In Knowing Christ we will be offering what are commonly called “devotions”, though we think it is more helpful to call these posts by their purpose—Knowing Christ. The name also serves as a reminder to all of us to stay focused on the Lord Jesus Christ when reading the Bible or praying or even eating a sandwich… He is the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2). All things are through Him and for Him (Colossians 1:9-20). Jesus explains the Scriptures and makes our hearts burn within us (Luke 24). Compared to knowing Christ Jesus our Lord, everything else is garbage (Philippians 3:7-4:1). We pray these posts are used to stir our affections for Him by His word and His grace.
Only the Son of Man can
On Day 1 we read Psalm 1 and looked at how the blessed (happy) man delights in God’s law. He meditates on the law because it reveals God’s character and will. This meditation is not mystical mantras, but a whole range of engaging in and responding to God’s law (growling at enemies, moaning over the dishonoring of God’s name, speaking it out, musing within, studying God’s truth, and delighting in God’s beautiful ways).
“Oh, to please God!” cries the man after God’s own heart (Psalm 19:14). This blessed man is full of unwithering life, standing in the place that God knows, with the assembled church.
On Day 2 we saw that no man can be the blessed man. We are lost sheep going our own way, mocking God with even our “smallest” sins. Trusting in ourselves, our hearts turn away from the LORD and wither. But God fulfills His own seemingly unfulfillable prophecy, revealing His Arm, as the only flesh that can save (Isaiah 59:16, John 1:14).
At last, the Blessed Man is the Son of God and Son of Man—the LORD Jesus Christ!
Check out what the theologian Robert Duncan Culver says in his excellent tome Systematic Theology:
The Old Testment is Christological in its prescription of moral perfection, that is, it is Messianic [about Jesus] by extention… Jesus claimed to fulfill the Old Testament. One way He did this was simply for the first time in history to exemplify every one of its moral excellencies… these ideals were never truly realized until Jesus did so. Calling for human perfection calls for the Son of Man to produce human perfection.
The Great Exchange
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. –2 Corinthians 5:21 (NKJV)
If we are among the wicked sinning scoffers, we will die in our sins (John 8:24). There is only one way to be righteous. We need a substitute.
A perfectly pleasing sacrifice to pay for our sins.
Get this—the LORD is pleased to crush His own Son instead of you.
The Good Shepherd Jesus is also the Lamb of God, led to the slaughter (Isaiah 53). The One who gives us to eat of the tree of life became a curse for us on a tree of death (Revelation 2:7, Galatians 3:13). This Singular Seed dies alone, and His work in dying alone means the many will live forever (John 12:24). And He was raised from the dead to make us righteous (Romans 4:24-25).
His work, by His grace, is yours by faith. Turn from your worthless sinful wicked heart and turn to the One and Only LORD. In the name of Father who planned redemption, and of the Son who purchased redemption, and of the Holy Spirit who will apply it to you.
Do you believe this?
It is the only good news. There is no deeper knowledge or secret handshakes. No merit badges or magic beads. No gnosis but this—the gospel:
Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. –1 Corinthians 15:1-4
Be reconciled to God. Be adopted brand new in the Blessed, or perish with the wicked.
What a great, gracious exchange.
It is my only comfort, knowing Christ.