God loved us in spite of what we have done to offend Him. The greatest expression was when He sent His Son, Jesus to die on our behalf.
But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 (ESV)
This question has been asked time and time again.
It’s a valid question that deserves a valid answer.
Different people approach it in different ways.
… Getting an upgrade for their iPhone 4.
… Finding a relationship that would make them feel significant.
… Relaxing through a nice movie with people you enjoy being with.
… Eating chocolates and ice cream. (haha, that’s me!)
… Receiving a promotion at work.
… Finally conceiving and having their first baby.
The list goes on and on and on AND on.
The problem though, which I myself have discovered, is that it doesn’t last very long.
Soon, there’s a new upgrade
… the relationship you’ve longed for isn’t working out so well.
… the movie didn’t turn out as nice as rottentomatoes.com says.
… you feel bad because the chocolate and ice cream gained you a few more pounds (haha, that’s me again)
… the promotion was great but soon enough, you want a better job.
Satisfaction seems elusive. Contentment becomes noncommital.
I was reading Colossians 2 this morning and it all went back to the basics of life.
Sin has always and will continue to be the problem.
Greed. Pride. Lust. Selfishness. Doubt. Unbelief.
These will continue to plague us unless we deal with it.
“But how”, you may ask.
Listen to what the Apostle Paul says,
When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. (Colossians 2:13-15)
Key thoughts on this…
1. YOU WERE DEAD
Sin has a way of ending life.
2. BUT GOD MADE US ALIVE.
Two amazing words.
Only through Jesus can this happen. He is the resurrection and the life. Whatever is dead in your life, He is able to make it come back to life.
3. HE FORGAVE US ALL OUR SINS
The greatest need of man today is not more stuff, more friends, or more money.
The greatest need of man is to be forgiven.
We owed a debt we couldn’t pay.
He paid a debt He didn’t owe.
4. HE CANCELLED THE CHARGES AGAINST US.
Imagine if you were in debt 20M pesos. Then the bank says, your debts have been cancelled.
How would you feel?
Our debt was more than 20M pesos. It was going to cost us our very life… life in hell for eternity.
5. HE NAILED OUR SINS ON THE CROSS.
The offended paying for the offense of the offender?
But it was done.
6. HE DISARMED THE POWERS AND AUTHORITIES.
There’s stuff we don’t see. There are those happening behind the scenes we don’t observe with our naked eyes.Jesus disarmed all these. No longer do these have power over us.
7. HE TRIUMPHED.
We are no longer victims but victors.
We are no longer whiners but winners.
We can now believe burdens to become blessings.
We are able to turn trials into triumphs.
All because of Jesus.
To feel good?
Well, that’s not the right question to ask.
Ride in the wave of His grace.
Nothing you can do but all about what He has done.
Feelings will just follow.
When you look at the cross, one word that comes to mind is the word FORGIVENESS. The depth of His forgiveness never ceases to amaze me.
In Scripture, you see this happen time and time again…
As someone aptly put it,
If our greatest need had been information,
God would have sent us an educator,
If our greatest need had been technology,
God would have sent us a scientist.
If our greatest need had been money,
God would have sent us an economist.
If our greatest need had been pleasure,
God would have sent us an entertainer.
But our greatest need was forgiveness,
So God sent us a Savior.
We all have been absolutely guilty, yet unconditionally forgiven. Thank God for His grace!
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—it is by grace you have been saved. Eph. 2:5
There are many who refute His death.
From D.H. Lawrence’s “Swoon Theory” to Hugh Schonfield’s “The Passover Plot”, and Donovan Joyce’s “The Jesus Scroll” to Gary Habermas’ “Holy Blood, Holy Grail”, people have tried to debate the fact that Jesus died.
Why? Because if people can convince themselves of this fact, then Jesus couldn’t have been God and that all He claimed was a hoax. Thus, we are no longer compelled to follow His commands and are free to disregard everything He says.
Dr. Metherel, who has a medical degree from University of Miami and doctorate from University of Bristol in England clearly gives evidence to Jesus’ death in Lee Stobel’s book “The Case For Easter.”
1. His body went through hypovolemic shock. Hypo means low, vol refers to volume, and emic means blood. So hypovolemic shock means the person is suffering from the effects of losing large amount of blood. This was due to the beating, scourging, dehydration, intense stress, lack of sleep from the previous night when He was in the Garden of Gethsemane.
2. A person who is crucified (though some don’t make it to the crucifixion due to the scourging and flogging) essentially dies a slow agonizing death by asphyxiation. In order to exhale, the individual must push up on his feet so the tension on the muscles would be eased for a moment. In doing so, the nail would tear through the foot not mentioning what it does to the person’s nailed wrists/hands.
People then just give up by not pushing up to breathe. As the person slows down in his breathing, he goes into respiratory acidosis which leads to irregular heartbeat which then leads to cardiac arrest.
3. The legs of the men on Jesus’ left and right were shattered in the lower leg bones to prevent them from pushing up to breathe, thus killing them almost instantaneously. Jesus’ was already declared dead, thus there was no need to break his legs. This was to fulfill the prophecy from Ps. 34:20 that “none of his bones will be broken…”
4. To ensure His death, a Roman spear by a professional executioner is thrust in His side. The Bible says that blood and water gushed out. Because of the hypovolemic shock, it would have caused a sustained rapid heart rate that would have resulted in the collection of fluid in the membrane around the heart called pericardial effusion as well as around the lungs, which is called pleural effusion. Hence the reason for the blood and water exiting His beaten up side.
This confirmed to the Roman executioner that the One crucified was indeed dead.
There are many more evidences to His death. I could go on and on.
However, with all the evidences, one will still have to make a decision whether to put his faith in the person and work of Jesus.
Bottom line, salvation only comes by faith. While it is not blind faith, it is definitely a faith on truth. He is the TRUTH.
Well then, what will it be?
“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” (1 Cor. 15:3-4)