1 Peter 2:24

Verse of the Day Devotion:  1 Peter 2:24  

“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” – 1 Peter 2:24

As Good Friday and Resurrection Day approaches, it is good to look at what this day means and the importance of it to our lives.  This day came because of the love God has for each and every one of us.  From the beginning of mankind to today, mankind has rebelled against God through sin.  Adam and Eve while in the garden, succumbed to the temptation of Satan and sinned.  God told them not to eat of a particular tree in the garden.  “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Genesis 2:16-17.  However, they disobeyed Him which was sin.  “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.” Genesis 3:6.  And from this time forward, there has been no one who has lived a completely sinless life.  Except one.

For our dilemma, God had a solution.  There was a need for one man to be born and live a perfect life, so that he could pay for the sins of everyone else.  This could not be a normal person, for no man has ever lived a life without sin. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23.  So, He had a son who would be able to live a life without sin who could then pay the penalty for ours.  “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” He understands and sympathizes with us, because He was a born a man through Mary, a woman.  And He is able to address our sinfulness by providing a perfect sacrifice through Himself because He was sinless, being God in human flesh.  And this is the message of our focus verse.  “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:24.

This shows the incredible love God has for us.  First, He knew we would sin against Him for He knows all things. “Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors, remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,” Isaiah 46:8-10.  But He stilled loved us and therefore He provided a way to address the sins and cleanse us from them.  And all we need to do is confess them with repentance.  “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9.

Jesus came with the sole purpose of paying the penalty for our sins.  “But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.  For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:21-23. Jesus never sinned therefore He could pay the penalty for us all.  It was a horrible and cruel death, but He endured it all for us.  This is perfect love from a perfect God.  Give thanks to Him for without Jesus, we would all die in our sins and enter eternal punishment; but with Him we have eternal life with Him.  How beautiful is that.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries. 

Psalm 147:3

Verse of the Day Devotion: Psalm 147:3 

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” – Psalm 147:3        

This is a verse that speaks of the great love God has for Israel and for us as well.  It refers primarily to those who have returned from their captivity in Babylon.  “The LORD builds up Jerusalem; He gathers the outcasts of Israel.” Psalm 147:2.  Note the phrase at the end, ‘He gathers the outcast of Israel.’  When Israel returned from Babylon, two major works they did was to rebuild the temple which was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, as well as the walls of the city.  This speaks to the phrase; the Lord builds up Jerusalem.  Not only did the Israelites work to restore Jerusalem, but they were dealing with sorrow because of the condition the city was in.    

As stated above, those returning from Babylon were crushed and broken due to their long seventy-year captivity, and with the return march back to Jerusalem, which was 2700 kilometers, or 1678.2 miles.  And when they arrive back, the city was in ruins.  This was the beloved city of the Jewish nation.  I am sure also many of their family and friends did not return with them due to being settled in Babylon, probably intermarried, and chose to remain behind.  This also must have caused heartache to those who chose to go back.

God though did not leave them this way.  He healed their broken hearts.  He brought them back to their native land after many years.  And even though the Temple was destroyed, and the walls were torn down, He lifted their spirits by a safe trip back and with the assurance they could, and would, rebuild everything.  He brought back all who desired to return.  See verse 4. “He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them.”  Psalm 147:4. The idea is that if He can count the number of stars in the heavens and give them each a name, He knows where each one of the exiles are that want to return.  No one was left behind. 

However, though this verse is referring to the captive Israelites, this is a general truth that is applicable to us as well.  All of us go through difficult times.  All of us go through periods of anxiety, pain, broken hearts, etc.  We may struggle in going through these times; however, we have a God who loves us and brings us through to the other side.  “Great is our Lord and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite. The LORD supports the afflicted; He brings down the wicked to the ground.” Psalm 147:5-6.  He understands and has compassion on us.  “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all.” Psalm 34:19.  Call out to Him, He understands and will not leave us here alone.  As our focus verse states, He heals us when our hearts are broken, and He binds up the wounds that come because of our trials.  “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7.  Cast all of our trials, anxieties and hurts on Him, for He understands, cares for us, and wants to pull you through.  I can say through experience, it is easier than going though them alone. 

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.