“Who His own Self bare our sins in His own body on the tree,…that we,…should live unto righteousness by Whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray;…”
I Peter 2:24-25a KJV
Today, commonly known as Good Friday on the Christian calendar may, for some, mark the nearing of the end of a period of sacrificial abstinence. For others, it may be a day off from school or perhaps a half day of work and the beginning of a weekend filled with Easter egg hunts, family gatherings with sumptuous meals to celebrate…Uh, WHAT EXACTLY ARE THEY CELEBRATING? Do they know? And, for others, it is the reminder of the tremendous sacrifice of God, who provided a way for sinners to be brought into oneness with Him through the Cross of Jesus, the Christ.
February, the month of “LOVE”, cannot compare with the Greatest Love story given to us by God the Father, when He sent His Beloved Son to die on the cross in OUR PLACE! And, astoundingly, Isaiah 53:10 says, “…it pleased the LORD to bruise Him…” (that is, His Son, Jesus) to “make His soul an offering for sin…” Take that in for a minute! It PLEASED GOD, the Father, to bruise, Jesus, God the Son!!
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” ~ John 15:13
Jesus Christ, God the Son, gave us THE HIGHEST expression of love when He lay down His life for you and for me…ON PURPOSE!! He took OUR PLACE! He died on the cross in OUR PLACE!! Has it sunk in yet!? Jesus Christ, is the “Lamb of God, slain from the foundation of the world”, Rev. 13:8
Was the cross, the shedding of blood, the sacrifice really necessary? Why did Jesus willingly lay down His life for us? Was there another way…something else that could have been done to accomplish our attaining Heaven?
Let’s try to remove and peel apart the layers of all we have ever heard, ever been taught, ever imagined, ever surmised and discover for ourselves from God’s Word, the Holy Bible, to know God’s perspective concerning these questions.
We have already established from this post and previous archived posts that man is a sinner because of Adam’s sin. We are of Adam’s race and inherently, sinners. There’s nothing we can do to remove our sins: good deeds cannot make us righteous in the sight of a Holy God. He cannot look at sin and because of our sinful nature, we cannot enter into Heaven when it is our appointed time to die. We know from Old Testament Scriptures that men made sacrifices to God annually to be cleansed of their sins and sacrificed spotless, unblemished lambs. This they did year after year in hopes of pleasing a Holy God. God, made us for Himself but without a means of our being acceptable in His sight, we cannot abide with God in Eternity…our sin separates us from Him.
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him (Jesus) the iniquity (sin) of us all.” ~ Isaiah 55:6 KJV
God had HIS “PLAN” for us but only ONE, The Begotten of God: Jesus Christ, His Son, the unblemished Lamb of God could fulfill God’s purpose in bridging the path from our sinful state to His holy place. The Cross is that bridge. The Cross is that pathway to Heaven to be with God in Eternity, and Jesus, His Son, was the ONLY ONE that could fulfill His purpose for us. WE should have been crucified, but He died in our place. He Who had no sin…died for our sin. He took upon Himself, OUR SIN and hung them on the cross; the Cross, a shameful place to die! Yet, He loved us so much, that He willingly died in our place to give us a way, a means of being with God forever in Eternity…if we accept His way and His finished work on the Cross, by faith.
Why did God do it? Because of His Mercy! “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs, according to the hope of eternal life.” ~ Titus 3:5-7 God, in His Mercy, gave us what we didn’t deserve.
Because Jesus’ dying on the Cross for us is a “finished” work, meaning nothing else need be added to it, to make it complete. We do not need to add to it by doing good deeds to achieve Heaven, we need just believe in Him and His finished work as being the means of Eternity with God forever when we die. We need to confess with our mouths and hearts by a faith that believes the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross redeems us from our sin, and we will receive His gift of righteousness, because now we are in Him and He in us; all of our sins have been forgiven because the death of Christ paid for these sins fully by Jesus’ finished work.
Romans 5:17-21 says,
17. “For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.
18. Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
19. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
20. Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
21. That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.”
I close with this question to you dear reader…WHAT IS IT TO YOU that Jesus died on the Cross for your sin and mine?
WHAT IS IT TO YOU that He took our place on the Cross?
The story doesn’t end here. Resurrection Day, some call it Easter Sunday, is yet to come. It is the day of celebrating Christ’s VICTORY over death and the cross! He lives! Jesus Himself said, “I AM the Resurrection and the Life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:”
What will you do with Jesus? The way to life everlasting, Eternity with Jesus Christ, is open. Will you choose life or death? We only know we have this moment right now and are not guaranteed the next moment of breath. I encourage you to choose life and to do it now, if you have never considered the choice before. Now is your opportunity for the salvation of Jesus Christ!
I am so blessed to report, thus far in the short time of this blog’s publication, Beyond the Strait Gate has been read in 14 countries throughout the world. My prayer is for God’s Word to reach “the outer most parts of the world”. If the Lord would have you to be part of reaching beyond your own Jerusalem, please forward the link to this website to those you know; to those on your salvation prayer list; to those you want to encourage.
Thank you once again for visiting Beyond the Strait Gate. I look forward to your return, if the Lord tarries. And, if you have not yet done so, please do sign up to subscribe to be alerted of the next publication.