I wrote this account of the Gospel awhile ago, and though I love it, I have felt this need to emphasize the love of God! The story I go on to tell is harsh…bold. And while it is true, I agonize over the need for our generation to sense the compelling love of God!
If you continue reading, you will come to a part where you will want to shut this page down. Should I change that?? I haven’t, because as much as we need to know the love of God, we also need to know that we are sinners.
Some would call me a good person, and if I compare myself to humanity, yes, I am. But when I compare myself to a Holy God, I fall way short!! So while I believe we need to hear of the love of God that has chased us, died for us, and wants to woo us into this beautiful relationship with Him, I believe we can’t understand it until we first know that we aren’t good…we fall short. So please, if you keep reading, I urge you to remember that God’s Love trumps our sin! And He desires us! I know that when I see such love, I am compelled to respond with the same devotion!
This is the culmination of all I write and all I am. It is the story of redemption, the story which drips from every stroke and every letter. It is woven throughout the fabric of my life and the pages of this blog. This is the Story of the Savior.
We’ve all heard that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth and all its inhabitants…every creature, man and beast. We’ve all probably heard that the first man was named Adam and from Adam God created the first woman, Eve. And we’ve all probably heard how it was that Adam and that Eve who sinned against God by eating the forbidden fruit in the garden of paradise.
Well, that is the beginning of man’s corruption. That’s the beginning of the need for forgiveness…the beginning of evil on the earth…the beginning of God’s redemptive work.
Fast forward thousands of years to a time when the world was ruled by the Roman Empire. The world was ripe for a Savior. Evil lurked among the hearts of mankind, and so, God sent a messenger to prepare the way…John the Baptist. A crazy looking man, wearing itchy camel’s hair, living alone in the desert and feasting on wild locusts (what in the world are locusts… something like grasshoppers, I think!).
People from all over traveled out to the desert to see this man who proclaimed a message, “Repent, and be baptized!” And one by one, John baptized those who were looking for their Savior.
Then, one day, a man named Jesus, a man born in the City of David, born of the virgin, Mary…a man…a God…the one and only God…walked down to the sea to be baptized by John. And the Holy Spirit descended upon Him like a dove.
From that moment, Jesus was driven out into the wilderness to be tempted. And after 40 days, Satan came to Him. Oh…this is so, so important… please listen…Jesus was tempted in three ways, at His very, weakest moment, and He overcame. Every temptation that would come to man, He withstood…something no other man has ever or will ever be able to do! And from that point on, Jesus spoke publicly. He did miracles…He taught sermons…He forgave sins…He claimed to be God! But, He was resisted by the religious people of the day…so much so, that He was eventually led to a martyr’s death.
There he hung on a tree, the cross, six hours, one Friday…gasping for air, whipped and beaten, a crown of thorns thrust in his head, naked. Two criminals hanging beside him, one on each side. A spectacle for the whole world to behold!
But you see, this was the death He chose. The God of the universe, the One able to rend the heavens and breathe His assailants into oblivion, chose to receive the blows from that whip and the nails in his hands and feet. He chose to take the very wrath of God that each man and each woman deserved!
Oh, but you reject! Ouch! That hits a nerve…and oh, it does. But if you’re truthful with yourself, you recognize it…you recognize the evil of your own heart…the pride, deceit, the killer, the liar, the wicked one…and you’re not alone. That’s exactly what’s in me. We killed Him. We sent Him to His death!
Please, weep! Please, cry! Mourn over your sin! Rip your heart in half, oh you sinner! Cry out to Him for forgiveness! Confess your sins, you wretched! And I am the wretch right next to you!
But wait…please don’t go, not without this last bit of news…the best news of all! It didn’t end there! No, it’s only the beginning, because three days later Jesus rose from the grave. He conquered death! He proved His sacrifice acceptable to God! He replaced you and me. He became the propitiation, the appeasement for our sins!
Now we are free! Free to live for Him. Free to do as we will, no longer slaves to sin, but free in God! We have been adopted into His family…we are His children!
And we have this wonderful destiny. We’ve been called into His Kingdom, we’ve been robed in royalty, we’ve been crowned as rulers with Him!
Oh, but it doesn’t make any sense…we don’t deserve such kindness, such love, such a sacrifice…and so, we walk humbly. We walk with Him clinging to His grace and promises. And one day, we will walk right into eternity with Him!
(This is my rendition of the Gospel…told as a narrative, but please don’t miss the reality. It is historical. Jesus did come upon this earth as a man to save sinners. If you confess your sins and believe upon Him you will be saved! I would love to hear your story, I would love to hear if you made this confession. Please, contact me or feel free to leave a comment. I would also love to send you a Bible…God’s Word to us. May the grace and peace of God be with you!)