Friday, April 3, 2015

New & Abundant Life

When we celebrate Good Friday and Easter we remember the historical happenings around Jesus’s death and resurrection so many years ago and His ultimate sacrifice for us. What makes his death so significant and how does that tie into new and abundant life?
  • He was a man without sin yet He was sent by God into this world to die for us (2 Corinthians 5:21). 
  • God loved the world and wanted to reconcile us to Himself . 
  • It was because of the fall of the first Adam that sin came into the world. If Adam had obeyed this world would be without sin but because of his disobedience sin crept into the world. 
  • God in His wrath wanted to defeat sin and sent His one and only Son Jesus to take the penalty for the sin of the world (John 3: 16). 
  • God “crushed” His own Son (Isaiah 5310a ESV). 
  • Jesus in His agony sweat drops of blood and asked God to take this “cup” from Him (Luke 22:42-44), meaning the judgement and wrath of God.
We have heard that other people in this world have died by crucifixion for the wrong that they did and others were tortured for their faith, so was this physically harder for Jesus? No, but it was in the context that He was beaten, tried and killed that was so horrifying. Jesus was pure, holy, and above all loving, He hates anything that is not worthy of love. Humanity has committed an infinite sin because we refuse to obey God. That is an offense that takes place every day against one who is perfectly holy and just, yet Jesus paid the ultimate consequence. As Jesus was on the cross baring our sin He cried “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)  In that moment Jesus experienced the death and separation of God that we all deserve. Then He said “It is finished”!! (John 19:30).

These are important words…our debt was paid. Christ died once for all!

Prior to His arrest by the Romans, Jesus prayed His last public prayer, asking the Father to glorify Him, just as Jesus had glorified the Father on earth, having “finished the work you have given me to do” (John 17:1-5). The work Jesus was sent to do was to “seek and save that which is lost” (Luke 19:10), to provide atonement for the sins of all who would ever believe in Him (Romans 3:23-25), and to reconcile sinful men to a holy God.

“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18-19)

Nobody other than God in the flesh could accomplish such an assignment. Most importantly he defeated the power of sin and Satan's dominion and hold over man.

It is not the will of our heavenly Father that any should perish (Matthew 18:14), He came to give us life! Three days after His death Christ was raised (Acts 2:24) and He is alive today in heaven and sitting at the throne of God. (Acts 3:33, Mark 16:19). In dying He conquered sin and in rising He demonstrated His power over it!

Because of Christ’s death and resurrection we can have new and abundant life. When we choose to believe and accept that Jesus died for us and receive His forgiveness we die to our old self life and receive new life in Him! (Romans 6). We need to ask His Holy Spirit, our helper and comforter to fill us daily (John 14: 15-17, John 16:7,Act 19:2) ….When we obey God's word, changes begin to take place in our lives and we will begin to understand what is pure and holy even though on this side of heaven we will never be perfect.

Jesus promises us abundant life but what is an abundant life? As a believer there is an evidence of growth but more so it is knowing and doing what we read in God’s word that brings fullness to our lives (John 10:10). God’s Spirit living in us will show forth the “fruit” of the Spirit (Galatians 5: 22-23) and our dependency on God will reveal God’s purposes for our lives as 1 Corinthians 2:9 says:

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.”  

In living a new and abundant life we will have the power of God living through us!(Ephesians 3:20).

How can we be assured of our new life (salvation) and know that we have eternal life with Christ? In what Jesus said in 1 John 5:11–13:

“And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” 

When Jesus returns to earth He will come to get His “bride”…His people, the ones who have believed in Him to be with Him for all eternity! That is awesome news, yet to us a mystery and unfathomable! As you contemplate the love that Jesus has poured out for you are you willing to reach out your hands and receive this new and abundant life that He desires to give you? If you have any questions I would love to hear from you!

May you have a blessed and joyous Easter!

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