Today, while reading Jeremiah 14, I am once again amazed at God’s salvation that is secure in his son.
Israel’s choosing sure seemed secure as well. Chosen, selected by God from out of all other nations, Israel had a special place before their holy God and creator.
Yet, they desecrated that honored place. They took the love of God for granted. Their cycles of sin reached a tipping point, and God was about to teach a lesson that none of them saw coming. Judgment and punishment through the despicable neighbors, the godless nations that surrounded Israel.
In Jeremiah 14, God gives an explanation for why his people are sitting on the ground, licking their wounds.
“All the people sit on the ground in mourning,
And a great cry rises from Jerusalem.
The nobles send servants to get water,
But all the wells are dry.
The servants return with empty pitchers,
Confused and desperate,
Covering their heads in grief.
The ground is parched and cracked for lack of rain.”
They understand that their “wickedness has caught up with them” (verse 7). Yet they are waiting for their champion to come to their rescue. They know he is near, but they are not seeing him act. Pleading, they beg him to show mercy once again.
God is always more holy than we think he is. Sin is always more serious than we think it is.
In verse 10, God speaks words than would bring me despair.
“You love to wander far from me and do not restrain yourselves. Therefore, I will no longer accept you as my people. Now I will remember all your wickedness and will punish you for your sins.”
The sound of the lifting of God’s mercy would be unbearable to hear.
So Jesus, today, I am thankful that the cross cannot be undone. No, not so that I have freedom to sin….but freedom to fear you and your perfect love that was demonstrated on a cross, once and for all. For when you said, “it is done”, you meant it.
What Jesus did through His perfect earthly existence, sacrificial death, and glorious resurrection fully completed the work the Father had given Him to do. Not only did He complete His salvific work, but His accomplishment is fully efficacious, today and will be forevermore. There is nothing more to add–nothing more to be done by God, man, or religious institutions. The undeniable, factual, historic, and eternal work of Jesus Christ has been completed–is complete–and will forever remain completed. “IT…IS…FINISHED!”
At the cross, the gavel of the Supreme Judge of the Universe crashed upon His mighty bench when God the Father, pleased to crush His Son, poured the full cup of His wrath against sin upon His innocent Son.
At the cross, the Great Exchange took place. The eternal debt owed for the sin of mankind was paid in full. God the Father looked upon His perfect, precious, and priceless Son as if He had lived the filthy, detestable, sin-stained lives of fallen mankind. Now, God the Father looks upon me as if I had lived His Son’s perfect, precious, and priceless life.
At the cross, God kept His promise to crush Satan’s head through the bruising of His Son. The power of sin and death was vanquished once and for all time.
“It is finished!” Jesus Christ’s finished work on the cross forever made man’s work to appease God, to please God, and to be reconciled to God, impotent and blasphemous.
The sin debt I owe to God was and is paid in full by my Lord and Savior, my Master and King, Jesus Christ, when He shed His innocent blood on the cross on my behalf!
Those words in Jeremiah 14 are sobering. To hear God say, “and now I am removing my mercy, removing your place at my table, and I will punish you the way you deserve to be punished”, would be beyond devasting. But he won’t speak those words. Jesus said the last words (“it is finished”) of last words.
These are words that pilgrims need to hear. Pilgrims who are tired, dirty, weary, wandering…they need words that renew and strengthen. In the pilgrims’ backpack has to be the refreshing words of truth – the journey is hard, dry, long, and full of aches and pains. Travelers fail, get of course, and hate to admit when they are lost. Jesus’ completed work on the cross, the truth of “it is finished”, is so much more refreshing than the oasis of springs of water.
Lord, again, your Word speaks to me, strengthens me, corrects me (and my thinking that I have to earn your attention and love), and awes me. I need your help to live each moment in light of the completed work of the cross.