God had a plan! This plan was formulated before the world was ever created (Eph. 3:9-11). Man was God’s greatest creation, and was to have dominion over all else on earth (Gen. 1:26-28). It was God’s desire that man would faithfully worship and serve Him, but yet God gave man free will; He would not force man to obey. Thus sin entered into the world, for man disobeyed God (Gen. 2:17; 3:6). God’s plan included a way for man to be reconciled to Him after being separated by sin, but it would take the shedding of blood (Heb. 9:22). Not just any blood would suffice though, “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins” (Heb. 10:4). It would take the blood of His dear Son to do the job. Jesus said, “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matt. 26:28). John said of Jesus, “Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood” (Rev. 1:5). And, Peter wrote, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (I Pet. 1:18-19).
So, in the fullness of time, God sent His Son because of His love for man. Paul wrote, “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Gal. 4:4-5). “…God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him” (I John 4:9). “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).
Oh the love of God bestowed upon man in that He gave His only begotten Son for our salvation. Yet, with such love expressed and such sacrifice made, man has ever despised and rejected the sent Savior. God knew that they would. Some seven hundred and fifty years before that “fullness of time” when God would send His Son, Isaiah, a prophet of God said, “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised and we esteemed him not” (Isa. 53:3). John stated, “He came unto his own, and his own received him not” (John 1:11). Even one of those closest to Him, turned and betrayed Him. Jesus said to him, “Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?” (Luke 22:48). Oh what a wicked, wicked people that would crucify the Son of God, the Savior sent from God to man, the innocent who went about doing nothing but good.
Lest we get too high on our horse in condemning the Jews of Jesus’ day, let us keep in mind that they were not and are not the only one’s to despise and reject Christ. The writer of the book of Hebrews said, “Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace” (Heb. 10:29). The same writer spoke of Christians who would fall away, saying, “seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame” (Heb. 6:6). We may not be the Jews who initially rejected Him during His earthly ministry, we may not be Judas who betrayed Him for thirty pieces of silver and we may not be the crowd that cried “crucify him, crucify him”, but we can be just as guilty of despising and rejecting the Son of man.
Even of the multitudes that openly espouse belief in Christ Jesus as the Son of God, there are many who are in fact despising and rejecting Him. We reject Him when we reject His authority. Jesus said, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matt. 28:18). To set aside what He has commanded by way of the gospel of Christ for the words, doctrines and practices of mere man or to live in a manner contrary to that authority is to despise and reject Christ. Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). To reject the one body of Christ, the church (Eph. 1:22,23) for a man made denomination is to despise and reject He who purchased that one church with His blood (Acts 20:28). Jesus said, “Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up” (Matt. 15:13).
Certainly we all agree that to crucify the Son of God afresh would be just as bad as to crucify Him the first time as did the Jews who despised and rejected Him. To deny Christ now is just as bad as it was when Peter denied Him three times. (Send any questions or comments to: [email protected])