2000-02-11 - He Took My Place
Being replaced is one of the deepest pains the human heart is ever asked to bear. Perhaps you are in your 50's and have been "put out to pasture" at work, and your position filled by a younger colleague. Maybe you have been replaced in a friendship or a boyfriend no longer is in love with you, and there is a huge hole in your heart. Perhaps your children no longer look up to you as their hero, but instead look up to a teacher, Scout leader or someone else. Most often, being replaced is agonizing. If you are dealing with this type of pain, please don't keep it inside. Pour it out to God (see Psalms 62:8), and a trusted Christian friend or your pastor. God hurts with us and will heal our pain. But there is one instance for which we should be grateful that we had a replacement. I was listening to a Contemporary Christian song (I wish I could remember the title and singer), and were taken aback by the poignant words: "He took my place." Think about it.
(Rom 5:6-8 NRSV) For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person--though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.
I am the one who sins every day. But Jesus was the one Who died a tortuous death to pay for my sins.
I am the one who spouts out spiteful words, but Jesus is the one Who was spit on and mocked.
I am the one who evinces pride, but Jesus is the Humble Servant Who submitted Himself to a degrading death for me.
I am the one who is selfish, but Jesus is the Redeemer Who sacrificed ease and comfort to come to Earth and die in my place, so I could spend eternity with Him.
What can I possibly to do ever repay Him? There are not enough good deeds, money or sacrifices in the world to adequately repay Him. But what I owe Him, and what He desires, is my life -- all of me.
Dear Lord, please help us to better grasp what You have done for us, and live lives of gratitude for it. In Jesus' name, amen.