The Crucial Nature of Christ’s Death – Part 1

As we draw closer to Easter, the day Christ rose from the dead, it’s important to understand the crucial nature of Christ’s death.

Many believe that their behavior determines one’s eternal destination, and by being “good enough” they can earn their heavenly home. But they have not grasped the crucial nature of Christ’s death on the cross. Jesus came to end our frustrated and inadequate self-efforts, and offer us not only a better way, but the best.

Let him be crucified” (Matt. 27:22 KJV). That’s what the religious leaders of Israel demanded the Romans do with Jesus, and crucifixion was the worst kind of death imaginable.

Crucifixion was a practice that originated with barbarians centuries earlier and was handed down to the Persians, Greeks, and eventually the Romans, who refined it, causing the longest possible suffering for the victim. The reason the Jewish leaders demanded the execution of Jesus was because they wanted to get rid of Him once and for all. And that is still the wish of many people today who want nothing to do with the man called Jesus. But those of us who know and love Him want people to know that Jesus came to save sinners.

When Jesus entered the scene as an itinerant preacher proclaiming a new message, the religious leaders of the day hated Him for disrupting their religious system. They didn’t approve of His teaching and were afraid of losing control of the people. Yet the cross upon which they demanded He die became the means by which salvation was offered to all who would believe in Him.

First Corinthians 1:18, 22-24 contrasts two different perspectives of the cross—that of the saved and the unsaved. “The word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God … For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks … Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”

Jesus’ message was different from that of the Jewish leaders because He offered a whole new life.

He told Nicodemus, a Pharisee and teacher in Israel, that no one can see the kingdom of God without being born again of the Spirit (John 3:3). In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus described a lifestyle pleasing to God that was different from what the Pharisees taught. It included love of enemies, the forgiveness of offenders, and trust in the heavenly Father to provide for needs.

In addition, Jesus performed amazing miracles that further upset the religious establishment. He went about healing the sick and even raised the dead. The crowds who followed Him were increasing, yet despite all the evidence of His deity, the religious leaders turned against Him and used their authority to bring about His death. They were angered by Jesus’ claim to be the eternal Son of God and the only way of salvation.

Although we may wonder how anyone could feel such animosity toward Jesus Christ, there are many people today who hate even the mention of His name because He presents a narrow way of salvation. They are willing to accept the general term God because every religion has a god of some kind, but Jesus’ claim to be the only way to the God offends them.

Tomorrow, we will look at the reason why what we believe about Jesus is a critical issue. Part II tomorrow.

Is Jesus the answer to the sin in your life?

Is there sin in your life? If you answered, “no”, then you are not be very truthful with yourself. You might say that you haven’t done anything wrong but by our very nature we are sinful in God’s eyes. No matter how hard we try we will always be sinful by the very fact of Adam and Eve’s fall in the garden of eden.

If that’s true then why do I need Jesus in my life and a need for salvation you might ask? From God’s perspective, even though you were born with a sinful nature, He has provided a way for us to be saved from our sins and spend eternity in heaven after we die. God sent his only son to be crucified on a cross and die for our sins. He took our place so we don’t have to face the punishment he endured.

If you think being a good person and doing good things is enough to get you into heaven then you should rethink your position. God’s word, the bible, is very clear on this. It says the wages of sin is death. Not a natural death but a spiritual one. Since God is spirit and holy we cannot stand before Him clothed in our sinfulness. Jesus took our sins on himself so we didn’t have to and therefore we can stand before God, holy and blameless.

If you want to spend eternity in heaven after you die, then receiving Jesus as your Lord and Savior by faith is the necessary and important step you must take. If you are not sure how to go about receiving the Lord into your life, seek out a Christian friend or go to a pastor and ask them to help you.

If you are reluctant to seek out help then if you do the following, you will be saved. Say this prayer, “Lord, I am a sinner and no longer want to live a sinful life. I am asking you, Jesus, to come into my life and save me from my sins. Thank you for hearing my prayer and blessing me with salvation. In Jesus name I pray. Amen”

From this point on it is between you and Jesus how you live the rest of your life. If you depend on Him daily to keep you from sin then He will make your path straight and you will spend eternity in heaven with him.

God loves you more than you know

God loves you more than you know. It is hard to grasp just how much love God has for each one of us but he does. His love, mercy and grace abound to everyone. He is reaching out to the unsaved (unbelievers in Christ) in order to have a positive impact on their life.

If you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, now is the time to make that decision. By having faith and asking Jesus to come into your life, he will take up residence in your heart and have a positive impact on your life forever.

There is one verse in the bible that talks about this very fact. It is John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, so that those who believe in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”

Why not make this life changing decision today? Life on earth is short, but life in heaven is for an eternity. I don’t know about you but I’d rather spend eternity in heaven in the loving arms of Jesus than being tormented in hell forever by Satan and his minions.