Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "When I Survey The Wondrous Cross"1 (Lyrics)
In a world with so many different spiritual writings, why should anyone pay special attention to the Bible as a revelation from God? For me, convincing evidence comes from the fact that Isaiah, living 700 years prior to Jesus' time on earth, wrote of events of Jesus' crucifixion and death in what would turn out to be undeniable parallels with the actual happenings in the first century A.D. as recorded by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
Isaiah 53:3-7,12b – He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering … he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows … he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed by our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. He poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. (NIV)
Matthew wrote: "The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Matthew 20:28 NIV) "When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer … not even to a single charge." (Matthew 27:12,14a NIV) "He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases." (Matthew 8:17b NIV)
Mark wrote: "They crucified two robbers with him, one on his right and one on his left." (Mark 15:27 NIV)
Luke quotes Jesus as saying, "It is written: 'And he was numbered with the transgressors'; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me." (Luke 22:37a NIV)
John, the gospel writer, tells that John the Baptist exclaimed about Jesus, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29b NIV)
Our faith is re-affirmed in this double witness to the same truths, though prophet and gospel writers wrote centuries apart in time. Only our great God and Jesus Christ could have put this together!
In the light of what Jesus has done for us, what can we do in appreciation?
Prayer: Lord God Almighty, thank You that You brought together these same truths about Jesus our Christ in such an amazing way from such a wide time-span. Thank You for Your Son's coming and taking away the sin of the world, including our personal sins. You have wiped our slates clean. Cause each of us to appreciate so much Your Son's giving of Himself for our full and free salvation that we will bow to Your desires for our lives, and say gratefully, "Yes, thank You, Lord! I accept Your gift of my eternal salvation. Use me for Your glory in whatever way You choose." Amen.