Day 12

An All-Sufficient Sacrifice

from the Advent 2019: A Thrill of Hope reading plan

Isaiah 1:11, Isaiah 1:18, Isaiah 53:2–12, John 1:29, Hebrews 9:11-14, Hebrews 10:1-14

The story now holds a place of honor in our family lore. We retell it and laugh about it, but it wasn’t so funny when it happened. My daughter was small, like elementary-age small. We were visiting my parents in the summertime, and my mom had fresh blueberries and strawberries waiting for her grandkids when we arrived. My daughter has always loved fruit, but that day she ate her fill and then some. Well, not long after, all that fruit she ate came back to haunt her—all of us, really. Let’s just say that fruit made a reappearance all over the brand new carpet my mom had installed a few weeks prior. The carpet was light-colored, not white, but close. And those strawberries and blueberries? Well, no matter what form they come in, together they range in color from bright red to deep blue, even purple.

We tried everything we knew to get those stains out. And after we left to go home, my mom hired a professional carpet cleaner to come give it a try, but to no avail. Nope, those stains held their ground. Nothing was sufficient or powerful enough to get them out. In the end, my mom ended up having to replace the carpet altogether.

By much, much starker contrast, the story of our sin holds no honor for humanity, but it is the greatest story of grace in human history. From the garden on, our sin has stained us. And the line that has consistently run through that story has been one of insurmountable need for something to remove that stain and make us clean—to make us right before God, to make us reconciled to Him. We’ve tried everything from sacrifices to festivals to feasts to “good” works, all to no avail. Some sacrifices had temporary value, but were they absolute and all-sufficient? No. In fact, God’s response to our empty efforts is on record:

“What are all your sacrifices to me?” asks the LORD.
“I have had enough of burnt offerings… they have become a burden to me” (Isaiah 1:11,14).

While we searched for something sufficient, the answer was Someone sufficient—”the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). In His infinite mercy, God planned for our redemption:

“Come, let us settle this,”
says the LORD.
“Though your sins are scarlet,
they will be as white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18).

Christ was the needed sacrifice for our sins. His death on the cross was not a band-aid to cover our sin, but a once-and-for-all, completely sufficient sacrifice to wash our scarlet sins white as snow. His blood was spilled, His love poured out, wiping out the stain of sin as nothing or no one else could.

Written by John Blase

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