“… the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forevermore. Amen.” (Gal. 1:3-5)
What a rich passage this is. The plan and action of God in rescuing the souls of men in one verse. It is the kind of verse that calls for rereading. If you underline or highlight then please do so. If we thought of scripture as a mine this would be one of the richest veins of gold.
Let’s follow the course of Paul’s thinking in this opening statement to a church that was slipping away from the truth. As usual, Jesus Christ is the focal point of God’s great plan of redemption. He gave Himself. It was a choice made in heaven and acted out on earth. Jesus repeatedly said that dying on the cross to save men from sins was the reason he was on earth as a human. The Jews could not kill Him although they are accused of it. The Romans could not take him but He allowed it to happen. His death was in His own hands. “And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.” (Matt. 27:50)
He gave Himself for our sins. That is the only reason Jesus endured the wrath of God. That is the one and only reason He cried out, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me? (Matt. 27:46) It is why He struggled in the garden. He gave Himself as a sacrifice to God as payment for our sins.
He rescued us from the evil age where we were being held captive by our own disobedience. We were sinking deep in sin, under the power of evil without God and without hope in an evil world. While we were yet in sin he rescued us from the clutches of Satan and made us His own.
This was done because God wanted it done. Jesus said it plainly in the garden of Gethsemane, “Not My will but Yours.” From the dawn of creation, God planned on demonstrating his love, grace, and mercy to rescue mankind from the prison of evil. God willed that He, Himself, would pay the price He set for the forgiveness of sins.
Task for Today: Thank God for His unspeakable gift if you are among the rescued. Accept God’s offer of rescue if you haven’t been. Most importantly, give God the glory forever and ever.