Over the course of three decades, Jesus of Nazareth proved Himself to be a man without fault. His flawless character was demonstrated by His sinless life.
When He was about thirty years old, Jesus began to travel in and around Israel, teaching people about God’s kingdom. For three years He spoke God’s word and performed many miracles, even raising the dead back to life. He warned people about empty religion and reminded them of God’s high standard of holiness.
Driven by jealousy, the religious leaders arrested Jesus and put Him on trial for blasphemy (because He claimed to be God). He was then handed over to the Roman authorities where He was condemned to death, beaten, whipped and crucified.
While Jesus hung on the cross, the noon-day sun vanished and there was only darkness for three hours. At the end of the three hours of darkness, Jesus breathed His last and there was a great earthquake. The Roman centurion who was charged with guarding Jesus was stunned by what he had witnessed, and exclaimed: “Truly this man was the Son of God” (Mark 15:39).
Three days later, some of the followers of Jesus went to His tomb and discovered it was empty. An angel shared with them the remarkable news that Jesus had risen from the dead!
Reviewing the events of those three days between the crucifixion of Jesus and His resurrection, the disciples tried to make sense of everything that had taken place. They started to remember Jesus’ own words, that He would be “lifted up” (on the cross) so that “whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:14-15).
They remembered how the night before He was crucified, Jesus shared with His disciples that His body would be broken and His blood would be poured out for their benefit (Luke 22:20). At the time, they were celebrating the feast of Passover, which reminded them of when God told their ancestors to sacrifice a lamb and apply its blood to the doors of their house in order to protect those inside from God’s judgment.
Looking back, they were able to put together the whole picture. At His birth, Jesus was given His name because it signified he would “save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). When He entered into public ministry, He was proclaimed to be “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Jesus was God’s perfect “lamb” who would lay down His life as a one-time sacrifice to pay for the sins of the world.
The Bible says very clearly that after death there is a judgment (Hebrews 9:27). It also warns us in advance that “There is none righteous, no, not one … all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:10,23). If you and I are to be ready to survive God’s review, now is the time to prepare!
When you stand before God someday, what will you rely on? Do you plan to list all of the good things you’ve done? If so, don’t forget that in the presence of God “all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). Please don’t allow your pride to overestimate your moral standing before God, and please don’t overlook the horrible truth of how desperately corrupt the human heart is (Jeremiah 17:9).
Humble yourself before God today. Acknowledge your sin, and truly feel the weight of it. As Jesus prepared to endure the wrath of God on the cross, He experienced the weight of sin for the first time. Overcome with the horror of bearing our sin, “His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44). To honestly face our guilty standing before God is a vital part of repentance, which leads us to turn from our sinful ways and run into His arms.
It is only through God’s grace and mercy that we can be forgiven of our sin. Ephesians 2:8 says, “by grace are ye saved through faith.” God’s grace (undeserved favor) gives us salvation (forgiveness, new life, eternal blessing) when we turn to Him in faith (putting our trust in Jesus Christ).
Salvation is a gift! It is an expensive gift (for which Jesus paid the price), but can only be received freely. We are saved “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy” (Titus 3:5). We could spend a lifetime trying to earn forgiveness from God, but would fail because our merit can never overcome our debt of sin.
Are you ready to experience the new life of joy and peace that Jesus offers you today? Put your trust in Jesus, who died for your sins and rose again to give you victory over sin and death. Call out to Him today, and He will save you!”
“God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
“Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live” (John 11:25).
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).
“If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:9-10).