As I’ve been reading writings from the Old Testament prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel) and have read so many discouraging messages about the Lord’s judgment on Israel and Judah, I’ve been turning these things over in my mind, pondering what the Lord is trying to show me through these difficult passages. Today I read out of Ezekiel 22:30-31:
“I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none. So I will pour out my wrath on them and consume them with my fiery anger, bringing down on their own heads all they have done, declares the Sovereign Lord.”
I have been wondering if part of the reason God wants us to read all of these judgments is so that we will have a better understanding of the severity of His righteous wrath from which we have been saved. While reading these verses, I thought about God looking for a man to stand in the gap for the people and finding none, and then sending His only begotten Son to do it since no one else could. Praise God for saving us when we could not save ourselves!
I think I take for granted the grace and forgiveness that I have known for so many years of my life. I tend to forget the gravity of my sin nature and subsequently, the scope of what Jesus did by dying so that God’s wrath might be satisfied, that in his death, I might have life.
This morning I had a wonderful discussion with my students when one of them asked if a person who is really bad can become a Christian right before he dies and then go to heaven, even though he was really bad throughout his life. We had a great talk about the gap that exists between all of mankind (due to our sinful nature, no matter how “good” or “bad” we are), and the perfect, holy God who chose to sacrifice his Son that he might reconcile us to himself. Thank you Father for sending your only Son to stand in the gap when no one else could do it, and thank you Jesus for being willing.