The story of Jesus is the most beautiful story in all of history. God broke through the fabric of time and space to show us what love looks like.
1 John 4:10 – In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
He loved us to the extent that He allowed his son to live on this corrupted planet, face torment, fear, injustice, betrayal, hatred, disgust and then finally false accusations, false judgement, and punishment after committing no crime. He was tortured in the most extreme sense of the word.
He was given an out though. He could have said a word at any point and had angels reign down on the whole of humanity and He would have been justified. He could have told God not your will but mine. But He didn’t. He told God, “your will.”
Luke 22:41 – And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” 43 And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him.
The price He had to pay was so great that only he could pay it…only He had the correct currency. The bible says, “the punishment for sin is death” and “all fall short of the glory of God”. Only perfection can offer a perfect sacrifice. Just like when He told the men who brought the prostitute “whoever among you is without sin cast the first stone.” God already made it a prerequisite that literally whoever among us was without sin was worthy of Him…and there is no-one.
The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”
John 8:3-11 ESV
So, Jesus chose to love us enough to be obedient to the cross, to what God asked Him to do. He laid down his life in order to pay the price for our sins (which are many) So you could have a choice…to take his free gift or not.
Now if Jesus had gone to the cross and it had ended there, it would have been a crazy story about a delusional man who was wrong. The part that makes this the story above all stories is that he said he was going to die and then did. He said he had to be betrayed and then he was. He said he was going to rise after 3 days then HE DID!
In a made up story, a man surely would have been the one who found him on the road after the resurrection, but it was women. Women couldn’t even testify in court! Then, it is documented that many people saw him alive over the course of 40 days as he appeared in various places. Then many witnessed him rising into heaven. At that time, he told them that he must go so his spirit could come and help us.
John 16:4 “I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. 5But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. 8And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: 9concerning sin, because they do not believe in me;10concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer;11concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
Today is the day! Today we look on the rest of the year with hope because of the one who was born yesterday to be the hope of the world. Today we look on the rest of the year with a new-found forgiveness because of all we have been forgiven. Today we look on the rest of our lives with anticipation and thankfulness because of the free gift of eternal life that Jesus gave when He took the punishment we all so much deserve upon himself. Praise be to the almighty father of the universe who loves us this much!
John 3:11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but youf do not receive our testimony. 12If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.g14And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up,15that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.h