Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Greatest Love Story

This weekend is Easter.  It's easy to get caught up in Easter dresses and egg hunts, and anticipating a visit from the Easter bunny.  But, we must remember that the greatest Easter story does not contain action sequences about hopping down the bunny trail, or the prize egg, or even the prettiest Easter bonnet.  The greatest Easter story is one of love, redemption, and hope.

The Bible tells us that God loved the world so much that he sent His only son to Earth so that whoever believes in Him can have eternal life (John 3:16).  Everyone is a sinner (Romans 3:23), and sin cannot be allowed in God's presence.  Even if you have never committed a major crime, in God's eyes, you are still a sinner.  We can never be good enough to get to Heaven on our own.  This is such refreshing news!  Knowing that there's nothing I can do to earn my salvation is a huge relief.  It means I can stop trying to be "good" and start living for Jesus!  God loves us so much, that He took care of that for us.  God loves us so much that despite man's sinful nature, He offered us the free gift of salvation through his son, Jesus Christ (Romans 6:23).

Jesus was both fully God and fully man.  This allowed Him to be the perfect sacrifice for the atonement of sin. The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), and Jesus paid that price by dying on the cross.  In the moment of His death, God allowed all the sins ever committed to be placed on Jesus.  ALL the sins.  Big ones, small ones, sins that had already been committed, and sins that would be committed in the future.  Your sins, and my sins were atoned for when Jesus died on the cross.  This single act bridged the gap between man and God.  The ransom has been paid, and redemption is our's for the taking (Romans 5:19).

But, that's not all!  The story doesn't end with death.  The Bible tells us that on the third day, Jesus rose from the dead (Matthew 28:1-10)!  Jesus is alive, sits at the right hand of God the Father, and is waiting for His instructions to bring His children home.

Jesus is the source of all hope.  Without Him, our destination is Hell.  But, if you confess that you are a sinner, believe that Jesus died and rose again for you, and make Him Lord of your life, you have the assurance of eternal life (Romans 10:9).  God doesn't care who you were before salvation.  He doesn't care what kind of life you lived.  When you accept the free gift of salvation, your sins are forgiven and your old self is gone.  You are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)!

Jesus came to save all who believe in Him.  Not just the good, or the rich, or the well behaved.  We all need Jesus, and He wants us to all accept his gift.

Through Jesus, you can have hope that everything is going to be okay, no matter what the circumstances.  You can have the assurance that God is in control.  I can't tell you what a relief it is to know that I don't have to worry about every detail of the world.  God's got it under control.  Thank goodness that He is in control and has good plans for those who seek Him (Jeremiah 19:22).

This Easter is especially wonderful for my family.  My 9 year old cousin, Kayla asked Jesus in her heart today.  Today, she is a new creation.  Today, she is a child of God.

The choice to accept the gift of salvation is the most important decision of one's life.  If you have not already, I encourage you to make the decision today to make Jesus Lord of your life and start living this life of love, redemption, and hope.  Claim it.  It's your's.

Happy Easter!

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