“For you first, God raised up His Servant and sent Him to bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways” (Acts 3:26).
There are certain events throughout the days of our lives that stick out like a sore thumb, days that may have had a great effect on us. The bombing of the twin towers in New York City, the ending of World War II and the assassination of President Kennedy are just a couple that stick out in this author’s mind. But as extraordinary as these events truly are, they do not hold a candle to the events that took place in the first century during the week that led to our Lord’s crucifixion. The events of this week have changed the world forever, but the most defining moment of this historical week came on the day of the resurrection of our Savior. This miraculous resurrection changed the lives of every person in this world from that point onward as it gave sustenance to our faith: “[A]nd if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain” (1 Corinthians 15:14). Only Christianity can truly boast in the cross.
When God raised Jesus from the restraint of the tomb He blessed the world with His promise of eternal life. Jesus came to this world as our “Passover Lamb,” to pay for the sins that each one of us have committed. His willingness to be the sacrificial Lamb for our inequity pleased God and His acceptance of that sacrifice was revealed to the world through the resurrection of Christ and assured us that our sins have been paid for: “[A]nd He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world” (1 John 2:2). God gave His creation the chance to be freed from sin’s power, which is death, and live eternally with Him in heaven: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
Jesus paid the price for our foolish decisions. And that is what sin is, a foolish decision. When we allow our hearts to be set upon anything that opposes the will of God we become fools in the eyes of our Creator: “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. For it is written, ‘He is the One who catches the wise in their craftiness’” (1 Corinthians 3:19). But God is a compassionate Father and only wants what is best for His children. He knows we will stumble so He offers us a chance to repent and turn back to Him by recognizing our own inability and surrendering to His authority (Acts 17:30). When we make this decision we are making a decision to live eternally in His eternal dwelling place (Psalm 15). Without repentance, or letting go of our own weakness and holding on to Christ, we remain separated from His promise (Ephesians 2:12). We should be grateful that Jesus willingly gave His life to free us from the doom of foolishness. His death assured us that sacrifice is needed and willingness is accepted.
There have been many sacrifices made throughout our history but none as powerful as the sacrifice our Lord offered to save us from the demise of our sin. God presented His love in flesh and sent Him down as our Savior, Jesus. He came as a sacrifice and an example: “For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps” (1 Peter 1:21). Satan would like to reduce the effects of this miracle to just one week of your life. Resist his efforts by allowing Jesus’ sacrifice to influence you for life.
In His Grace,