How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
–Hebrews 9:14

How can we avoid experiencing the wrath of God that we deserve? In the book of Romans, Paul answered that question as he talked about the provision for God’s righteousness.

Even the Old Testament saints had an understanding of the remedy for the wrath of God. Certainly Moses understood it. Moses went up on Mount Sinai to receive the Law, and while he was up there, the people below were engaging in idolatry and immorality. In Exodus 32:9-10, the Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, they are an obstinate people. Now then let Me alone, that My anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them; and I will make of you a great nation.”

How did Moses respond? He said, in essence, “God, do not destroy this people. If You break Your promise to these people, You will be blasphemed among the heathen.” Yet the people of Israel still deserved God’s judgment. So what did Moses do? The Bible says that he executed the leaders of the rebellion. But Moses realized it was not just the leaders who were guilty. The people were guilty, too. They deserved the wrath of God. What was the solution? Moses knew what was needed to satisfy the wrath of God: an atonement, a covering of somebody who experienced God’s wrath so the people could be free. Moses said to the people, “You yourselves have committed a great sin; and now I am going up to the Lord, perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.” (32:30). Just as a lamb had been the atonement for the sins of the people in Egypt and God passed over them, Moses said he would offer himself to make an atonement for their sins. So Moses told God, “Alas, this people has committed a great sin, and they have made a god of gold for themselves. But now, if You will, forgive their sin–and if not, please blot me out from Your book which You have written!” (32:31-32). Moses was saying, “God, I will be the atonement. I will be the sacrificial lamb for the people. Instead of killing the Israelites, kill me instead. I will be the sin substitute for them.” That was a very generous offer by Moses. But it was also a misguided one. Moses was not qualified to be the atonement for the sins of the people. Moses had to die for his own sins. He, too, was guilty before God.

But one day there would come a perfect lamb, a lamb without blemish, the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. He would hang on a cross and spill out His blood in order to satisfy the wrath of God, so that you and I might not experience eternal separation from God. That is why the writer of Hebrews said, “How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (9:14). Only the blood of Jesus Christ is sufficient to make an atonement, a covering, for our sins. The only remedy for the wrath of God is the blood of Christ.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “No Excuse” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2014.

Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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