(William Nicholson, 1862)
"He gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age!" Galatians 1:4
The sacrifice of Christ was voluntary — it must therefore have been prompted by infinite love. Redeeming love should be the favorite topic of the Christian's constant meditation.
I. Note His marvelous act: "He gave Himself!"
He came into the world which abhorred Him, disowned Him, and murdered Him!
He gave Himself to all the privations and sorrows of human life.
He gave Himself to obscurity and indigence. He was born in a stable — and had nowhere to lay His head.
He gave Himself to scorn and infamy. He was denounced . . .
as a glutton,
as a drunkard,
as a demoniac,
as a traitor!
"Scorn has broken My heart and has left Me helpless; I looked for sympathy, but there was none; for comforters, but I found none!" Psalm 69:20
He gave Himself to pain and anguish. "He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering!" Isaiah 53:3. Behold His agony . . .
and at Golgotha!
He gave Himself to an ignominious and painful death. "He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed!" Isaiah 53:5
He died the just for the unjust.
II. Note the purpose for which He gave Himself: "For our sins!"
Man is a sinner — he has transgressed the Divine law, and rendered himself accursed. Christ died to save helpless, ruined man.
He gave Himself to deliver us from . . .
sin's curse, Galatians 3:13,
sin's defilement, Ephesians 5:25-27; Titus 2:11-14; 1 John 1:9
sin's dominion, Romans 6:14,
the effects of sin in this world and in eternity.
The believer now has peace, joy, hope, and triumph.
III. Note the Design of Christ's offering: "That He might deliver us from this present evil world!"
Not totally to remove us out of the world, but to deliver us from its evil practices — from its maxims and philosophies.
To deliver us from the condemnation to which the world will be subjected.
To deliver us from attachment to this fleeting world, "For this is not your resting place, because it is defiled, it is ruined, beyond all remedy!" Micah 2:10
To influence us to look higher, accounting ourselves as "strangers and pilgrims" on earth; declaring plainly that we are "seeking a better country, that is a heavenly one!"
To deliver us when we die, from this poor world's . . .
sinful beings —
and to introduce us to a purer, brighter, happier world than this, where we shall reside forever!