The most powerful story known to mankind presents itself to us once again on this Easter weekend. It is a message that should be stamped on our mind and tattooed upon our heart. It is the true story of the greatest act of love that this world has ever known; it is the story of the Lord Jesus Christ.
When you look throughout the Scriptures, you don’t see a fable. You don’t read of a lunatic who somehow was able to perform miracles and speak words of prophecy and wisdom that surpassed even the greatest prophets. No dear friend, you see a God incarnated man that came to do the miraculous.
You will never find a story more beautiful than the Gospel. You will never feel more convicted and loved hearing that God came down from Heaven in order to die for our sins. You will never see more glory and power then when Jesus captured all of Hell and death upon that Cross; and you will never weep more tears of joy knowing that the Lord and Savior had risen from the grave.
What a great death the Lord Jesus Christ had endured. If we could take an honest moment to reflect upon the very life of Jesus of Nazareth, I don’t think any heart of pride or haughtiness could deny this truth: that God so loved the world. GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD. What other religion exists where a man’s god comes to die and provide a way of fellowship with him? Tell me of a god who loves his creation so much that he gives them the freedom to love or reject him? Point out another religion outside of Christianity where one’s salvation is by what God did, and not mere works? Show me a god of greater love than the Lord Jesus Christ? Where is there another god who comes and lives inside his people? What other god would unleash the wrath upon himself in order to provide a way that not even the most religious man could measure up?
God’s grace and love for mankind is so profound that it goes beyond man’s own intellect and wisdom. It stretches further than the east is from the west; it transcends the furthest star you will ever see; and yet, His story and message is so simple that even a child can understand.
When you see the immense pain that Christ had endured; when you see the life He lived, perfect and pure, and understand what was done to Him; even the most hard and stiff-necked person can be led to lament if given honest and sincere reflection on what Christ actually did.
As Jesus Christ prayed on the Mount of Olives, “His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44 KJV). What made Christ sweat blood? What could possibly have made this very rare event from occurring? It was what was coming. Christ knew that the only way to draw man to God was through His atoning sacrifice. Christ knew that God, our Heavenly Father, was going to pour out the wrath that we deserved upon Him. He knew that He was going to be forsaken by the Father; but He was willing to do so to save you and I out of the clutches of Satan and Hell.
Knowing that His Crucifixion was hours away, Christ was brought into a state of anguish. “He fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will”” (Matthew 26:39 ESV). If left to any of us, that prayer would have stopped after “let this cup pass from me.” The most powerful love was exemplified by God Himself, “that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 ESV).
Every sin we ever committed was nailed into the palms of Jesus Christ. Our anger and malice were scourged upon His back and stomach (John 19:1); the crown of pride and selfishness was concealed upon His head (Matthew 27:29 NIV); theft and robbery stripped Him of His clothes (Luke 23:34 NIV & Matthew 27:36); slander was spoken through the mouths of the Roman soldiers (Luke 23:11); mockery was inscribed and placed above His head (Matthew 27:37); blasphemy was uttered through the chief priests, elders of the law, teachers, rebels and people alike (Matthew 27:39-44); and depression and despair were felt and spoken through Christ when He “cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?”)” (Matthew 27:46 NIV). It was Christ Who took the full weight of sin and bore it on the Cross. Anguish and abandonment were felt on all sides. Christ knew what He was going to endure upon that Cross, and yet He “came that (we) may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10 ESV).
Scripture tells us that “it pleased the Lord to bruise him” (Isaiah 53:10 KJV). What father do you know would be pleased with pouring out his wrath upon his son, in order to provide a way of salvation for the rest of mankind? I cannot name one. It is only our Heavenly Father who was pleased to put His Son through the immense, dramatizing and ravaging affliction for the sake of His creation.
As Christ spoke His final words upon that Cross, “Father, into thy hands I commend My Spirit” (Luke 23:46 KJV), the bondage of sin was no more. Chains and shackles of addiction were broken, prison doors of our pains and struggles were flung open and freedom to come to God the Father was unlocked. This freedom is now available to every man and women who would believe and follow Him: ““If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing His riches on all who call on Him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:9-13 ESV).
Call upon Him, for “Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2 ESV). The Alpha and Omega, Beginning and End; the God of this Universe and of this world loves you. We are not talking about this cliché love that gets thrown around. We are not comparing His love to that which you hear every day that is merely an emotion-driven love. We are talking about a love that is so deep that not even the wisest among men cannot even begin to grasp what was truly done upon that Cross. God loves us more than we will ever be able to comprehend. He is a kind and gracious God who is willing to provide all of our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).
When you reflect on what God Almighty did upon that Cross, how could you reject His love? How could you reject His grace and mercy?
Even the Roman centurion who saw what was done to Christ upon that Cross glorified God, “saying, Certainly this was a righteous man” (Luke 23:47 KJV). Christ died that we may have a living relationship with God in Heaven. He died in order to keep us out of Hell, and He is calling all of us to believe and come to know Him. Don’t allow the pride and misconceptions of Satan and his legions to drift you from the call Christ has on your life. Don’t allow Lucifer to dilute your thinking and label God as a myth or a hater of His own creation. Yes, there is pain and hardship in this life; but for the believer in Christ we know this is not the end; it is only the beginning. Time spent away from loved ones lost is but temporary for the Christian. Because we know that the time is coming when we will be reunited with those whom we loved. We know that we will be united with the One who first loved us. Eternal peace, rest, joy and glory await the believer. How simple it is to come to know Jesus Christ. He’s calling you. He is tugging at your heart. The question is will you receive the gift of salvation? It is such a simple act of faith. It may seem unusual or difficult, but the Lord knows your heart and He will help you on this journey of life. If you would like to dedicate your life to Christ, pray this prayer:
Heavenly Father, I am a sinner that is in need of You. Lord, I believe that Jesus Christ died upon that Cross for my sins and that He rose again on the third day. Lord, I confess my sins before you and I pray and ask for Your forgiveness. Come Holy Spirit into this life of mine. Give me purpose and meaning. May Your peace and joy flood this broken vessel. I thank You for loving me, Lord. I thank You for dying for my sins and wrong doing. Cleanse me, sanctify me, and mold me into the image of Christ. Lord, I take this step of faith, believing that You have a plan and purpose for my life. Guide me and lead me, and may Your perfect will be brought about in my life. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray, Amen.
There is no greater Truth ever told. There is no greater God. There has been and never will be a story such as this. Neither Greek mythology, nor any modern day Hemingway could conjure up such a beautiful, magnificent heart-breaking and heart-searching story such as the truth of Christ. May all the glory be to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. May His name be proclaimed to the nations, and may all come to know Him; for He is worthy of praise.