The Greatest Sacrifice

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The Greatest Sacrifice

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What act would demonstrate the greatest power imaginable? We can be awestruck by mankind’s greatest engineering marvels—towering skyscrapers, enormous dams, rockets that can take human beings into space. And then there are the ancient masterpieces like the pyramids of Egypt, the Great Wall of China and the Roman Colosseum.

Incredible as these wonders are, they come nowhere close to the greatest demonstration of power ever, which was the creation of the universe. What kind of power does it take to bring an entire universe into existence out of nothing?

It’s ironic that even Darwinian evolutionists, who reject any role for a divine Being, start with the premise of an already existing universe and hospitable planet complete with laws of physics and chemistry already in place. After a century and a half of trying, they still can offer no rational explanation for a universe that came from nothing!

Yet the Bible reveals how our universe came to be: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1 Genesis 1:1In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
American King James Version×
, emphasis added throughout). Here the Bible reveals what science cannot tell us. It reveals a divine Creator who brought the universe into being from nothing.

Psalms 33:6 Psalms 33:6By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.
American King James Version×
explains it this way: “The Lord merely spoke, and the heavens were created. He breathed the word, and all the stars were born” (New Living Translation).

That, my friends, is power!

For years scientists had estimated the number of galaxies in our universe at around 100 billion. A few months ago a group of astronomers recalculated the existing data and increased their estimate to two to three trillion galaxies— 20 to 30 times as many as previously thought! Such numbers are almost beyond human comprehension.

The Bible also explains who this Being is who created the universe: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God . . .

All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (John 1:1-3 John 1:1-3 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
American King James Version×
).

The apostle John here tells us that “in the beginning”—a reference back to Genesis 1:1 Genesis 1:1In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
American King James Version×
two divine Beings existed, one called “the Word” and the other called “God.” In verse 14 John further explains that “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,” and that this “Word” through whom all things were made was the One who became Jesus Christ. This is further confirmed plainly in Hebrews 1:2 Hebrews 1:2Has in these last days spoken to us by his Son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
American King James Version×
and Colossians 1:16-17 Colossians 1:16-17 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
American King James Version×
.

Yet, astoundingly, in the greatest act of humility and sacrifice of all time, this Being who brought the universe into existence gave up that astounding power to offer His life as a sacrifice to pay the penalty for your sins and mine.

As the apostle Paul explains in Philippians 2:5-8 Philippians 2:5-8 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took on him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient to death, even the death of the cross.
American King James Version×
: “Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross” (NLT).

The Word, the divine Being who would later become the One we know as Jesus the Messiah, was God on the same level of existence with the Father. But by choice He willingly emptied Himself of this glorious existence of majesty, splendor and power in the greatest act of humility of all time.

And because He willingly gave this up to become the sacrifice for all mankind’s sins for all time, God the Father has “elevated him to the place of highest honor” and placed Him in authority over all things—“that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow …  and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” (NLT, Philippians 2:9-11 Philippians 2:9-11 9 Why God also has highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
American King James Version×
).

Every year at this time, the biblical Passover commemoration reminds us of what He gave up for us. The articles in this issue will help you better understand and appreciate that greatest sacrifice ever!