It’s almost the end of the prayer, bar this post and one more.
Today is Good Friday, the day we remember the crucifixion of Christ. His death on the cross for the sin of all humanity.
But why was it that Jesus was a worthy sacrifice in place of us all? Earlier in the Lord’s Prayer we prayed that God’s will would be done on earth. We have to pray this because it is not what we naturally do. There has only been one who does God’s will all the time: Jesus Christ.
Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:
“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll— I have come to do your will, my God.’” First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law. Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
It was God’s will that Jesus suffered in our place; and Jesus did just that. He fulfilled the father’s will. That is why he is a worthy sacrifice.
This is also why, when John, the disciple had a vision of heaven, he saw Jesus being praised through song:
And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”
Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they were saying: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and praise!”
Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honour and glory and power, for ever and ever!” The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.
Because of what Jesus did on Good Friday he will be praised and not just in a one-off congratulatory pat on the back. He will be praised for all eternity.
Eternity. Forever and Ever.
It’s not easy to understand (understatement) but it is what we’re praying about in this line. Can we pray about what we do not understand completely? I think we can, because if we can’t, there’s very little that I can have on my prayer list.
If you live in Australia, you may know of Arthur Stace who used to scrawl the word ‘Eternity’ in chalk on the footpaths of Sydney. As the world ticked over from 1999 into the new millennium, Sydney’s Harbour Bridge had a timely moment of embracing this incomprehensible mathematical concept. The word, Eternity was illuminated on it, written in the style that Stace employed.
Whether those that put it there or not realised it, they were acknowledging the ongoing reign of God’s kingdom. This is interesting, as those who made that decision to display the word may or may not have been Christians.
This is not the first time such an occurrence has happened. Recall Daniel from the second post in this series? He lived in Babylon, a land that did not worship the God of the Jews. Yet even then, when God displayed his power and might, even King Darius proclaimed what Arthur Stace scrawled, just in a few more words:
For he is the living God, and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end.
Forever and Ever. God’s kingdom will reign for ever and ever.
And because of Christ on Good Friday our sins have been washed away.
Forever and Ever.
Yours in singing a new song,