This post was written in January 2009. I wrote it while Hannah, my middle child was sick for the fourth time in a year with a high fever. Whenever one of my girls is sick, I'm consumed with wanting to do whatever I can to make them better. As I was laying beside Hannah on the couch stroking her head and feeling the heat radiating from her tiny body all I could think about was wanting to absorb the sickness so she wouldn't have to endure the pain. I didn't only want to cover her and care for her, I wanted to take her sickness upon myself. I wanted to heal her from the pain physically but more than that I wanted to absorb her sickness permanently. While closing my eyes and envisioning this transfer, Christ gently reminded me of why He came and what He accomplished on the cross. Seeing the Israelites sin and depravity He offered a way to cover their sin by sacrifices, burnt offerings and sin offerings. This is referred to as the Old Order or Old Covenant. These sacrifices and offerings were never enough to completely take away sin but it was just enough to temporarily cover sin. The Law's purpose was to show them their depravity and the holiness of God. It was to convict their conscience of sin and open their eyes to their need for a Savior. The Law focused on the outer man but Christ came to purify the inner man. The sacrifices performed and required were God's way of reminding them of their inability to keep the Law. Jesus stated that He came not to condemn the law but to fulfill it, Matthew 5:17. If we could have kept the Law apart from Christ then Christ's death is nullified. You see at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Romans 5:6. Jesus, states in Mark 2:17, "It is not the healthy that need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance." In this verse is Jesus glorifying sin? NO, His purpose was that one has to realize they are sick to seek a physician. His response was to the Pharisees' who trusted in their own righteousness and in their deeds. Those who thought their righteousness before God could be obtained by keeping the Law. The Law's purpose then and now is to daily convict us of sin and awaken our love for Jesus as the final atoning sacrifice for my sin. To drive us deeper into Christ as He transforms us into His image. As we grow in the knowledge of our need for Him we fall more deeply in love with Him. We begin to depend not on our own righteous deeds but on His righteousness and His love for sinners.
Here is what occurred to me, I love Hannah so much that my heart's desire in the midst of her sickness was to absorb her pain and her sickness not just to mask it or cover it temporarily with Tylenol. The giving of the pain reliever was a reminder of her sickness. As soon as the medication would wear off the fever would come back.I wanted a supernatural transfer to occur. I didn't want to take her sickness upon myself because I was obligated as her mom to care for her, I wanted to take it upon myself because of my unbearable love for her. As she was laying next to me, I wanted to absorb her sickness so I could endure it on her behalf. Although, I held her and comforted her it was not enough to take away her sickness and relieve the consequence of her being sick. But unlike me, Christ has the power to absorb our sin and free us from our depravity.
God referred to Christ in Isaiah as Immanuel, God with us. He provided a way for us to be made perfect through His suffering. The name Jesus means, the One who saves. You see, it was out of His great love for us, He came down to dwell among us to reveal to us the truth, wear the robe of humanity, fulfill the law by living a sinless life and then dying a sinners death as the final atoning sacrifice for sin. His desire was to absorb our sin once and for all, so that we could be made perfect though His suffering. His sacrifice is totally sufficient for our sins. We are not only covered by His blood but transformed into his image. He endured a brutal death where every sin I have ever committed or will commit was placed upon him. He took on the punishment and absorbed the consequence of my sins. He did what I could not do so that by His death I became who I was created to be, a woman made in His image and for His purposes. For before Christ entered into my sin saturated body I was dead. I have been made alive by the power of the Holy Spirit, raised to new life and called a new creation.
For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins? But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Then I said, 'Behold, I have come to do your will, O God.' Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired but a body you have prepared for me. Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can NEVER take away sins; but He having offered one sacrifice for sins FOR ALL TIME, sat down at the right hand of God, waiting form that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet. For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. Hebrews 10:1-4, 5,11-14