Shock and Awe

Posted by Karah


Contemplate this quote:

“Jesus Christ our Lord surrendered in order that He might win; He destroyed His enemies by dying for them and conquered death by allowing death to conquer Him.” —A.W. Tozer

Has a complete stranger ever paid for your meal? If so, your first reaction was likely one of shock. It’s rare that someone would show such generosity. Then, typically, the shock turns into gratitude. Our hearts are overwhelmed that someone would pay a debt that he or she didn’t owe. Someone paying for a meal he or she didn’t eat is an occasional life experience. But, Jesus not only paid a debt that He didn’t owe; He paid a debt that we could never even begin to pay.

Think about what you’ve learned over the past few weeks. Mull over how God provided a sacrifice in place of Isaac. Then, realize that your sin also demands a sacrifice, and God has already provided it: in Jesus, His only Son.

Read Romans 4:13-25 in your Bible.

“He was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.” —Romans 4:25

Who delivered up Jesus? Ultimately, it was God Himself who brought Jesus’ crucifixion to pass in order to reveal His plan of salvation.

Trespasses is from a Greek word meaning “unintentional error” or “willful sin.” What does this word help you to understand about the amount of sin Jesus’ death has defeated? Explain.

Justification comes from the Greek word “diakaiosis” which means “acquittal for Christ’s sake.” Think about that. If that is true, what does it mean in the life of a believer?

The Point

Our sin called for a sacrifice. God provided it in Jesus.


Our sin demanded a sacrifice, and God provided it in His Son. Jesus died for our sin, and He rose again so that we could be made right with God. That is the gospel in its simplest form.

The gospel demands a response. Have you placed your faith in Jesus and His finished work?

Perhaps your first reaction to God’s act of grace is shock because you know you deserved death and hell. If so, allow God’s grace to affect the daily decisions you make. Make spending time with your Savior a daily priority.

Perhaps you responded to God’s act of grace with gratitude. If so, write out a prayer thanking God for the mercy and grace that He has lavished on you.

For further study, read Isaiah 53; Romans 3:23-26; and 2 Corinthians 5:18-21.

Behind the Story

The doctrine of substitutionary atonement holds that because of God’s perfect justice, the only satisfactory payment for the sin of humankind is death. Instead of leaving all of humanity without a means of payment, God sent His only Son, Jesus, to die as a substitute in our place. Through this perfect sacrifice, our sins are atoned, God’s justice is satisfied, and we can have eternal life.

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