Do you know that you need Jesus’s death to reconcile you to God? Jesus said “the bread that I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.” (John 6:51 ESV) Jesus Christ had to die in order to forgive our sins. Lighting a candle could not do it. Putting some money in the plate could not do it. Even feeling guilty for a prolonged period of time for whatever it is that you’ve done cannot do it. The only means of securing our salvation from the wrath of God, and gaining pardon for our sins comes by means of the death of the Son of God.
The Apostle John wrote, “[Jesus] is the propitiation for our sins…” (1 John 2:2 ESV) Jesus Christ propitiates, or satisfies, the righteous wrath of God, by His sacrifice. The very certificate that promises our salvation is written with every drop of Christ’s blood. How do we know that this was necessary? Jesus prayed on the night before His crucifixion, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” (Matthew 26:39 ESV) If Jesus does not die, then we remain hopeless and cursed (cf. Galatians 3)
Biblical truth is rather unpopular in many circles today, and sadly even in many pulpits. However, it does not matter if it’s popular. All that ever matters is whether or not it’s true. The words of Jesus in John 6 hearken back to a famous prophecy of the prophet Isaiah. Isaiah 53:5 speaks of the coming Messiah in this way, “But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.” (ESV)
To put it another way, your sins led Jesus to the cross. Now nobody likes to consider this biblical fact. But we are again drawn to our guiding compass: it does not matter if this is popular, all that matters is if it is true. Christians ought to disregard the popular relativism that panders about saying “That’s your truth, but not my truth.” This sort of pageantry of words is the Confectioners’ sugar of thought. Sweet in appearance, utterly void of nutritional value. What the world needs today is not a heap of opinions well established by the glitz and glitter of the media, politicians and universities alike. What we most desperately need is the razor edge of truth cutting through the thickets of unbridled speculation. We know who this is, for truth has a name, and He is Jesus of Nazareth, who died on the cross of Calvary.
Are you as a Christian able to recognize your role in the death of Christ? We must remember that a Christian is not merely someone who shows up to church. A Christian is someone who recognizes that there is no way to have peace with God than by means of the death of His Son. The Apostle Paul goes to great lengths to make this abundantly clear to us, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1 ESV)
Peace with God is only for those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Christians alone have been brought near to the throne of God by Christ’s flesh and blood. Christians alone can affirm that they are friends with God. We were once spiritually lifeless in sin. We were totally depraved having every facet of our being affected by sin. But Christ pursued us, and washed us, and is renewing our minds. We are being made more like Him.
Being like Christ today especially includes speaking the truth. Our world desperately needs truth. It does not need additional opinions or perspectives. Nor does it need what we “feel” to be true. We all stand in need gospel truth. What is that truth? Jesus Christ gave nothing short of Himself. He who is Life Himself came to dwell with us, and today we can rest in His pardon and forgiveness because of His work, not ours.
Do you know this Savior? Have you called upon Him admitting your hopeless estate? Are you coming to hear His Word, feast on His sacraments, worship with His people? Believe in this Savior. Believe in His promises, and His faithfulness for He is “gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matt. 11:29 ESV)
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