Summer 2024

Daily Devotional: Monday, April 29 - A Perfect Score

“But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin.” — 1 John 3:5

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Peggy Fleming, Michelle Kwan, Kristi Yamaguchi, Scott Hamilton and Brian Boitano are some of the most famous figure skaters. Their speed, balance and skillful maneuvers on ice are legendary. They could spin in circles, jump elegantly and they rarely fell down during competition. On several occasions, these skilled performers got high scores, won many medals and came close to completing perfect-score performances. Even though nobody can skate perfectly, we admire skaters who perform at a high level.

One of the primary reasons we worship and adore Christ is because He never made a wrong step. For 33 years, Jesus had perfect thoughts, always said what He should say, and did the right thing on every occasion, in spite of constant pressure from Satan and in the midst of large crowds of people. Jesus passed every test and produced the perfect score that we as people can’t. We all fall short of God’s perfect standards.

When God arranged for proper worship in Old Testament times, He required priests to offer the healthiest and best animals as a sacrifice for the sins of the people. Everyone is a sinner, so every Israelite was expected to offer the blood of their livestock on the altar. Some 700 years before Christ came, God showed the prophet Isaiah a vision of Jesus dying like a sheep on our behalf. “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. … He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.” (Isaiah 53:5, 7).

As Pilate and Herod heard the testimony about Jesus during His trial, they proclaimed Christ’s innocence and they couldn’t understand the crowd shouting to “crucify him” (Luke 23). Nevertheless, everything happened according to the Heavenly Father’s plan because the Spotless Lamb must die for our sins. John the Baptist pointed to Christ as the fulfillment of everything God promised in the Old Testament. When he saw Jesus walking among a crowd, John declared to everyone that Jesus is the Savior for anybody who believes. “John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!'” (John 1:29).

Jesus never made a wrong step, and He lived a holy life so that He could be our perfect sacrifice — so that we don’t have to be separated from God in our missteps and sins. The pressure for us to perform something we cannot do is off — His perfect life and sacrifice saves us. He took on the punishment to bring us peace. For those who realize the significance of our Savior, our only action should be to praise and worship Him for all He saved us from.

— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Georgia

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