No need to feel crushed anymore

Published 9:58 pm Friday, October 28, 2016

Tim Keller is the pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York. As a young Christian, he had a hard time seeing how the Old Testament and the New Testament fit together. Then one day he asked the great British Old Testament scholar Alec Motyer about this.

Dr. Motyer asked this roomful of Christians how believers in the Old Testament would have given their “testimony,” their story of knowing God. He told them that Old Testament believers would have said something like this:

“We were in a foreign land, in bondage, under the sentence of death. But our mediator — the one who stands between us and God — came to us with the promise of deliverance. We trusted in the promises of God, took shelter under the blood of the lamb, and he led us out. Now we are on the way to the Promised Land. We are not there yet, of course, but He will stay with us until we get to our true country, our everlasting home.”

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As a Christian, isn’t that similar to your testimony as well? Believers in Old Testament times were saved the same way as people today – by taking shelter under the blood of the Lamb.

The lambs that were slain on Passover night during the Exodus pointed to the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, the Lord Jesus Christ, who delivers us from slavery to sin, and who is now guiding us to the Promised Land.

These foreshadows of the good news of Jesus are all over the Old Testament. In Nehemiah 9, the people of Jerusalem come together for a time of confession before God. They recount all their sins against Him throughout their history to that point.

Suppose we did the same? Suppose you could remember every sin you have ever committed throughout your life. Imagine the accumulated weight of those sins hanging over you, threatening to crush you.

But then, instead of that weight descending on you, it all descends on Jesus, on a cross. Instead of you being crushed by the weight of your sins, Jesus is crushed for the weight of your sins! He bears it all.

“But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities” (Isaiah 53:5).

My friend, if you are not yet a Christian, and you feel the weight of your sins hanging over you, look to Jesus. Look to the One who bore the sins of sinners like you and me on Calvary’s cross. Look to the One who was willing to be crushed in the place of all who will look to him in repentance and faith.

Look to him now. He will not turn you away.

And if you are a Christian, live your life out of the reality of what Jesus has done for you. Let your life flow from his mercy and grace. Rejoice in the rescue you have experienced in the gospel.

Never get over what he has done for you, and treat others with the same mercy and grace and forgiveness that you have received.

And offer yourself to God as a living sacrifice, to live for His glory and share the gospel with others.

Dr. Thurman R. Hayes is senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Suffolk. Follow him on Twitter at @ThurmanHayesJr.