Born To Die - Life On Death Row
Thanksgiving and Christmas, the holidays. What a wonderful time of year. The holiday season is one of the most joyous times of the year for the vast majority of people, saved or unsaved. The holiday season is one of the times of the year when we all just seem to get along, the time when we're forgiving and patient and kind towards one another. There's just some unseen magical spirit in the atmosphere that envelopes us, and changes us from way down inside. Many people today continue to use the phrase, " The Magic of Christmas."
Christmas is the time of year when family members, who live in distant cities and towns, do everything within reason, to make it home so that they can spend these glorious and magical days with their families and old friends. Airports, Train Stations, Rail Stations, and Bus Terminals are all bustling with activity as people from all walks of life pass through, greeting each other with smiles of love and from the giddiness of anticipating their arrival home.
But Christmas also is a time of aloneness, sadness and sorrow for many, who can only reflect on the loss of loved ones and dear friends, who meant so much, and added so much to their lives. Those you cherished so deeply, who have gone home, to be with the Lord. For many there is a void or an emptiness that cannot be stuffed with Christmas cheer like the stocking hanging over the fireplace.
And then there are those friends and family members who cannot come home to spend the holidays with their loved ones due to incarceration. Sad to say, but there are some who the courts have deemed will never come home again. I don't mean to offend here, for there is one in my family too. They will spend the rest of their natural lives, locked behind prison bars, a ward of the state or federal government. Some are even bidding the time, waiting for the date to be set, while living on death row. For those of us on the outside, truth be told, we cannot even imagine what it must be like, to live everyday knowing that you're actually living on death row, and when the time is at hand, you must die.
The Iniquity Of Us All Was Laid On Him
Isaiah 53: 1-6....
Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? For he shall grow before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground: He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him: and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
He Knew He Was Born To Die
The bible tells us that we were " conceived in sin, and shapen in iniquity," but none of us could be made to believe that we were born to die. None of us have lived a sinless life, perfect in every way, without guilt or shame, but we still could not fathom, being born to die. And even if we could get a grip on being born to die, I'm sure we'd all draw the line on dieing for ourselves only. We would not be willing, under any circumstances, to die for the sins or shortcomings of someone else.
Jesus, who knew no sin, took on sin, that He might redeem the world of sin.
" For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John3:16)
What I'm saying is this. Jesus knew that he was born to die, God gave His Son to die. Jesus knew God's divine Plan of Redemption, and He knew that He alone would be worthy, to die in man's stead.
I'm even reminded of what one of the accuser's said to him while he was hanging, like a spectacle for the crowd, on Calvary's cross. The man standing at the foot of the cross, hurling insults said, Others He Saved, But Himself He Cannot Save.
Imagine walking everyday of your life, knowing that with each passing day, you're one day closer to certain death. Jesus knew he was born to die. Time and again, Jesus told his disciples, " The Son of Man must go to Jerusalem, he will be rejected, beaten, and crucified, but on the third day, he will rise again. It wasn't his disciples coming to him with the news of his demise, after receiving a text message, an e:mail, or a phone call. It wasn't his disciples coming to him with the morning's edition of "Jerusalem Daily," hot off the press, showing him a write-up of His coming crucifixion on the front page.
Jesus knew he was born to die !
I love Christmas. I love the sights, the sounds, and the smells. I love the music and the atmosphere. I love the comraderie and the peace, good will towards men.
But most of all, I love having a Savior, in whom was found no sin. I love having a Redeemer, who could take away my sin, justify me, and bring me back into right standing with God, our Father.