HE GAVE HIMSELF
Anita Clark, Pastor Carbondale, Kansas
“Grace be unto you and peace from God the Father; and from the Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father; To whom be glory forever and ever, Amen. Galatians 1:3-5.
Verse 3 tells us what we have because Jesus gave Himself. First he gave us “grace” which means “the gift, benefit or favor.” Then He gave us “peace.” Romans 5:1 says, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Apostle Paul said in Philippians 4:7, “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” I like another translation called The Amplified Version in this verse, where it expressed what is meant by the “peace” - “...that peace which reassures the heart, that peace which transcends all understanding [that peace which stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].” Note that this grace and peace come from “God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Back to Galatians 1:4, “Who gave Himself...” No one forced Him. The word “gave” means in the Greek, “ to be committed, delivered up, grant, offer, suffer and yield.” How precious that Jesus was willing to come as a little human baby, and grow up to be the sacrifice for our sins!
In II Corinthians 5:21 it states “For He [the Father] hath made Him [Jesus] to be sin for us, He who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” In Galatians 4:4-5, Paul says, “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...”
Galatians 1:4 goes ahead to say, “...that He might deliver us from this present evil world.” We are living in a very “evil world.” Things and situations are becoming worse and worse. In Paul’s day it was terrible for the Christians. In Noah’s day, it was terrible. Just think about it for a moment. Noah and his wife and three sons and their wives were the only righteous people among thousands and thousands who perished in the Flood. Jesus said that in the end of time things would be like the days of Noah.
In Galatians 1:4, notice the phrase, “according to the will of God and our Father.” It was decided before the world was ever created that Jesus would come and die for our sins. Ephesians 1:3-4 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ. According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.”
Let us read from Philippians 2:6-7, speaking of Christ, “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery (or a thing to be grasped at) to be equal with God (because He was God), But made Himself of no reputation and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” He abased Himself, to become a man, so he could die for our sins. As it says in II Corinthians 8:9 “For we know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes, He became poor (a beggar or indigent - homeless), that you through His poverty might become rich.”
The word “servant” found in verse 7 actually should read “slave” which speaks of “subjection and subservience.” He did not just become a “slave,” but lower. Note verse 8, “...He humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” The Eternal Lord - to die. He didn’t die of old age in a nice clean bed. He died by crucifixion, an instrument of capital punishment, which was so inhuman and horrible.
Let us read in Hebrews 2:9, “But we see Jesus, Who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death...” The words “made a little lower than the angels” should read, “made for a little while lower than the angels.” He was here on the earth at an ordained time. He grew up from babyhood and childhood and became a grown man to be made the sacrifice for the sins of the world. Because He was willing to do that, even declaring in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Father, not My will but Thine be done,” Verse 9 says He is “crowned with glory and honor.”
As it says in Philippians 2:9-11 “Wherefore God has highly exalted Him and given Him a name which is above every name. That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow ... and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Why did Jesus, the Son of God choose this way of suffering? Hebrews 2:11, tells us why? “For it became (orig, suitable, or proper) Him, for Whom are all things, and by Whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory (orig. honor and praise) to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through suffering.” The title “Captain” means in the Greek, “the Chief Leader, Author or Prince.” Hebrews 12:2, states, “Looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith; who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is now set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” The work accomplished. “It is finished.”