What’s the most important thing we all need to know? If you had only moments left to live, what would you try to make sure you’ve told your children, the people you love, those you care about? If you were asked to lecture on Life 101, the basics, the most crucial stuff – what would you tell people?
Here’s the answer from Paul of Tarsus, a guy who was willing to happily suffer for the sake of preaching this important message to the rest of the world.
Why is this so important?
Because without Christ dying for our sins, we would have no salvation, no atonement, no forgiveness of our sins, no hope for what really matters – whatever happens to us in this life, we will all one day stand before the Almighty God and without the atoning sacrifice of Jesus we’ll have nothing to say that would get us out of the guilty verdict we deserve.
The Bible says we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God. And if we’re honest with ourselves, deep down we all know it. We feel guilt and try to shut up the voice of our conscience because it’s so uncomfortable – we tell ourselves that what we did wasn’t so bad, look at that other person who has done a lot worse… we listen to well-intentioned friends who say: don’t be so hard on yourself, everybody does that… we try to shut up the voice of our conscience even though it’s a voice that’s trying to draw us to the one way of solving our problem: Jesus.
You see, there’s no need for us to walk around feeling guilty. Christ died for our sins!
If you repent and put your faith in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, you will have an answer on Judgement Day – when you stand in the ultimate court, before the One who knows you inside out and knows everything you’ve ever thought and said and done, you’ll be able to say: yes, I’m guilty, but Jesus has taken my punishment so that I can go free.
So yes, this is of first importance – his death on the cross is what saves us from an eternity in hell. Died, buried and risen – when Jesus rose from the dead he showed his power over death, which is why I have such a real hope in his ability to deliver what he promised! All the other people who have made big promises to humanity – the prophets, the founders of various religions or ideologies – they’re all dead and gone now, or on their way to being dead and gone. And once someone’s dead, they can’t do anything for you.
Jesus is alive, and is seated at the right hand of the Father, interceding for me. And when my time comes, he will come and take me to be with him forever. He has promised, and he can deliver – because he is alive.
If you don’t have that hope yet, take him up on his offer and you too can have the 100% assurance of your sins forgiven by God – and then you get to start relating to God even now as your loving Father, instead of shaking in fear because of your guilt. (Or instead of shaking in rage because you’re rebelling against him. It really is so pointless, rebelling against the One who rules over the universe and who could snuff your life out any second – especially considering that he doesn’t want you to suffer the consequences of your rebellion! He loves us and sacrificed his only begotten Son so that we could go free!)