God Loves You Anyway!
Think of this, that from eternity past, God knew all about you. He knew where you would be born. He knew what your name would be. Yes, and He also knew all the sinful things you would do. He knew all the things you would say against Him. Indeed, He even knew that in our pride, that some of us would try to obey our way into Heaven, and that some of us would want nothing to do with Him at all! Yet, despite all this, God gave up His beloved Son in whom He delighted to the cross! Indeed, Jesus willingly gave Himself to the gruesome death upon a cross for you in light of all this! There He willingly took the wrath of God for your sin – all of it! With a certainty, this is love of the highest calibre! For scarcely will a person lay down their lives for a nice person, but Jesus laid down His life for rebellious sinners like us! This is nothing less than amazing grace!
2000 Years Ago
Ponder this, some 2000 years ago, God knew every single sin you would ever commit in your lifetime. These God took and counted them to Jesus Christ and punished Him in accordance to what was due to you! Yes, “The wages of sin is death,” and there on the cross, Jesus died in your place, for all of your sins! (Romans 6:23) There was not a single sin of yours that God neglected to lay upon Jesus Christ, and therefore Jesus said from the cross, “It is finished”! (John 19:30)
So, why did Jesus do it? As we read, “The Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20) Indeed, repeatedly the Scriptures say, that because of the Lord’s love for us, He was willing to go the cross! Yes, even though we were counted as enemies, ungodly, and sinners, Jesus was willing to take the punishment in our place! For, when we see how Jesus, the sinless one, was punished for our sins that were counted to Him, we really begin to grasp how awful our sins are! We begin to see what we deserved. Yet, God was willing to do this for us that we could be placed back into a right relationship with Himself, in order that we could enter into the new heavens and Earth that God is preparing for those made righteous! A place where all is perfect forever!
How merciful God was to step into this Earth in the person of Jesus Christ! For without God so doing, we had no hope. There simply was no way of escape for us from the dire consequences of our sin! Yes, admittedly, we were all as helpless sinners. We just could not be good enough. We simply could not reach up to the high standard of God’s holiness! None of us could be perfect like God, and yes, that is precisely what God required of us – perfection. Try as hard as we might, we simply could not do it! Therefore God stepped in and did what only He can do, and that is save us by His graciousness through the crucified One. What tremendous love! For we see that it is written in respect to the judgement of God that is coming upon the world, “Sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness…filthiness nor foolish talk…crude joking…For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.” (Ephesians 5:3 – 6) Then, most astonishingly, we hear these words, “And the LORD laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6) Yes, indeed, “For our sake he made him [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21) To think that, Jesus was willing to take the wrath that was due us! Then, to realize that by simply believing it to be so for myself, I am forgiven, pardoned, and receive as a gift the very righteousness of Jesus Christ that I may for time and eternity be acceptable before the holy God who loves us oh so much! For in this way we read, “Much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness…” (Romans 5:17)
Listen, if then you are trying to live a life of obedience to gain a righteousness with God, know that it is futile. For you are trying to do what can only be received as a “gift”! Yes, indeed, eternal life is a gift. See then, that you don’t work to earn a gift, for then it would be a due, and that you don’t work to keep a gift, for then once more, it would be one’s due and not a gift! For it is plainly written, “The free gift of God is eternal life.” (Romans 6:23) Question is, will you accept this gift from God’s hand? For God paid dearly to buy this gift for you – the blood of His own beloved Son, the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Just pause and think of the wondrous gospel, the good news, “The gospel…that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) Think of it, Jesus didn’t have to step out of Heaven to come to Earth and receive the wrath of God for all of your sin. For God would have been perfectly just to let you receive the condemnation you deserved as the penalty for all you have done. Yet, Jesus wanted to come to Earth to do this for you, because He loves you that much! Therefore, when we place our confidence in Jesus alone to save us, this marvelous verse comes true for us, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1) Nope, we cannot ever fall under condemnation again, for Jesus was already condemned and died as a result of all our sins some 2000 years ago! Fact is, the very moment we place our faith in Christ alone to save us for time and eternity, we have eternal life! As the most well-known Bible verse in the world reads, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only [uniquely born] Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
Once again, I’ll leave you with God’s amazing promise! “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13) And remember, God will not force you to be saved, but leaves that choice with you. Yet, realize that God has provided you with a way of escape – the Savior! Why not ask Him to save you right now?
Victor J Reimer
Photo credit: “hug” by Terry
*Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (ESV), copyrighted © 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved.