For March 31, 2024
Calling Jesus Christ a mere teacher or miracle worker significantly undermines His true nature. While on earth, He went beyond being a kind person who dedicated Himself to improving the human condition by feeding the hungry, healing the sick, raising the dead, and restoring hope to the hopeless.

Seven-hundred years before His birth, the Prophet Isaiah predicted we would acknowledge Jesus Christ as “Immanuel,” meaning God with us. (Isaiah 7:14) The resurrection of Jesus Christ is what sets Him apart from any other historical figure while also making the Easter Celebration distinctive.

Almost two-thousand years ago, the Roman government executed Jesus and guarded His tomb with armed soldiers. Today, we have ample records of His death and burial, yet the only plausible explanation for the absence of His body is the resurrection.

The empty tomb is that silent testimony to the resurrection of Christ, which has never been refuted. The Romans and Jews could not produce Christ’s body or explain where it went, but nonetheless, they refused to believe. Not because of the insufficiency of evidence but in spite of its sufficiency do men still reject the resurrection.[1]

Unlike anyone else in history, Jesus not only predicted his death but also predicted His rising from the grave as well.

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep … No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. John 10:11, 18 (NLT)

His resurrection wasn’t simply resuscitation to His earthly existence, similar to those whom He brought back to life; as He would have eventually died of old age Himself. On the contrary, His resurrection serves as evidence that God accepted His perfect sacrifice for our benefit.

As a result, He became the “first fruits” of all those who have faith in Him for their eternal destiny, including us. (1 Corinthians 15:20-23) Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and we have everything to gain in Him as our hope of glory. (Colossians 1:27, Hebrews 13:8)

Amen and Hallelujah!

Moreover, because of His impeccable ministry and teachings, He is our Divine Prophet, (Deuteronomy 18:15 ff.), molding our moral and spiritual course even today. Furthermore, He reigns as the “Prince of the Kings of the Earth,” (Revelation 1:5), through His Holy Spirit and His written Word, the Bible.

Apart from these wonderful attributes, He is our Great High Priest, through whom we receive forgiveness for our sins and peace with God.

But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come … Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. Hebrews 9:11-12. (NKJV)

Jesus’ perfect sacrifice covers our sin as the Lamb of God (John 1:29), who is fully capable to save “to the uttermost” all who come to God by Him, seeing He lives forever to make intercession for us (Hebrews 7:25).

Only through Jesus Christ can we find righteousness and reconciliation with a holy God. By repentance and faith in Him, we receive instant forgiveness and restored fellowship with God.

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. John 1:12-13 (NIV)

Through the shedding of Jesus Christ’s blood at Calvary, we now have the privilege of approaching God boldly and can confidently expect His approval as He substitutes our imperfect life with Jesus’ sinless one. Now when God looks at us, He sees no trace of sin and condemnation. Instead, He sees the pure heart and clean hands of Jesus Christ, and that we are suitable for His eternal fellowship.

We are finally free from the overwhelming weight of sin, guilt, and shame. His Word and Spirit remind us that we can let go of our sinful past and live an abundant life as new creations, forgiven by God and covered by His blood. (John 10:10, 2 Corinthians 5:17)

It’s like being brought before Jesus, like that woman in John 8:1-11. Despite our condemnation, we stand alone in the presence of our Savior and Redeemer, who asks, “Where are your accusers?” “They are gone, Lord,” we reply. “Neither do I,” Jesus tells us, “Go and sin no more!”

Our Dear Friend is our Constant Companion, never leaving us even in our darkest hours. No matter the circumstances we face, whether positive or negative, He is always present to support us. He will wipe away our tears and defend us in our struggles, filling our hearts with His joy and peace. He supplies us with all the resources, both spiritual and material; to live a life that pleases Him.

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21)

Our enduring Christian faith lies in our Resurrected Lord as we look forward to a magnificent eternal life beyond this earthly existence. Won’t you give your life to Christ today and forever enjoy His blessed life?

What a Wonderful Savior!

[1]Josh McDowell, “The Resurrection – Hoax or History,” Evidence that Demands a Verdict: Historical Evidences for the Christian Faith, rev. ed., vol. I, (San Bernardino: Here’s Life Publishers, Inc., 1979) 226.

The Goodness of God

April 16, 2023
The normal, day-to-day occurrences in this topsy-turvy world often obscure our ability to see clearly how good God is to all His creatures, and especially toward His beloved children.

Such was not the case for the Psalmist who observes,

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy, And gathered out of the lands, From the east and from the west, From the north and from the south. Psalm 107:1-3 (NKJV)


Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations. Psalm 100:1-5 (NKJV)

One theologian defines goodness as: “The disposition in God to impart happiness to His creatures.”1

Another theologian makes this observation about the God’s goodness,

Goodness, in the Scriptural sense of the term, includes benevolence, love, mercy, and grace. By benevolence is meant the disposition to promote happiness; all sensitive creatures are its objects. Love includes complacency, desire, and delight, and has rational beings for its objects. Mercy is kindness exercised towards the miserable, and includes pity, compassion, forbearance, and gentleness, which the Scriptures so abundantly ascribe to God. …The love of a holy God to sinners is the most mysterious attribute of the divine nature. …God saves sinners, we are told, “That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us, through Christ Jesus.” (Epj.ii.7.)2

Despite the naysayers of this modern era, God is good, and we can find examples of His goodness in the following,

      • God created us in His image with self-awareness and self-determination. We can think, reason, and we have free choice.
      • God gave us senses to enjoy this world, as He created it—very good! We can rejoice in the blessings this world offers all of us.
      • God blesses us with a reasonable portion of life, health, and strength.
      • Every day, God shows His patience and long-suffering towards, for all have sinned and come short of His glory. (Romans 3:23)
      • God is merciful and extends His love and forgiveness to us by paying our sin debt through Jesus Christ. Thus, we can be loved and forgiven.
      • We will know God’s goodness in full measure when the Christ returns for us. Then, we will spend a blessed eternity with Him, as He promised,

Jesus Christ gives us access to God’s goodness and mercy by  virtue of our faith in His supreme, vicarious, efficacious sacrifice performed at Calvary. And for those of us who trust Him, He assures us He will supply us with His eternal goodness, mercy, and glory upon His imminent return,

Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. John 14:1-3 (NKJV)

The Lord has never broken any of His promises. He is the embodiment of  all that is faithful and true. Thus, as James observes, we can know Him as the source of all that is good, pleasant, and wonderful. In Him we can find great encouragement—even in these sin-darkened days,

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. James 1:17 (NKJV)

God is good, and His mercy endures forever. He especially reveals these characteristics in His longsuffering towards all who remain in pride, rebellion, and sin.

Nevertheless, He is not willing that any should perish, but that all of us come to know Him personally through repentance (from sin) and faith (toward Jesus Christ) as 2 Peter 3:9 teaches. God is good—all the time!

Won’t you give Jesus your heart today, and experience God’s goodness personally?

What a Wonderful Savior!

Jesus Christ Rose For Our Justification

For April 9, 2023
It was early Sunday morning, the end of Passover Week, and Jesus died and was buried in the tomb owned by Joseph of Arimathea. Like any other Sunday morning in Jerusalem, it was peaceful and quiet with the Roman soldiers guarding the tomb to prevent grave robbers, especially the Twelve Disciples from stealing Jesus’ body. They made the tomb as secure as they could to prevent Jesus’ body from being disturbed and the news spreading that He rose from the dead.

Hardened, highly trained, competent soldiers were stationed at the tomb to guard it. In addition, a Roman seal was placed on the stone securing the tomb’s entrance to further dissuade anyone from entering it, since breaking the seal would be in strict violation of Roman law and punishable by death.

All was peaceful and quiet as they all prepared for an ordinary day. The pitch-black sky was changing into shades of orange-red, beige-yellow, and blue with the ever-approaching dawn when Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, Joseph, and Zebedee’s sons came to the tomb to embalm their Lord and Savior.

The tomb was sealed and the soldiers were prepared to defend it with their lives. …then it happened,

Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it. His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint. Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you.” Matthew 28:2-7 (NLT)

Some have wrongly speculated that the Disciples overpowered the battle-hardened, Roman soldiers and stole Jesus’ body. This is absurd. Others have wildly conjectured that the women went to the wrong tomb and that mass hysteria ensued about Jesus’ resurrection followed.

However, these flawed theories cannot adequately explain why the New Testament account of the resurrection has never been discredited, nor do they explain how the testimonies of those who claimed to have seen Jesus have not been refuted, as this author notes,

The empty tomb is that silent testimony to the resurrection of Christ, which has never been refuted. The Romans and Jews could not produce Christ’s body or explain where it went, but nonetheless, they refused to believe. Not because of the insufficiency of evidence but in spite of its sufficiency do men still reject the resurrection.1

In addition, over the past two-thousand years there have been untold numbers of people around the world—like you and me—who have met the Risen Christ and have accepted Him personally. Those of us who know Him have had a complete spiritual overhaul that cannot be explained either.

Thus, Jesus Christ is the “First Fruits” of a new way of living both now and forever,

Christ’s resurrection was not simply a coming back from the dead, as had been experienced by others before, such as Lazarus (John 11:1–44), for then Jesus would have been subject to weakness and aging and eventually would have died again just as all other human beings die. Rather, when he rose from the dead Jesus was the “first fruits” 2 (1 Cor. 15:20, 23) of a new kind of human life, a life in which his body was made perfect, no longer subject to weakness, aging, or death, but able to live eternally.2

Jesus says in John 20:29 (NKJV), “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” We are blessed by the resurrection of Jesus Christ because,

      • He proved emphatically that He is Savior, Lord, and God.
      • We know that He is the only Mediator between God and humanity.
      • We know that His sacrifice for our sin—past and present—has been accepted by God.
      • We are guaranteed a true, lasting intimacy with our loving Heavenly Father.
      • We know that Jesus Christ lives amongst and within His people by the power of the Holy Spirit who preserves and keeps us until the glorious day when Jesus returns for us.
      • Thus, we know that there is life beyond the grave and that we can live with Jesus Christ forever in Heaven.
      • We have the ultimate victory over sin, death and the Enemy (Satan) because of our sincere, penitent faith in Christ alone, (not our works).

An old familiar hymn expresses how the resurrection of Jesus Christ is yet a blessing to His Believers today, and how it can be a blessing to others as well,

                He Lives
Alfred H. Ackley (1887-1960)3

I serve a risen Savior; He’s in the world today; I know that He is living, whatever men may say; I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer, And just the time I need Him He’s always near.

In all the world around me I see His loving care; And though my heart grows weary I never will despair; I know that He is leading, thro’ all the stormy blast; The day of His appearing will come at last.

Rejoice, rejoice O Christian, lift up your voice and sing; Eternal hallelujahs to Jesus Christ the king! The hope of all who seek Him, the help of all who find, None other is so loving, so good and kind.

He lives! He lives! Christ Jesus lives today! He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way. He lives! He lives! Salvation to impart! You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart.

Jesus says in John 16:33 (NLT): “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

Our Christian faith can transform a sin-cursed humanity as we enter into the presence of the Living God. Then, changed human lives can think, speak, and act in ways that improve the welfare of others without being motivated by race, gender, culture, social status, or political affiliation. Such is our glorious, eternal destiny,

We don’t have to be victims of our glands. We are not automations or victims. We are free to make choices, whether noble or ignoble. To live for money, power, or pleasure is to die one day and leave it all behind. Indeed, to live for anything except Christ will mean reaching the end haunted by guilt and despair.4

Contrary to popular belief, people can change the world for the better—one person at a time. Jesus paid the price for our sin so that we can share in the perfect joy that was set before Him. It is His most exhilarating joy that captivates our hearts and minds today as we receive His unfathomably precious gifts of forgiveness and freedom from sin, because Jesus Christ possesses all power, in Heaven and in earth—to forgive our sins. (Matthew 28:18)

The Greek word used for forgive is aphiemi (Strong-863), which means to let go, send away, to cancel, or to pardon.5 Thus in Christ, our sin nature is canceled, let go, sent away, pardoned, and forgotten forever. In fact, our sins no longer define us. Instead, God defines us by His great salvation,

Through his life, death, resurrection, and exaltation, come deliverance from the guilt and power of sin and the gift of new life through the indwelling Holy Spirit. So the believer is saved by Christ’s work on the cross (Acts 4:12); he is being saved now by the work of the Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier (Philippians 2:12) and he looks forward to completed salvation in the life of the age to come (1 Thessalonians 5:9, 1 Peter 1:5).6

Here, God looks beyond our past to extend us, a people in need of restoration, His mercy.

Now, because He lives, we can become new creatures with a glorious destiny that will never be taken from us. Won’t you give Jesus your heart today and experience His power to transform your life forever?

Jesus Christ is risen. …He is risen indeed!

What a wonderful Savior!

Jesus Christ Died For Our Sins

For April 7, 2023
It was early Friday morning of Passover Week, and Jesus had not yet slept. After He celebrated a festive yet somber Passover Seder with His Disciples, Judas Iscariot betrayed Him into the hands of corrupt religious leaders for thirty pieces of silver at the Garden of Gethsemane,

He was unjustly tried, condemned, and hastened before Pilate, Herod Antipas, and Pilate again and condemned to death. However, not before vicious, bloodthirsty Roman soldiers savagely beat him without mercy and led Him to the place, called Calvary, where they crucified Him. (Luke 23:33)

At first glance, the sinless, guiltless Jesus Christ would seem to be a victim of egregious injustice. …and He was.

Yet there is more to this story. God said that all souls belonged to Him and the soul that sinned would die. (Ezekiel 18:4) Further, the Bible teaches that all have sinned and have fallen short of God’s glory or righteous standards. (Romans 3:23)

A cursory glance at events happening in our world shows how human hearts and minds have been cursed by sin (and death). To remedy sin’s curse, God sanctioned blood to made atonement for sin. (Hebrews 9:22) In short, sin produces death and blood atones for sin. Thus, as the Son of God, our Lord accurately predicted His vicarious death and suffering,

And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life. For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. John 3:14-18 (NLT)

Although our Lord had the opportunity to escape death on the cross, He sought to fulfill God’s will instead of His own. Even after being beaten, spat upon, insulted, and crowned with thorns, our Lord was willing to suffer even more disgrace and humiliation by being stripped of His clothing, affixed to a wooden cross before throngs of mocking people. He had the power and the right to command legions of angels to destroy all humanity instantly; yet, He yielded His life for our sins and became the Perfect Intercessor.

It was supposed to be like any other Sabbath in Jerusalem, with throngs of people converging to observe the Passover according to Mosaic Law. The three-year disturbance instigated by this charismatic “rabble-rouser” ended with His crucifixion between two thieves on Calvary and His burial in a borrowed tomb.

Some of the Jewish leaders demanded that the Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate assign soldiers to guard the tomb, and seal the stone door with a Roman seal, to thwart any attempt to steal His body.

Like many other clerics, Jesus Christ became a martyr for His “offensive” beliefs and teachings. Moreover, His death was to quell the spiritual conflict with the religious leaders and Rome. …but little did they know.

Before going to Calvary’s Cross, Jesus prayed for His Believers. He closes His prayer by interceding for all those who will follow Him because of His Disciples’ testimony and the Comforter’s (Holy Spirit’s) revealing work,

I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began! O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me. I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them. (John 17:20-26 (NLT)

Jesus prayed for us today who believe the Disciples’ message. It is because of their faith and courage we can experience our resurrected Savior,

That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the Saints what is the width and length and depth and height to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:16-19 (NKJV).

Jesus prays that as His Believers, we will be one with each other, with Jesus, and the Father. Ours is a unified faith and message that reveals God answered His prayer. We belong to each other, and we belong to Christ—and He belongs to the Father. Here we extend our unity and love to become family—a Christian family—with perfect, eternal unity that will forever reveal the matchless wisdom and power of God,

As children of God and joint heirs with Christ, we have the privilege of sharing both in His sufferings and in His subsequent glory. …God gives us the privilege of walking the same path Christ walked, enduring sufferings in this life that we may also receive great glory in the life to come. …Because we are God’s children, our relationship with each other is far deeper and more intimate than the relationship that angels, for example, have to one another. For we are all members of one family.1

Ultimately, it is because of this one incredible moment in history that we would be reconciled to God and have our sins forgiven, as this beloved hymn relates,

            The Old Rugged Cross
George Bennard (1873-1958)2

On a hill far away, stood an old rugged Cross, The emblem of suff’ring and shame; And I love that old Cross where the dearest and best For a world of lost sinners was slain.

Oh, that old rugged Cross so despised by the world, Has a wondrous attraction for me; For the dear Lamb of God, left His Glory above To bear it to dark Calvary.

In the old rugged Cross, stained with blood so divine, A wondrous beauty I see; For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died To pardon and sanctify me.

To the old rugged Cross, I will ever be true, Its shame and reproach gladly bear; Then He’ll call me some day to my home far away Where His glory forever I’ll share.

So I’ll cherish the old rugged Cross, Till my trophies at last I lay down; I will cling to the old rugged Cross And exchange it some day for a crown.

Because Jesus died, we can present His righteousness, grace, and love through our worship, service, and fellowship as His Beloved Followers. Won’t you give Him your heart today and receive God’s perfect sacrifice for sin? Forgiveness can be yours today because Jesus Christ died for your sins.

What a Wonderful Savior!


Blessed Is He Who Comes In The Name Of The Lord!

For April 2, 2023
The eventful week began on what we refer to as Palm Sunday today with Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into His beloved Jerusalem, the City of David.

He chose not to ride a horse, as would a conquering hero. Instead, He rides the donkey’s colt, a symbol of peace, as He presented Himself as God’s humble emissary sent to redeem a fallen humanity.

His calculated actions fulfill the Messianic prophesies of Isaiah 62 and Zechariah, given 700 and 500 years before, respectively,

The Lord has made proclamation to the ends of the earth: “Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your Savior comes! See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.’ ” They will be called the Holy People, the Redeemed of the Lord; and you will be called Sought After, the City No Longer Deserted. Isaiah 62:11-12 (NIV)


Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. Zechariah 9:9 (NIV)

Enormous crowds gathered around their Messiah, laying palm branches in His path and shouting,

Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven! Matthew 21:9 (NIV).

The Lord strategically planned His Triumphal Entry to coincide with the festive week of the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread. Thus, it was not coincidental that His Messianic presentation happened during this high-holy week of consecration and celebration, when Jerusalem’s population increased exponentially, as Jews from around the world converged on Jerusalem to fulfill the requirement of Mosaic Law to attend the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

These feasts were associated with the Children of Israel’s release from four-hundred years of Egyptian slavery. (Exodus 12:1-13:16, 23:17, 34:23) Festive revelers, musicians, and celebrators packed the streets with song, dance, and reverie.

Jesus was well aware that His Triumphal Entry with Messianic overtones would hasten His death on Calvary’s Cross before week’s end. Yet, He humbly and meekly presented Himself as the Passover Lamb, whose blood would pay sin’s price for His people and all of humanity.

One author refers to the critical spiritual implications of Jesus’ earthly ministry,

But Jesus addressed himself primarily to spiritual rather than to physical need. He fed hungry hearts rather than hungry stomachs. His gospel was by no means an economic gospel; nor can it be characterized in general as a social gospel; primarily and essentially the gospel which Jesus proclaimed was an ethical and religious gospel.1

Yet, one must wonder what the Lord and His Disciples were thinking and feeling, especially within the context of this commentary on our Lord’s actions (my emphasis),

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But, God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:6-8 (NIV)

Jesus’ critical mission was for our spiritual benefit because the first Adam’s disobedience introduced sin into God’s perfect world, which resulted in our spiritual and physical deaths. Our spiritual death (sin), which separates us from God, happened instantaneously while our physical death came gradually.

God created us to be holy (sinless) beings to live forever in His perfect world. But Adam’s disobedience introduced our world to sin, sadness, pain, disease, and death. Thus, as the Bible teaches, all of us will sin and die. (Romans 3:23, 5:14, 6:23)

Since we are sinners by nature, our “good deeds” are sin-polluted. One illustration is how when we commonly carried fountain pens in the breast pocket of our white dress shirts. When ink leaked from the pen, it left an ink spot that irrevocably ruined the shirt.

Just as the ink spot spoils the shirt, sin spoils our self-righteousness. So that even on our best day, we are still worthless before a holy God (who is not sin-spoiled), and we fail before His righteousness as filthy rags,

We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind. Isaiah 64:6 (NLT)

Jesus Christ was without sin and fully aware His death would redeem all fallen humanity from sin and restore us to a loving, eternal fellowship with God,

Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous. Romans 5:18-19 (NKJV)

It is unfathomable how a sinless Jesus Christ freely offered Himself to redeem the entire world—whether Jew, gentile, black, white, rich, poor, believer or non-believer. All of us can vicariously receive the full benefit of His perfect sacrifice—without preference or distinction.

No longer do Satan, sin, and death bind us, because our faith in His perfect work determines our righteousness (or lack thereof) before our Heavenly Father.

Ultimately, Jesus redeemed those who love Him, those who hate Him, those who believe in Him, and those who do not believe in Him. This concept of “equal atonement” is difficult for the modern mind to capture fully. Not concerning Christ’s saving efficacy as His sacrifice remediates all our sins forever.

However, His commitment to give Himself freely and willingly for every man, woman, boy, and girl—past, present, and future—so comprehensively is difficult to fathom. For it is not a normal human response, especially toward someone we feel is “less desirable.”

Sacrificing for a loved one is conceivable when our love for them or our desire to protect them motivates us. However, choosing to sacrifice our lives for an enemy or someone who dislikes us is extremely hard to envision.

History has shown there may be certain situations where we would risk life and limb for someone we might not care for. During the Second World War, for example, cultural issues fostered adversarial relationships that fragmented our troops occasionally. Although these valiant men and women may have been divided, they proved themselves more than willing to sacrifice for their adversary’s greater good by fighting and dying to spare the world from the global tyranny of the Axis’ powers.

Fast-forward eighty years to our modern day, when we have replaced our noble altruism with a cold-hearted malevolence and barbarism. Truly, the Enemy (Satan) is at work in the callous and malicious disregard for human dignity witnessed in the indiscriminate killing of the unborn and helpless, the calculated euthanization of the weak and aged, and the exploitation, abuse, trafficking, oppression, and violence perpetrated against all those who fall between these two extremes.

Ultimately, we have reduced precious, God-given lives to little or no worth. Our heartlessness is most unfortunate because technology, education, politics, military, and industry do not make our country great. It is our faith in God, and the Judeo-Christian values we embrace and uphold, as the Scriptures attest,

Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people. Proverbs 14:34 (NKJV)

Ours has never been a perfect nation, but no nation is, especially with sin and entitlement issues running rampant as they are today. Yet, there was a time in our not-too-distant past when we understood right from wrong, and we intuitively maintained a line of demarcation between what was morally good and morally bad.

We seem to have erased that line by our existential relativism. Our existentialism celebrates our human subjectivity while our relativism denies the existence of all absolute truth,

Dress as you will, fornicate with whom you will, infect whom you will, wear clothes, or go naked as you will. The only right is what is right for you, and the only wrong is that which produces pain or inconvenience for you. There is no law, no principle, no proper course of action of any kind, so go with the vibes! Whatever is your thing, do it.2

No longer does God’s Word (Bible) and His Helper (Holy Spirit) guide our thoughts, words, and behavior. Instead, whatever feels good or gives us pleasure—at this moment—is what governs our conscience and behavior.

In these Last Days, which feature our ever-changing new ways of thinking and behaving, global catastrophes, rampant hostility, and heightened existential relativism will ensue to our detriment, just as Jesus predicted,

And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. Matthew 24:6-12 (NKJV)

Oh, what sorrow and despair await those of us who insist, “evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter.” Isaiah 5:20 (NLT)

A civilized people must exercise vigilance and due diligence to promote and secure the moral and spiritual well-being of our fellow countrymen and women,

The freedom of God is exercised and illustrated in His government of His moral creatures. It has pleased God to create intelligences possessed of moral freedom and to make their ultimate destiny contingent upon the right use of their freedom.3

God has endowed all of us with the sacred trust to preserve civility, decency, and goodwill for people with whom we work, serve, and live.

Those of us over twenty-one years of age especially should foster a congenial atmosphere since we have matured beyond our childish self-interests to pursue those things that are in everyone’s collective best interest. We who have so matured understand if we persist in raucous discord, no person will be spared from hostility and violence.

At some point, we must stop long enough to ask this question with the utmost sincerity, “What kind of world do we want for our children, and their children?”

With our non-absolute, selfish, proud, twenty-first-century minds, it is extremely difficult to imagine how someone in perfect health, with all His faculties, and less than one week to live would spend His remaining moments teaching enduring lessons that would shape future generations of His Followers around the world as Jesus did.

In His shoes, we would spend our last week fulfilling selfish desires, visiting exotic places, visit our families and close friends, or completing unfinished tasks on our “bucket list,” but not so with our Lord. He knew He would die on the cross shortly, and He spent His remaining moments with His beloved Disciples, sharing lessons most important to them—and us.

The second chapter of the Book of Philippians relates to the humiliation and exaltation of Jesus Christ,

Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:6-11 (NLT)

Proud, self-righteous human endeavors will never invoke God’s favor, as does Calvary’s Cross. It has never been about us; it is about Jesus Christ, and our faith in Him vitalizes our being, position, conduct, and eternal destiny.

The first time, Jesus presented Himself to the world as the Suffering Servant in order to redeem a fallen humanity. Upon His second arrival, He will present Himself as the Eternal Righteous Judge before whom every knee will bow and every tongue will confess.

Those who will not acknowledge Him now will face Him as Eternal Judge when He returns to make His final Triumphal Entry, that will last forever. But those of us who love Him, and whose faith begins and ends with Him, He is our hope, peace, expectation, and glorious reward. Galatians 3:11 reads, “The just shall live by faith,” and 2 Corinthians 5:7 states, “We walk by faith, not by sight.”

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the lord. For Jesus promises, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (NLT) Won’t you come to Jesus and experience rest, peace, and joy in your life today?

What a Wonderful Savior!