The Story of How One Death Changed One Man's Life Forever
It's hard to believe.
Have you heard this before? Someone died for you, and they even knew everything you've ever done, said, thought, or selfishly wanted.
No matter who you've slept with, who you've abused, who you've stolen from, or who's stolen from you, this person still decided to give their own life for yours, knowing all that.
It's hard to believe.
It's hard to believe that someone who knows what you're truly like inside would give themselves away for your benefit. But it's actually crazier than that. Imagine the person who died for you is the same person you've abused, or the same person you've stolen from. That's really, really crazy.
The truth is anytime we do something wrong (sin), we actually do it against God Himself. I can explain to you why, but just go along with me for now. That means all the lies, betrayals, harsh words, thoughts, abuse, drugs, whatever it may be, when you did one of those, you did it against God.
And He felt them all.
A perfect God who made you to love Him, felt all the betrayals you committed against Him. He's perfectly loving in the best possible way. But you turned away from His love. You might for the first time know this in your heart of hearts: That God is real and you haven't loved Him. In fact, you've turned your back on Him.
It's probably time you admit that. It's probably time that you truly be honest. It's probably time that you stop racing ahead and ignoring your heart - or the past.
"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
This might seem true to you, or it might not. The wages (payback or compensation) of your heart and your deeds is death.
"The free gift of God is eternal life."
That's the crazy part. It's a free offer. Which means no payback, no good living to make sure you're forgiven. You've already been forgiven. If, of course, you believe it. If you reject a gift, there is no gift. If you keep on running to get away, it's scary to think that eventually you might.
You might be close to that now.
But what if I told you there was no reason to run? What if I told you that God took the payback, the sins, the consequence, on Himself? That's what's craziest of all. Jesus Christ became sin for you. He stood in front of you, and absorbed the punishment on a cross, over two thousand years ago.
If He was waiting to punish you, why would he have punished Himself?
There's no reason to run after pleasures, run after love, or run away any longer, because I'm just like you, another sinner. And because someone shared it with me, I'm just passing the message along:
"that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."
2 Corinthians 5:19-21
To those who truly admit where they've sinned and are honest with God...
To those who truly believe Jesus died in their place...
"He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God."
Jonathan Runyan is the Associate Pastor at Rock Creek Bible Church. He and his wife, Jenna, have five children. He's happy to chat anytime. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org