Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Catechism #16

Q. Who is the Redeemer of mankind?
A. The only Redeemer is the Lord Jesus Christ, who being the Son of God, became man.

As we have previously seen, when Adam and Eve chose to sin against God they invited in the curse that leads to death and separation from God. The only way of escape for mankind is through redemption.

After the first sin God killed an innocent lamb and used its skin to make a covering for our first parents. That act was a perfect foreshadowing of the redemption to come—an innocent lamb was sacrificed as a substitute so that the guilty party could be covered.

Years later, when the nation of Israel was in slavery in Egypt, God sent the Ten Plagues to persuade Pharaoh to let His people go. The tenth plague, the death of the firstborn, was a horrific event that was the culmination of years of rebellion and idolatry in Egypt. But God, in His mercy, still gave each family a way out.

God said that if each family would take a spotless lamb, kill it, and apply its blood to the doorposts of their house, then God would pass over their house. This event became known as the Passover, and is celebrated in Israel every year.

Each year at Passover a spotless lamb would be sacrificed for the nation, and God would let the guilty party go free because of the substitute lamb.

Years later, God came to earth in the form of a man named Jesus; He lived a perfect life, and was therefore a spotless substitute. When John the Baptist saw Him, he declared, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!”

When Jesus died on the cross He became the great substitute, bearing the sin of the guilty party—the whole world—and becoming the once and for all sacrifice for sin (Hebrews 10:10). Now, whoever will look upon the Lamb of God and trust in that sacrifice for the forgiveness of their sins can go free. God will place our sin upon Jesus, and place the righteousness of Jesus upon us.

That is how Jesus Christ became the Redeemer for mankind. 

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