He died the most humiliating, excruciating death. He hung there suffocating and in agony on the wooden cross with nails driven through His wrists and feet. He was forsaken by all and mocked, being appointed with the criminals. But none of that meant nothing to the innocent, sinless Lamb. It meant absolutely nothing compared to the real and utter loneliness He felt when the dirty filth of our sins were upon Him as He died for them. The loneliness that struck Him when the Father had to turn His eyes away from His only beloved Son for a moment because of them. How tender was this grace and mercy of God for us undeserving humans, how tender indeed!
How great was the sin of Adam and Eve, the father and mother of all mankind. Their choice of disobeying the word of God caused the great separation between God and man. But when the fullness of time came to reveal the only way of reconciliation back to Himself, He sent word to His servant Zachariah by an angel, saying:
“…your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John…he will be great in the sight of the Lord… and he will turn many of the sons of Israel back to the Lord their God. It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him [the Messiah]… so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Luke 1:13,15-17).
When the promised child was born, his father rejoiced with gladness, and prophesied saying:
“You, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare His ways; to give His people knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins” (Luke 1:76,77, emp. added).
One of the most misused passages in God’s word is John 10:10, where the Lord Jesus Christ speaks to the people saying, “The thief only comes to steal and kill and destroy; I came so that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” What’s being taught is that Christ will bless us with wealth and prosperity in this life, and that all of our struggles would vanish when we allow Him to rule in our lives and become Christians. So when people come to Christ with all of their turmoil, they believe all of their troubles will immediately be over to live in prosperity. But such is far from the truth, and, unfortunately, when one comes into Christ with this mindset and see that it doesn’t happen, they forsake Him and leave His church to go back into the world.
On August 24, 79 AD the people of Pompeii lived their day to day lives as usual. The day begun at sunrise like any other day; the bell-tower struck and the town’s population of free-people and slaves went to work. Merchants carried their valuable items to the main trading sea port, slaves taught the wealthy to read and write, marketers shouted their wares, friends met at public bath houses to chat, and the women weaved and sold fresh produce. The paved Roman roads were bustling, the people were noisy, but just nearby was Mount Vesuvius–the once-quiet volcano that began to groan and release its magma. The Romans were completely unaware of this as they continued to do their daily routines; it was by the end of August 25 that the volcano covered the town in ashes and molten rock. The people of Pompeii were no more.
Sometimes we truly do not understand what Christ did on the cross at Calvary; what He went through when He manifested Himself in the flesh. We are so intent on the things we have done in the past, feeling ashamed and guilty. We feel as though we won’t ever be forgiven, not even by God Himself. The truth of the matter is that when we begin to feel this way, we make void the sacrifice of Christ and minimize what His sufferings and death meant. The apostle Paul wrote that Christ’s shed blood was a free gift given by God in order for us to be set free from the guilt and shame of sin (Romans 3:24-26). When Christ said He came into this world to save us and forgive us of our sins, He absolutely meant it. He did not lie; it’s impossible for Him to do so (Hebrews 6:18).
Continue reading “Moving Past the Past”
Taking our last breath in this life not in Christ and still in bondage to sin results in eternal separation from God–separated from His glory, and separated from His presence. What places a barrier between us and God are our transgressions against His word. The prophet Isaiah stated, “Your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you” (Isaiah 59:2). That’s how defiling sin is! Jehovah knew we would not master over our transgressions without His help, so He sent His only Son to be our atonement. Now it’s in Christ that we obtain victory; as the apostle Paul wrote, “Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).
Social media, work, financial stability, illnesses and school… just some of the few things that distract us and keep us from the Word of God because we’ve made those our main focus. As a result, we begin to doubt or forget about the hope we have laid up for us in heaven. We become distressed and anxious, constantly worrying whether or not we’ll make it to heaven. At least, that’s what I do and what’s happening to me at the moment. I’ve been struggling to keep up with this Christian walk. I constantly worry about money, my health, and my imminent departure from this earth I must face one of these days. Instead of diving into the Word to assure me, I’m on social media or doing assignments for school. How greatly I feel separated from the One who took me out of darkness with His blood! How foolish I am for forgetting the power of God.