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March 10

18 You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish. 20 He was destined before the foundation of the world, but was revealed at the end of the ages for your sake.
I Peter 1:18-20

We began the season of Lent yesterday with the poignant reminder that we are mortal and that time is passing us by. But in today’s text we are reminded that God is immortal and beyond time, so that God?’s plan for the cross and our salvation came “before the foundation of the world.” The cross was no afterthought on God’s part, or a page from his crisis response plan for the world. Rather, there was a cross in the heart of God long before one was planted on Calvary. Beyond the vagaries and capriciousness of time God was eternally moving and working for our good and for our salvation.

There is a remarkable painting by nineteenth century Pre-Raphaelite painter, Holman Hunt (1827-1910), “The Shadow of Death,” in which we see Jesus as a young man in his carpenter’s shop in Nazareth. In a marvelous blending of light and shadow, Hunt portrays Jesus, stripped to the waist, taking a moment from sawing wood to stretch wide his arms and lift his eyes heavenward. As Jesus rests, we see the afternoon sun streaming through the open door casting the shadow of a cross on the wall behind him. His carpenter’s nails on the wall are a harbinger of that which awaits him.

Though the painting came from the artist’s imagination, it does reflect the teachings of Scripture that Jesus came to be God’s perfect Lamb “without defect or blemish”, and be our Savior. Today’s text tells us that it was for this very purpose that Jesus “was predestined before the foundation of the world.” From eternity past this has been in God’s heart.

The cross was not something that happened to Jesus. He did not die as a helpless victim, but a victor. It was just as the angel instructed Joseph at Jesus’ birth “You are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).

MEDITATION

Soaking in Scripture…
Today?’s Andy Moments…

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