Monday, November 14, 2016

There Is No Other Way Out Besides Taking Hold of The Rope

  Let's imagine a situation where there are many people stuck in a deep pit. There really is no way out for them. Most of them want to get out and some have tried to get out by climbing the sides or by coming up with clever ideas. But nothing works. People are still stuck in there. Unless there is some kind of outside intervention, these people will never be out of the pit. They will die there.

  But let's imagine that a rope appears. There is a place on the bottom so that the people can grasp the rope and hang onto it. So one by one, each person gets an opportunity to take hold of the rope. The rope pulls them out of the pit. They were helpless and could not rescue themselves, no matter what kinds of ideas they came up with or how strong and determined they really were.

  One difficulty about holding onto the rope was that the person could not take anything with him or her. Whatever the person had while he or she was in the pit had to stay behind. The person could not hold onto the rope and something else at the same time. It would be hard to leave things behind but if it meant getting out of the pit then it would be worth it, no matter how difficult it was to leave behind.

   This is much like our relationship with God. We are all in the pit of sin and darkness. We might not think we are in darkness, but the Bible says that we are all sinners and we all need to be saved from our sins, and from the wrath of God who will destroy sin and those who do not repent of their sins.

  Just as the rope was the only way out of the pit, Jesus is the only way out of the kingdom of Darkness. There is no other way. We cannot be good enough to go to heaven. Even if we produced thousands of good works in our life times, that would never erase the debt of sin that we have before a holy God. But, God sent His Son to die in our place, for our sins. Two thousand years ago, Jesus came to earth, lived a perfect life without sinning, died a horrible death, not for anything He had done, but for all the wrongdoing we had done. He is the only way to heaven. We must believe on Him and repent of our sins. We must believe in His death on the Cross for our sins. We must turn to God and trust Him to cleanse us from all our sins. When we are clean from our sins, we can stand before a holy God and not be eternally punished for our sins.

   Jesus died for our sins. He was buried in a tomb. Then, He arose from the dead. He is alive today and will return to earth to take with Him those who belong to Him. Do you know Him yet? This is the time to come to Him. Turn from your self-centered life and trust in Him. He will give you a new heart that is filled with His love. He will help you love and forgive others who have offended you. He will give you power to live a holy life.

   Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me." John 14:6.
   "There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." 1 Timothy 2:5

It's like God gives out the rope. You and I can take hold of it. Jesus is the only way out of the pit. If we don't take the rope, we will never leave the pit. Please consider this serious matter before you go to sleep tonight. Tomorrow could be too late.

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Innocent is Killed, While The Guilty One Goes Free

The crowd went wild. "We want Barabbas!" they yelled out. Pilate gave them the choice. Either he could let Jesus go free, or someone else could go free. The crowd didn't want Jesus to go free. When they were asked, "What should I do with Jesus, who is called the Christ?", the crowd answered "Crucify Him". 

Barabbas was a notorious prisoner, who was sentenced to a cruel execution by crucifixion. While Barabbas was awaiting his sentence, Jesus of Nazareth was also brought to trial. Only the authorities could not find any thing to sentence Him with. Pilate wanted to set Jesus free, but the crowd insisted that He die. An offer was made by the authorities to set a prisoner free. When the crowd was asked who should be set free from his penalty, the crowd answered 'Barabbas". "We want Barabbas", they continually shouted. Imagine, choosing a notorious convict who made have even hurt your own family! Jesus didn't do anything wrong, but the crowd insisted that He must die. Jesus was innocent. Barabbas got to go free.
Friend, we are all Barabbases. We might not be a notorious murderer, but we have all turned against God and wanted our own way instead of His. Barabbas goes free. Jesus is crucified. But why?
Several significant things happened when Jesus was being killed on a cross made of wood. For about 3 hours, the whole atmosphere turned dark. God, the Father, was putting the sins of all of us on His Son. He was taking the penalty for our sins that we deserved. If Jesus were to be set free during that court session, He would not have taken our sins upon Himself.
The Bible says that "For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God." 2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV
Jesus' last words were 'It is finished". He was done with taking the punishment for our sins. Now we can go free, if we want freedom from sin and its consequences. Barabbas went free from having to die the death by crucifixion. Jesus died so we won't have to spend eternity in hell.
Jesus was buried in a tomb. But He didn't stay dead. He rose from the dead, and was seen alive by many people. He ascended back up to heaven, and will come again to judge the world and to take with Him those who belong to God.
The question for all of us is, do you belong to God? Do you have a relationship with Him? Have you come to Him to receive forgiveness of your sins? Have you trusted in Jesus to be your Savior from sin, and from the punishment that God will pour out on every person who does not respond to Him?