Easter is 3 days away. This is the time of year when the world seems to take an interest in Jesus, the Christ. We will begin to get bombarded with shows on the Discovery Channel and History Channel claiming many different "truths" about Him. What is true? Who is this Jesus?
Is Jesus really needed for our eternal salvation? A dear one asked me the other day, "But, what if a person has been "good" for most of his life"?.........The implication being, if a person is basically good, but hasn't accepted Jesus as Savior, will that be enough? Would God really deny that "good" person into the Kingdom of Heaven?
We don't want to think God "would do that."
Isn't that mean?
Isn't that cruel?
Well, first of all, we have GOT to get a clearer picture of God. HE is Creator. HE sets the "rules." He is KING- King of the universe, King of all creation, KING of the KINGdom of Heaven! When has our vision of God become so small, or our perception of ourselves so big that we would deny God His right to "make the rules"? He created us- He is Sovereign- He is all-knowing! Do I set the stars out one by one and call them each by name? Do I "spread the snow like wool and scatter the frost like ashes"? Who am I to question God? (see Job 38-42; Isaiah 40) God is perfect. God is Holy. God resides in Heaven- it is HIS Kingdom.
For us to join Him there, in Heaven, for eternity, we too must be holy, perfect, sinless. It is NOT enough to "be good" to be in His presence- to be a part of this perfect place. Because He is Holy, His very nature is Holy, we need to be righteous. We must remember that Heaven is NOT earth. There is no sin in Heaven. There is only righteousness. So, how can I, a sinner, enter Heaven, a perfect place that has no sin?
"But, I am good"........................
What we think is "good" is not righteous. Isaiah tells us that our righteousness is "like filthy rags to the Lord." I may be good, but I am not sinless. Think of the 10 commandments. Have I ever lied? Ever stolen anything? Ever wanted something that was someone else's? Have I lived my whole life with NEVER committing a sin? The bible tells us "ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" (Romans 3) I have seen the wretchedness of my soul and fall down crying out for a Savior! I have fallen short! I have seen the blackness of my heart- unkindness, a critical spirit, anger, hurtful, unwholesome words out of my mouth, selfish ambition, wrong motives, gossip, lying lips, pride, oh pride........... I NEED a Savior!
So, what am I to do? How could God set such high standards if I will fail?
Praise God! I don't have to DO it! God knew that we would never be able to DO it. God is love. He is compassionate. In His mercy, He has made a way for us. "But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions...For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith- and this is not from yourselves, it the gift of God- not by WORKS" (Ephesians 2) God knew that our WORK would never be good enough, never be enough, so HE provided a way! It is His "will that not ONE would perish..." God, in His mercy and love for us provided the righteousness we need in the blood of His Son.
"For God so loved the world, that He sent His One and Only Son, Jesus, Christ, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." (John 3:16.) "The righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in His blood." (Romans 3).
Jesus is THE only way to the Father. Jesus said Himself, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No comes to the Father except through Me." (John 14:6)
Think about this sacrifice! Would God have given His Son as a sacrifice if it weren't necessary?????? Have you seen the movie, "The Passion of the Christ"? Before the crucifixion, Jesus sweat drops of blood! This is no small thing! Jesus paid the price for us. Think on that! Jesus took the penalty of our sin. What we deserve- the punishment for all the wrongdoing for our whole lives is not carried out against us because Jesus took the sin upon Himself- He BECAME sin.
So, His blood is needed to make us righteous. We are washed in the blood of the Lamb and He forgives ALL of our sins- past, present, and future and makes us righteousness. "...the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." (1John 1)
This gift is FREELY given...I don't have to DO anything to earn it...accept believe and receive it!
I do need Jesus!
But, if you have not experienced this forgiveness of sin, you don't understand this FREEDOM! To know that I am clean.....to experience the freedom from a guilty conscience....to know that I can walk in victory from sin, to experience this liberty, this victory....THIS is TRUE LIVING, TRUE life! Hallelujah! I once was lost, but now am found! I once was blind, and now I see! Oh, how I thank God that I did not need to DO it on my own! Oh, how I thank my precious God that He sent a Savior! Praise Him! Thank you, Jesus!
If you have not accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, please make that decision right now! God loves you so much! He has made a way- He has provided everything you need.
All you need to do is believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that He is Lord and Savior. Pray, "Father God, thank you! Thank you that my salvation does not depend on my good works or that I am "good" enough. Thank you that you provided your Son, Jesus Christ, as an atoning sacrifice for my sin. I do confess that I am a sinner. I have sinned against you in my thoughts, in my words, and in my actions. I need you, Jesus! Jesus, I accept your sacrifice. I accept your love. I receive your sacrifice. I am washed by your blood, made clean by it. Jesus, you said, 'It is finished.' Everything that is needed you have accomplished. I make you my Lord and Savior. I ask that you come into my heart. I want to make you Lord of my life. In Jesus' Name I pray. Thank you, Jesus."
If you accepted Jesus Christ as Lord of your life, please comment and tell me! I would to pray with and for you.
For further study, read the book of John, and Romans 1-8.
This was first published March 02, 08. I am reposting several of my Jesus devotions in celebration/preparation of the Easter season: