ODJ: the gift of time

October 2, 2014 

READ: Isaiah 53:1-12 

It was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down (v.4).

Our 5 year old son lives by a simple credo: never, ever be bored! He’s always investigating, always testing, usually grubby, never still—not even in his sleep. Liam doesn’t share his father’s fear of heights or snakes, nor does he possess his mother’s good sense. His favourite phrase typically occurs too late for Mum, Dad or older siblings to intervene. “Watch this!” he’ll announce as he begins his incautious leap to . . . wherever.

So you might not expect Liam's tough exterior to contain a gentle core. But it does. When he discovered that a predatory animal had invaded a nest of baby rabbits, he was inconsolable. Bringing a tiny, lifeless bunny to Mum, his body shook as he sobbed, "Baby rabbits shouldn't die!"

We live each day with relentless reminders that something is wrong—really, really wrong. Baby rabbits shouldn't die.

According to Christian theology, the reason for death traces back to the garden of Eden. Our first parents sinned, and their rebellion brought a curse that included a death sentence for all creation (see Genesis 3:1-19). But it cost God even more than it cost us.

Throughout the Bible we gain glimpses of God's plan to redeem His creation. Isaiah 53 provides one of the keenest insights into what that would look like: "He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed" (v.5). "He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal!" (v.9).

God's Son shouldn't have died! "But it was the LORD's good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants" (v.10).

—Tim Gustafson

365-day plan› John 21:15-25

What hope and what warning does Romans 8:9-17 give us when we trust in God’s Son? (The warning is in verse 17.) What hope does 8:18-25 bring to all of creation? 
Why do you think God gives us the freedom to rebel against Him? Why doesn’t He make us love and obey Him?