Two Truths We Learn From Jesus' Death
Jesus Christ died for us, forgiving all our debts, rescuing us from the slavery of sin, redeeming us from its deadly consequences. He has also been raised for us and lives in us, empowering us to live in him. I am so thankful for what he has done for us! The holy, perfect Son of God gave himself for us to rescue us from our sins. Salvation is truly the best news possible!
Let me rehearse two fundamental truths we can learn from Jesus' crucifixion.
1. First, God hates sin. The cross shows us how ugly sin is. Sin caused the death of God's own Son, and that is another reason he hates sin so much. Sin is the vilest, ugliest thing in the universe — and you and I have done it. We deserve the death that Jesus accepted.
2. Second, the cross shows us how much God loves us. The fact that Jesus, the Son of God, was willing to suffer and die for you and me shows that he loves us with a passion that exceeds and overcomes his hatred of sin. Jesus was willing to pay the price. He was willing to suffer excruciating torture and death so that he might conquer sin and reverse its grip on us.
God wants to give you and me and all his children the best gift we could possibly imagine: life with God — life eternal with Father, Son and Spirit — and he wants us to enjoy this forever and ever! No greater blessing could ever exist, and God wants to give it to us. He so earnestly desires to give us this eternal life that he sent his Son to die so that we might live with him. Oh, what a joy it is!
My friend, can you begin to grasp the enormity of God's love for you? I hope you join with me in praising the God of our salvation — praising in heartfelt joy, in song, in words, and in deeds.
"Christ's love compels us," Paul wrote, "because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again" (2 Corinthians 5:14-15). What a powerful message is contained in those two verses!
1. First, we died with Jesus Christ. Christ our Passover lamb has been crucified for us — and our old self was crucified with him (1 Corinthians 5:7; Romans 6:6). Because he died for us, we died with him.
2. And how then should we live? What should our response be to this priceless gift? The new self should live — a new creation of Jesus Christ — a new child of God. In him, we put to death the works of the flesh and are clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. By his power, we no longer serve sin, no longer serve ourselves, but now serve our Lord and Savior. Christ's love compels us, Paul said. Have you understood and experienced that kind of love in your life, the kind of love that compels you to serve the One who died for you? I certainly hope so, because it is the most rewarding life that anyone could ever have.
That's why I rejoice in the opportunity to symbolize my faith in my Savior by eating the bread that represents his body, by drinking the wine that represents the new covenant in his blood (Luke 22:19-20). I rejoice in the opportunity to celebrate not only his death for us, but also that he was resurrected and now lives in us, leading and strengthening us in a life of righteousness through the Holy Spirit.
Paul says our lives are hidden in Christ and that we live for him (Colossians 3:3; 2 Corinthians 5:15). Can anything be more meaningful, more valuable? I pray that we might renew our commitment to love our Lord with our whole heart and follow him wherever he leads us. And I pray that he will bless you with his love, peace and healing touch.