Sunday, March 27, 2016

Jesus has risen!!! Hallelujah! Now we have a choice

Easter Sunday! He has risen! The Tomb is empty!! Hallelujah! Now comes a choice. What you will do with this man, Jesus? As Pilate asked at his trial, it is a question we must all ask ourselves. Jesus offers the gift of salvation. Eternal life. I’m not here to split hairs over doctrine or technicality. I’m not going to make a list of rules you have follow. Man has muddled the message of Jesus for far too long. Pure simple. Jesus came. He died for our sins and rose on the third day. He conquered sin and death. And we have a choice.


The first choice: you reject him. You can chose to walk down the wide gate or the wide road. You can build the foundation for your salvation on sand. Only the wide gate, the wide road and building on sand can only lead to destruction (Matthew 7:13, Matthew 6:26). You may reject him out of fear. The world has been harsh to Jesus, his message and Christians especially in today’s world. Jesus says that in this world you will have trouble, pain, problems, some you didn’t even create and some that you did. But Jesus offers a solution. Jesus isn’t in some distant galaxy. He is right there with you, waiting. “He is the Son of Man who came to serve and to give his life as ransom for you” (Lucado, 1992). You may reject him out shame because the things you have done and the person you have become. If pride is what goes before a fall (Proverbs 16:18), then shame is what keeps you down. Jesus can help you get back up again.


You may reject him because you think you are unworthy of Jesus’ gift. You are no one special to be called by God to follow Christ. I say that you are. God has not made you unworthy of His love or His offer of salvation. You have. Jesus gave up the crown of heaven for a crown of thorns for you. (Lucado, 2000). God has done everything to make himself known. It’s you who says “I’m not good enough” or “only if I do this or that, I’ll be ready.” God is one to take the common and make it spectacular. Think of David, a simple shepherd boy become one of the greatest kings of Israel. Think of Mary, a simple girl who was asked to do something extraordinary. While you may not be called to be as a great as David or be asked to do something as extraordinary as Mary but you are worthy of God’s call.


The second choice: you accept him. You can chose to follow Jesus. You can chose to walk down the narrow road, walk through the narrow gate. You can build the foundation of your salvation on solid rock. For the narrow gate, the narrow road and a foundation of rock will lead to eternal life (Matthew 7:14, Matthew 6:24). You recognize that you need Jesus and his gift of salvation. That you cannot receive eternal life in heaven without him. His perfect gift of salvation, of eternal life. As James 1:17 “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” Life does not get any easier as a follower of Christ; however, we have someone who can help us through the hard life. When it seems that the world has turned against you, all of heaven turns towards you. When life gets too tough, think of heaven. Think of home. Think of Jesus.


When Jesus died on the cross, so did our sins. When he rose on the third day, so did our hope. The grave become temporary. For those who accept Jesus and his gift of salvation, death no longer has any power. God said “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). There is no depths that Jesus can’t reach you. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He will never change His mind. Once you have accept His gift of salvation, your name will forever be written in the book of life (Luke 10:20, Revelation 3:5, Revelation 20:11-15). With Christ, we are never alone in our struggles.

The Sinner’s Prayer:
Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness.
I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead.
I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life.
I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. In Your Name.
Amen.


And the Angels were Silent Max Lucado (1992)

He Chose the Nails Maz Lucado (2000)