January 12, 2024
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Now, I wasn't expecting a goat to be my teacher. But something kind of special happened. A good friend of ours actually helped a new baby goat come into the world.
Right after this little wobbly thing arrived; his mother ran off and abandoned him. Which, unfortunately, is a sad picture of what happens to too many human children. Well, that is when Sandy, the Great Pyrenees guard dog, came to the rescue. Our friend tried to remedy this heartbreaking situation by leaving the baby in a grassy area, near where the little guy had arrived. Nope! No deal. Then Sandy, the dog, went over to the newborn and the dog started licking off the little goat's birth residue.
Here's how the barnyard drama played out: Sandy, who now was carrying the newborn's scent, gently nudged the mother, "Come on! Get over to your baby." And they ended up walking over there together, and mama goat got the point. Her mom instinct kicked in; she started licking her kid. Now, in the animal kingdom, when you give your kid a licking, that's actually a nice thing.
Well, that's when my grandson weighed in. When he heard about all this, and he heard about how the guard dog had lovingly intervened, he instinctively said, "Well, that's just like Jesus!" I had two reactions. First, "He's right." Second, "Why didn't I think of that?"
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "God's Life-Saving Nudge."
Our grandson explained that he saw the baby was us, the mother was God and the dog who came to the rescue represented Jesus. Now we've got a little theological tweaking we need to do here, because it wasn't God who walked away from me. It was me who walked away from God. Or as the Bible says, "All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God's path to follow our own" (Isaiah 53:6 - NLB). In a word, that's sin. Fact is, God and I were hopelessly apart. Away from our Father's love, we just wander all alone and clueless.
In the Old Testament, and around the world today, Jewish people are celebrating the highest holy day of the year - the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. It goes back to Leviticus 16 where there were goats involved. "And two goats came to the place of worship and the High Priest shall bring the goat whose lot falls to the Lord and sacrifice it for a sin offering." This was kind of an advanced picture of what one-day God's Son would come and do. And that is to take the sin of my life and pay for it with His blood.
Jesus came, and here's what the Bible says in our word for today from the Word of God. That final Day of Atonement was that Good Friday. 1 Timothy 2:5 - "There is only one God and there is one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity - the man Christ Jesus. He gave His life to purchase freedom for everyone." One person who can bring God, who is a holy, perfect, sinless God, together with a guy like me, who has broken God's laws, run my life my way, and tried to act like I was my own god. That is Jesus; one mediator who can reconcile God and humanity.
So, from a barnyard birth drama - a dog and a couple of goats - I got a good glimpse of that first Good Friday; Jesus hanging on that cruel cross. I can almost see Him with one nail-pierced hand in God's hand and the other hand reaching for me to bring us together. When He was reaching for God, He was reaching for you too. It was your sin He was paying for. And this very day He's nudging you in the direction of the God you were made by and for. There's nobody else who can get you to Him, because nobody else died to pay for the sin that separates you from your God.
And this day He is ready to reconcile your restless heart to the God who made you and loves you. Tell Him today, "Jesus, I have sinned. I have broken Your laws. But You died for those sins, and You're alive. You walked out of Your grave. You are my Savior from this day on."
If you want to make sure you belong to Him, check out our website - ANewStory.com.
Today, you're being nudged in the direction of the God who made you, so you can experience the love that your life depends on.