live forever! 27 All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you. 28 For kingship belongs to the LORD, and he rules over the nations. 29 All the prosperous of the earth eat and worship; before him shall bow all who go down to the dust, even the one who could not keep himself alive. 30 Posterity shall serve him; it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation; 31 they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn, that he has done it.
Shout it. Jump around. Laugh with unspeakable joy. Jesus did it! Jesus did it!