A tough assignment!
- Matt's Musings
Around 750BC there lived a man called Hosea. What a job he was given to do! God sent him with a message of judgment to the Israelites. For generations, the Israelite people had turned their back on God despite all that he had done for them. He had rescued them from slavery in Egypt and given them a beautiful land of their own. They couldn’t care less.
It can be difficult to tell people a message they don’t want to hear. However, Hosea’s ‘message’ was even tougher for him to deliver because he had to ‘act’ it out. God told him to marry an unfaithful woman called Gomer. She left him for other lovers, but then God told him to take Gomer back. To follow the custom of the day, he even had to pay for her. Imagine that!
What a picture Hosea’s life was! God is a faithful husband who loved the Israelite people. They had left him for other gods and after many warnings, the judgment of exile was going to fall upon Israel. But through Hosea, the Lord was showing the people that would not be the end of his plans for them and for the world.
But how can a perfect God welcome ‘adulterers’ (for that is what we are) into his presence? He does it through the Man with the toughest assignment ever. Jesus Christ had to ‘embody’ his message in an even deeper way than Hosea. Jesus was sinless, but he was made to be sin for us. He was crucified outside the city of Jerusalem. Outside! In exile! Crucified, showing he was under God’s curse. Judgment fell upon him, so that we the sinners, through faith in him can be forgiven.
Jesus is the Husband, the Bridegroom, who laid down his life for his bride, his people. One day he visited a well in Samaria and spoke to a woman who had had five husbands and another man. In the Bible, a well was where husbands met their wives. There was Jesus, offering himself as Husband to the hated Samaritans. Many people came to him and said, “we know that this man really is the Saviour of the world.” Do you?