FIND PEACE AND PURPOSE IN CHRIST
Who Is Jesus?
"Who do you say that I am?" -Jesus
Our response to Jesus's question affects every part of our life. It shapes how we find our identity, how we relate to other people, how we form moral standards, how we find lasting purpose and ultimately where we spend eternity. Jesus made radical claims.
If His claims are true, they would profoundly impact our lives. But who is Jesus? Let's look to the scriptures to see what Jesus said about Himself:
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him." -John 3:16-17
“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” - John 14:6
"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end." -Revelation 22:13
Jesus Christ is more than a teacher. He is the son of God, sent by His Father in human form to bring everlasting life to every human on earth.
The Bible tells us that Jesus was crucified until death on a Roman cross to save humanity from their sins and that He rose from the dead three days later.
What does the death and resurrection of Jesus mean for me?
To better understand the significance of Jesus' death and resurrection, imagine you are on trial in a courtroom scene with a list of charges against you, which are your sins, and God is the judge. According to the law the penalty for your charges is the death penalty. The Bible teaches that God Himself is our judge and that according to His divine law our sins deserve death (Romans 6:23). The death here does not simply mean physical death but also spiritual death, resulting in eternal separation of the soul from God. What makes Christianity unique however, is that out of God's love for us He offered to trade us His righteousness and life for our sin and death penalty. By Jesus shedding His blood on the cross, He took the punishment we deserve and offered us His righteousness and eternal life in return. Only through trusting in Christ's substitutionary atoning sacrifice on the cross can we receive salvation, the forgiveness of our sins and eternal life. Without Christ, we would suffer the death penalty ourselves. To better understand this, let's look to the scriptures:
He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins--and not only our sins but the sins of all the world. -1 John 2:2
He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we die might to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. -1 Peter 2:24
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. -Ephesians 2:4-5
If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. -Romans 8:11
But if God is loving, why would he Judge instead of simply forgive us?
Since God is the God of holiness, righteousness and justice, he cannot let evil go unpunished. Not judging sin is impossible for God, as it goes against His very nature. The Bible says that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:22). It was in the shedding of Jesus' blood at the cross that God's judgement and wrath was satisfied, so that we would be spared of such a destiny. This is the core message of the cross. The scripture says it perfectly:
but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. -Romans 5:8-11
If you want to be free from the burden of sin, you can experience ultimate freedom in Christ. If you have been hurt, forgotten, sick or messed up a thousand times: There is hope for you. Today, wherever you are, you can place your faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. It's okay to have questions. It's okay to not be okay. Simply trust in Christ's finished work on the cross and know that God loves you and wants to be reconciled with you in relationship. God is the author of taking broken stories and making them beautiful. When you genuinely believe in Jesus Christ, you can rest that you have eternal life. The scripture guarantees it:
Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. -1 John 5:10-13
If you would like to receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savor, say this prayer:
Jesus, I need you. I know I am a sinner. Please forgive me. I believe you are the Savior. I believe you were crucified and rose from the dead. I accept you as my Lord and Savior. Thank you for your gift of eternal life. Please, change me. Amen