Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Jesus extinguished the flame

Monday 1-2-17, Boring, Oregon
Today we read Gen 3 – 5, Luke 2 
S = Scripture  O = Observation  A = Application  P = Prayer  SOAP for the soul.

S. Gen 3:24 After banishing them from the garden, the LORD God stationed mighty angelic beings to the east of Eden. And a flaming sword flashed back and forth, guarding the way to the tree of life. NLT

O. When God placed the first couple in His paradise garden, called Eden, He did not give them 10 commandments. He gave them only one rule. Why any rule at all? This one possibility of disobedience to their Creator’s was “the gift of free choice.” None of the vast types of creatures that God created could make moral choices. Each one was pre-programmed to do just what came naturally and for them. There was no good, nor evil for them. Without that one prohibition, one possible choice, man would be like a wild animal. But Our Great Creator did not want to program us to come running when He called. He wanted a created being that could make his or her own choice to come running to Him and to love Him just because they chose to love Him. 

A. Someone might say, “It didn’t work, did it?” Well, “Yes and No.” Attached to this thing called “sin” was the promise of this horrible thing called “death”. But God was not taken by surprise. In His great mercy, God Himself, killed at least one animal to “cover them” with skins. And thus He revealed a plan to give any man or woman the choice to draw near to Him, by seeking forgiveness. God taught them, starting with Adam and Eve’s son Abel, that without “death of an innocent creature” there could be no forgiveness. (Heb 9:22 Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins. NLT)  So before the first sin had taken place, God was preparing to make His own Son to be that perfect  Sacrifice and to suffer death in our place.

P. Lord Jesus, that tree of life, representing the opposite of death, “eternal life”, was unreachable for us because of a flaming sword, called the “perfect justice of God” flashing back and forth.  But You, Lord Jesus, approached that flaming sword. You were sinless… until You took upon Yourself my sin and the sins of all the world.** And then, like the worst possible sinner, You approached Your Father’s perfect justice, that flaming sword. It plunged with all its fury into Your heart and took Your life instead of mine. But what is this?! Look! The flame went out. The sword stands plunged deep in the soil, standing like an empty cross beside the tree of life… inviting “whosoever will” to come and partake of eternal life. How can we ever thank You for opening the way to eternal life for us?!  Amen.

**For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Cor 5:21 KJV

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