Because they’re real, because they involve the entire universe and not just a galaxy far, far away, and because they’re almost over, these Star Wars are epic! Welcome to another exciting episode of Epic Star Wars! This week’s episode…
Episode VI- Sacrifice of the Savior
A long time ago, God sent a Savior to our world. He sent Him to save us from sin and the rebel alliance, Satan and his angels. He sent Him to make an eternal covenant with those who would be His people for all eternity. We now know that God sent Jesus Christ to be our Savior, our only Hope. But Jesus paid a terrible price to save mankind by this covenant. What was this terrible price? Let’s find out! But before we begin, let us pray.
Help our hearts, O Lord, to truly understand the price you paid for our lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Did you know that the covenant Jesus made with us came at a cost? Did you know that some of the covenants God made with His people before came a cost?
The covenant God made with Abraham, to give him and his descendants the land of Canaan, was sealed with the flesh and blood of several animals (Gen. 15). The everlasting covenant God made with Abraham, his seed, and his house to be their God was sealed by circumcising every man in his house (Gen. 17:1-14). At Mt. Sinai, hundreds of years, Abraham’s descendants made a covenant with God to be His people. After Moses read the words of the covenant and the Israelites agreed to keep it, he sprinkled the blood of the offerings that were made upon the people (Exod. 24:4-8).
This eternal covenant, in terms of cost, is no different. Flesh and blood was required to seal this covenant, just like the ones He made with His people before were. But this covenant is different. It is an agreement to be God’s people for all eternity. As such, the flesh and blood of animals would not be sufficient to seal it.
But why won’t a covenant like circumcision work here? Because we’re sinful human beings. We’ve proven time and time again that we cannot keep God’s covenants in our own strength. That’s why we’re dealing with sin right now. It is the result of our breaking God’s eternal law, His covenant with us. So how could we possibly seal an eternal covenant? The answer is, “We can’t.”
Only God could provide an acceptable offering for us, just like He provided one for Abraham (Gen. 22:1-13). Only a sinless, eternal Sacrifice would be sufficient to seal the eternal covenant and pay the penalty for our breaking the eternal law of God. This was, and is, the only way that the eternal covenant could be sealed. This is the main lesson in the system of sacrifices God’s people took part in from the days of Adam to the days of Jesus. This momentous sacrifice was foretold in Bible prophecy.
“…for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.” (Isa. 53:8)
“And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself…” (Dan. 9:26)
Jesus was that sacrifice, that Messiah that was cut off from the land of the living. God sent Him to die for the transgression of His people, not His own. He Himself committed no sin. God sent Him to die for us, for all of us. But do you understand what Jesus sacrificed for us?
He sacrificed a life of peace and safety in the heavenly courts. He didn’t have to enter a world corrupted by Satan and his rebel alliance. He didn’t have to take on a human nature, tainted by thousands of years of sin. He didn’t have to deal with people who agonized Him with their words, thoughts, and actions. Honestly, He didn’t have pay the price for our salvation at all. But He did.
Do you understand that the Godhead (God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit) could have destroyed the rebel alliance at any time? Anyone who has done evil has been a part of this alliance at one point in their lives, myself included. He didn’t have to let this rebellion continue this far. But He did, and He did it for you.
The reason why God puts up with our beliefs that phase Him out of our lives, our cruel words that mock and scorn Him, and our actions that harm His creation and its inhabitants today, is because He loves us. He paid a terrible price to save our lives and He is going to make sure that He gets as many people away from this rebellion as He possibly can. The phrase, “Move the fleet away from the Death Star!”, should have new meaning for you after this study. God and His stars (His angels) are doing everything they can to move His people away from the star who brought sin (and death with it) into the world, Satan.
Now do you think that Satan and his rebel alliance just let this sacrifice for our salvation just happen? No! They tried to stop Jesus and His ministry at every turn. They tried to kill Him when He was a baby (Mt. 2:13-16). They possessed people just to keep them from reaching Him (Lk. 4:33-35, 41). They moved upon the pride and jealousy of the Jewish leaders to dispute with Him at every chance they got (Mt. 22:15-18). They moved upon Jesus’ own disciples to try and disrupt His ministry (Mk. 8:31-33; Jn. 9:51-56).
When they failed to mar His ministry with sin, they concentrated all their power on inciting Jesus to come down from the cross. They moved upon the Jews, the Romans, and even the thieves on their crosses to taunt and insult Him (Mt. 27:39-44; Lk. 23:36, 37). Despite their wicked efforts, they failed. When Jesus uttered those fateful words, “It is finished”, and died on the cross, the fate of the rebel alliance was sealed (Jn. 19:30). Who is this Savior? Someone who loves us. Someone who loves us enough to pay this terrible cost on our behalf.
Jesus’ sacrifice accomplished a number of things that day. Remember how Satan became the prince of the world through Adam and Eve’s sin in Episode III? By paying the price for their sin, Jesus redeemed the limited dominion Satan claimed as his. That’s why Jesus declared that all power was given to Him in heaven and in Earth (Jn. 3:16; Mt. 28:18).
In addition to reclaiming the dominion of the Earth, Jesus opened the way for us to be reconciled to God again. Jesus is not only atoning for our sins in heaven, but the Holy Spirit He sent is now actively dwelling within His people on the Earth (Jn. 14:16, 17, 26; 16:13; Rom. 5:8-11; Heb. 9:11-15, 24-26, 28). He is changing them from the inside out. He is fitting them with godly character and preparing them to dwell with their God for all eternity.
Lastly, Jesus’ sacrifice revealed the true nature of the rebel alliance to all of the inhabitants of the universe (except us). They saw how Satan and his angels moved upon the Jews and Gentiles to torment Jesus. They saw how these rebellious stars (angels) instigated the Jewish and Roman leaders to destroy Him. They saw how the phantom menace, sin, murdered Jesus. Sin murdered Jesus that day. The people of the universe finally saw this rebellion against God for what it was and they wanted no part of it.
Now, everyone who has entered (or is entering) this eternal covenant is awaiting their Lord’s return, just as the inhabitants of heaven and the unfallen worlds are waiting. But can we know when He will return? Can we know what signs to look for before Jesus comes back? Find out next time in our last exciting episode of Epic Star Wars!