Wednesday, September 14, 2011

This is the Message of the Cross

“And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” John 3: 14

Our sin is greater than we can imagine.

After everything that God has done for us, all out of love, we still choose to follow ourselves and to reject His love. Even the weight of one venial sin would be enough to condemn us to hell, let alone the countless mortal sins committed every moment around the world.  Yet for all of this sin and all of the punishment that it deserves, our perfectly just God is also a God of infinite mercy. And so instead of allowing us to go to hell for all of eternity because of our sin and inability to atone for it, He loved us in the most profound, most perfect, most sacrificing way by allowing His Son to die on the cross in our place. Only the atoning sacrifice of CHRIST could cover the justice our sins demand. And freely, out of unconditional love for you and me, Jesus humbled Himself, took up His cross and allowed His own creation to kill Him.

We really cannot begin to grasp the immeasurable love it took to do this. We truly cannot fully comprehend the grace merited for us and for all people through this supreme act of selfishness on the part of our God. And there is no way we can ever repay it because it is so exulted above anything we can offer. There is nothing we can say or do, no holiness that we can achieve, no sacrifice we can offer—even our own lives—that can equal what Christ did for us.

All that we can do is to accept this love. The real difference between someone who chooses hell versus a person who chooses heaven is whether or not they were able to humbly and fully accept this love of God. That’s it. But God will not force us to accept His love. So, are we humble enough to accept the love offered us from the cross? Are we willing to admit that we cannot save ourselves? Are we honest enough to confess our sins?

To sin in any capacity is a rejection of this love, but to reject this love is to reject the gift of eternal life offered with it. And for those who reject this love to the end, there is no remedy.

Dear Jesus, thank You for saving me through Your sacrifice on the cross. Help me to accept Your amazing love and gift and to love You back as best as I can. Amen.

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