Father in Heaven, I pray these words are as effective as You want them to be and that it is You who is glorified. In Jesus name, Amen.
Well better late then never I suppose. We gather together here at the table a day late but I hope you enjoy.
Did the title take you by surprise a little? I kind of thought it might. So often we hear people say “I’m so grateful for Jesus dying on the cross.” and the truth is for me, I’m not grateful that He died.
Let’s examine for a moment why He died. “He gave His life as a ransomed for all…” (1 Timothy 2:6)
This means that everyone was taken hostage by the enemy. Though we are willing hostages because we have free choice to follow God or follow after the enemy. God will never force us to follow Him. So by our own choices, we become hostages.
Now this of course started way back in the garden of Eden when the first man and woman made the choice that caused the fall of all mankind. This resulted in a sinful nature being born into each and every one of us. This is what the verse means in, Romans 3:23 which says:
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
We all have some temptation that we will fall too and some point in time. It’s the surrender of our hearts and asking for forgiveness that Jesus is interested in most of all.
But the temptation I fall to, is the temptation that nailed Jesus to the cross.
I am eternally grateful that Jesus had a plan of redemption, that He was willing to leave the perfection of heaven, that He chose to live on this sinful earth for even thirty-three and a half years to deliver Gods message of love and mercy and forgiveness.
But grateful that He died… no… I’m not grateful that He had to surrender His life on my account. I’m not grateful that He breathed His last breath because of me. I hate that my best friend had to die because of me. I hate that He had to suffer on a tree for several hours all while having a torn up back from being whipped and beaten. I hate that He bled from His brow after soldiers pressed a mocking crown of thorns on His head. I hate that He was stretched out on a cross and then held on it by the spikes that were ruthlessly driven into His hands and feet, forever scarring Him… all because of my sins.
I am so everlastingly thankful that Jesus CHOSE to do all these things just so there would be room in heaven for me… and for you. But I wish He didn’t have to die to make that extra room.
So this should shed a little more light on the title for us. But please understand that I am so very humbled and honored that Jesus would give His life for me and for so many who want to be in heaven with Him forever. I just wish it didn’t involve so much pain and torture for our Lord. I pray I keep this in mind whenever I am tempted to say those words , or do that thing, or go to that place , or… fill in your own blank.
As the Christmas season is in full swing now, let us keep our thoughts focused on the birth of the one who went through so very much just so there would be a place for you and for me in heaven.
Merry Christmas to all of you!