Sin and the Need for Jesus
Day 4 of Jesus, I Need You – Part 2, a study of Thistlebend Ministries
Scripture Reading: Malachi 1:6-8, 3:1, 4:5-6; Matthew 11:14, Luke 1:17; and Isaiah 57:14-19
God Forgives the Repentant14 God says, “Rebuild the road Clear away the rocks and stones so my people can return from captivity.” 15 The high and lofty one who lives in eternity the Holy One, says this: “I live in the high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I restore the crushed spirit of the humble and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts. 16 For I will not fight against you forever; I will not always be angry. If I were, all people would pass away—all the souls I have made. 17 I was angry, so I punished these greedy people. I withdrew from them, but they kept going on their own stubborn way. 18 I have seen what they do, but I will heal them anyway! I will lead them. I will comfort those who mourn, 19 bringing words of praise to their lips. May they have abundant peace, both near and far,” says the Lord, who heals them. Isaiah 57:14-19 NLT
Observation: What’s the Message?
Every day, throughout this study, I have read the verses and looked for ways that they point us to our need for Jesus. Some passages have been more obvious than others but today’s proved to be challenging for me. Here’s where I landed …. Malachi 1:6-8 was a reminder that our sins require a sacrifice acceptable to God, but then it also prompted to praise God that Jesus is forever a perfect sacrifice. This reminded me that The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit. God will not despise a broken and humbled heart. The other two passages from Malachi as well as the ones from Matthew and Luke seem to point us yet again to John the Baptist and his role as the one who would prepare the way for our Lord.
It is the passage from Isaiah however, that captured my attention. I confess it grabbed my attention mostly because I couldn’t figure it out and that always bugs me – so I chased down some information on its meaning and was glad I did. From all that I read, my synopsis is – it’s all about Christ making a way for us to have a relationship with God! However, I want to share with you a few bullet points from an article I read that I hope will help you reach the same ‘hallelujah’ I did.
- Christ is the one who opens the way for a great returning to God (14)
- Christ is the one in whom the “lofty one” – whose name is Holy comes to dwell with the oppressed and lowly (15)
- Christ’s death is why God can acquit a guilty people without dropping the charges (16)
- It is by Christ’s stripes that we are healed (18)
- Everything hoped for in this passage comes to us – even to us Gentiles – in Jesus Christ.
Piper, from whose article I borrowed these points, went on to say, “We can read it as a personal offer of hope to any of us who will accept the healing of humbling and the cure of a crushed spirit.”
Application: How Then Should We Live?
From the inferior sacrifices of Malachi’s day to yet more reminders of John coming to prepare the way we are once again reminded of our need for Jesus. If we do not acknowledge this need daily, in both our hearts and minds, I am convinced that we will live as though we do not need Him.
We must not allow ourselves to live as though we can save ourselves or make ourselves better – we need a savior and that savior cannot be a pastor, a church, a child or spouse or friend, it can not be a job or good works. The only savior able to meet the demands of our Holy God is His Righteous Son, Jesus Christ.
Sin is the key because it is often the stumbling block that keeps us from dealing with the daily reality of our need for Jesus. We convince ourselves the questionable things we think, do, say, or watch really aren’t that bad. We play the grace card sometimes before we’ve even committed the sin – content that He will forgive us – we proceed with the sin. We should not make light of sin or treat it as a mistake – we need to humble ourselves before Him, confess our sin for what it is and deal with the sorrow that contrition brings. Remember, a humble and contrite heart He will not despise and according to this passage in Isaiah it is with the contrite and humble that He lives.
Prayer: Response to God’s Word
Father, how blessed we are that You sent Jesus to open a way to You, to acquit us of our quilt, to come and dwell among us, to heal us by His stripes, and to offer us hope and an eternal future with You. May we daily consider what You have done for us and live accordingly. Guard us from living in ignorance or rebellion – knowing what You’ve done for us but choosing our own way over Yours. Help us to be aware of our sin and may it make us contrite and humble, for it is with a humble and contrite heart You will dwell. To You be the glory, honor, and praise now and forever – Amen!
- What’s your take away from today?
- How can you plan to walk humbly with your God?
Go deeper with…
- Thistlebend’s devotional