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January 16, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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“‘The Son of Man must suffer many terrible things,’ he said. ‘He will be rejected by the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He will be killed, but on the third day he will be raised from the dead.’”—Luke 9:22 (NLT)
Have you ever heard a plan that was so outside the box, so unexpected, that you thought to yourself, “This is just crazy enough to work!” Did you know this is actually a common literary trope? One such example is found in The Matrix when Neo sets out to rescue Morpheus from the malevolent Agent Smith. Regarding his plan, Trinity states, “Nobody has ever tried anything like this before,” to which he responds, “That’s why it’s going to work!”
Now, what would you say if I told you that all of mankind was being held ransom, prisoners of the inescapable and irredeemable tyrants named sin and death, and the plan of our Hero, Almighty God, was to send His Son to “suffer many terrible things,” to be rejected, beaten, and killed, and then to come back from the dead on the third day? That is God’s rescue plan for all of us. Imagine yourself as one of the disciples, hearing this for the first time. You’d probably begin wondering if you made the right choice leaving everything behind and following Jesus. How can this be the plan? God must die? Talk about unexpected!
This plan doesn’t make any sense . . . until you realize it’s the only way! You see, our sin had left a crimson stain, the kind that could not be washed away, or covered up by any conventional means—animal sacrifice, following the law, attempting to earn salvation through works. Hebrews 10:1–4 (PHILLIPS) says, “The Law possessed only a dim outline of the benefits Christ would bring . . . In practice, however, the sacrifices amounted to an annual reminder of sins; for the blood of bulls and goats cannot really remove the guilt of sin.”
But the Lord had a plan, one that had never been tried before. “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:9–10 NIV). Thank God for His unexpected plan, because without it, we’d be lost forever!
DIG: Read Hebrews 10, Romans 5:6–10, and John 3:1–21.
DISCOVER: What does God’s rescue plan say to you? What does it say about God?
DISPLAY: Spend some time today reflecting on this unexpected, yet marvelous and life-giving plan and how it has changed your life.