The Bible says that because we are sinners we are hostile with God. The Bible also tells us that God loved us so much, he made a way for that hostility to be removed so that we could have fellowship with him eternally. That way, was to send his only son, Jesus, to live among us without sin, an unblemished lamb, then to die the ugliest of deaths on a cross for our sin, past, present, and future. Jesus did that for you and for me, but the story does not end there. God raised Jesus from the grave, defeating sin’s death grip on our lives, freeing us from the bondage of sin and giving us the free gift of eternal life and fellowship with him. All we have to do is accept this free gift by acknowledging our sin, believing that Jesus died on the cross for those sins, and that by God’s mighty power is risen!
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
Here is The Savior’s story as foretold by the prophet Isaiah (chapter 53):
1 Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was punished.
9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors. (Isaiah 53:1-12)
Understanding that we have a Heavenly Father who went to such great lengths to provide a way for each of us to spend eternity with Him and a Savior who faithfully and obediently paid our sin debt is what prompted Paul to become the apostle he was and to spur us on with these words in Romans 12:1-2:
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Paul understood that following Christ, even when it put him in the midst of trails and in harms way, was the only path to living a victorious, joy-filled life both on earth and in heaven. I pray that you have discovered what Paul discovered, and if you are still on your own journey, I hope you will consider getting to know the real Jesus. If you do, I know you will be Happy in life and at work.
Happy Easter and God’s peace…