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Posts Tagged ‘Did Jesus sacrifice himself for our sins?’

Most of us have grown so accustomed to living in a credit card world that we give it no more thought than breathing or going to the bathroom.

We use the card, a bill arrives every month and we either pay it off or pay the minimum and eventually deal with the interest charges.

This system exists in another world, too: the world of our behaviour. When I’m rude to another driver, engage in hurtful gossip or find shady ways to avoid paying taxes, that goes on my spiritual credit card. When I ignore the needs of people around me, stay silent in the face of injustices or fail to use my God-given gifts for good, that goes on my spiritual credit card.

You might notice that I’m writing about two elements of behaviour: the wrong things we do and the right things we fail to do.

As a follower of Jesus of Nazareth (who many people believe is the Son of God), I know both elements are equally important to my creator.

Do you pay attention to both? I often don’t and that’s something I need to pray about, asking God to open my eyes and heart to see and act on the opportunities He gives me to be the hands and feet of Jesus in a hurting world.

Returning to the spiritual credit card theme, I’ve built up quite a list of items, many of them things I’m not even aware of. So have you.

As with the credit card in your purse or wallet, all the wrong things we’ve done and all the right things we’ve failed to do must be paid for at some point. This is more important than you might think because Jesus tells everyone who’s willing to listen that You must be perfect, just as your Father in Heaven is perfect.”

Jesus says this because when this life ends, perfection is the admission price to spending eternity with Him in Heaven. Nothing else will get you past the bouncer at the door.

So my question is: how will you pay off your spiritual credit card? I know that I can’t pay off my card and achieve perfection. It’s simply not possible. And I believe that’s the case for you, too.

Acknowledging this FACT means someone has to pay off our cards for us. And the only person who qualifies – the only person who is perfect – is Jesus.

When He was physically on earth, government and religious officials who were offended by His words and deeds arrested him on trumped-up charges and put Him to death. But their actions served an entirely different and life-changing purpose: His death paid all the credit card charges for everyone who believes in Him and follows Him.

Now, when God looks at Jesus followers, all He sees is His Son’s perfection. And that’s what the bouncer at the door to Heaven will see, too. But just as important, when you say yes to God’s gift of Jesus, you welcome Him into your life RIGHT NOW to help you become the person God created you to be.

Sound like a good deal? Yes or no, post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

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repentedIs this offensive to you? The entire notion was certainly offensive to the person who posted the graphic on an atheist Internet community.

And I get it. We grow up learning concepts like “An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth”. As kids we often hotly tell our parents “that’s not fair!!”. And as parents, we endlessly, sometimes obsessively, strive to treat our children with fairness.

So when people hear about others who seem to get away with murder, they rightfully scream and holler in protest. Like I said, I get that.

But consider the approach of Jesus of Nazareth, who many people believe is the Son of God. In one of the four original-source accounts of His life on earth, He says this to anyone willing to listen:

You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you, don’t fight back against someone who wants to do harm to you. If they hit you on the right cheek, let them hit the other cheek, too.

This is radical. This is upside down to how our culture thinks. In fact, for some people (such as the person who posted the graphic above), this is downright ludicrous.

Is it really?

If you believe there is a Heaven, don’t you want it to be far, FAR better than this world? Don’t you want it to be free of anger, resentment, jealousy, rage, greed, violence and ignorance?

If you do, then what about forgiveness? Don’t you want Heaven to be saturated — heck, OVERFLOWING — with forgiveness?

If you’re still with me, then a Heaven that is free of our human weaknesses and welcoming to all will absolutely include killers and their victims. In both cases, these people will have repented of their sins (however big or small we might consider them to be) and been utterly, utterly transformed through faith in what Jesus did for them.

What did He do? For those who have sincerely accepted the gift of Jesus, He allowed Himself to be sacrificed on a cross to make up for all (and I mean ALL) the bad things we’ve done and the good things we’ve failed to do.

For those who seriously accepted the gift of Jesus, God looks at us and DOESN’T see murder or greed or theft or fraud or lying or betrayal or self-centredness. He sees only the perfection of His Son.

So when the murder victims depicted in the graphic above get to Heaven and are directed to the person who shot them, they will ABSOLUTELY go over and do more than say “Hi”. They’ll hug that person with overflowing love.

And that person, utterly transformed by following Jesus, will absolutely hug those people right back. It will be a time of joy, of tears, of praise for their creator who wiped away every moment of fear, anguish, pain and sadness and replaced them with praise and gratefulness.

That’s a place I want to go. That’s a place I want YOU to go, so we can hug, high-five each other and spend eternity with our creator. Are you in? Yes or no, post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

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