April 25, 2023
“So be very diligent to love the Lord your God for your own well being. For if you turn away and cling to the rest of these nations remaining among you, and if you intermarry...”
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“So be very diligent to love the Lord your God for your own well being. For if you turn away and cling to the rest of these nations remaining among you, and if you intermarry or associate with them and they with you, know for certain that the Lord your God will not continue to drive these nations out before you. They will become a snare and a trap for you, a scourge for your sides and thorns in your eyes until you disappear from this good land the Lord your God has given you.” Joshua 23:11-13 (HCSB)
You may have heard it said that Jesus paid the penalty for the sin of the World. We are all spiritually bankrupt, yet Jesus willfully chose to pay off our balance. In addition, He has promised to fill our accounts with His unending righteousness if we would, by faith, receive it by turning from our sin and following Him.
“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)
When reading that verse, “He made Him,” you may interpret it as saying that God made Jesus do something He would not otherwise have chosen, but Scripture clearly says that Jesus willingly laid down His own life because of His love for sinful mankind.
“This is why the Father loves Me, because I am laying down My life so I may take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down on My own. I have the right to lay it down, and I have the right to take it up again. I have received this command from My Father.” John 10:17-18 (HCSB)
“But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ (Messiah) died for us.” Romans 5:8 (HCSB)
Joshua told Israel what the consequences of their sin would be, if they turned away from God. Their judgment would be a process of spiritual and national decline: God would cease driving away their enemies, and they would become ensnared by their enemies, trapped, scourged, and thorns would blind them until they disappeared from the land of Canaan.
Consider how Jesus paid Israel’s sin penalty compared to Joshua’s (above) exhortation. Messiah truly has borne the penalty for Israel’s turning away from God!
“So then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him. And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe. Then they said, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ And they struck Him with their hands.” John 19:1-3 (NKJV)
Jesus has done the same for you and me. Moreover, by virtue of His resurrection, He is alive today and offers us eternal life if we repent and follow Him.
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©Steve Wiggins 2021