Why Jesus?

“I understand God. And I have some idea what the Holy Spirit is about, but what has Jesus got to do with anything? He loves me “this I know” – we used to sing a song about that. But today, what difference does he make? You know, a little baby born in a manger at Christmas – right?”

If you see yourself anywhere in what you just read, please keep reading.

 

That little baby grew up and, at about age 32, was killed this week for you and me. By this week I mean Easter. The world we now live in wants to tell you it’s “spring break” or “spring holiday” – they don’t even want to call it Easter anymore. But I want you to know the truth. I want you to know that Christians celebrate the life, death, and resurrection of a man named Jesus this week. I want you to know why we celebrate, and what a difference He makes! This is important.

 

The world you and I live in is broken – It’s not what God intended it to be when He created it. Our world is polluted with sin. God can’t stand sin because He is Holy, yet He loves us and wants us to share eternity with Him, forever. There is nothing we can compare eternity to. Our lives will come to an end and then…eternity. Eternity with God is called Heaven and eternity without God is called Hell. We get caught up in the stress and excitement of our day to day lives in this world, but believe me, it is coming to an end for each one of us. Then comes eternity – there is no third option; the choices are Heaven or Hell. That little baby born at Christmas and dying this week makes ALL the difference.

 

Why? Because God can’t stand and won’t allow sin or sinners in Heaven. You and I are tainted with sin because we were born into a sin-filled world. “But I want to go to Heaven. I don’t want to go to Hell.” I cried about this a lot when I was a kid. I didn’t want to die ‘because that meant I might go to Hell’. How am I supposed to deal with the sin that is a part of me? I mean, I didn’t choose it – not in the beginning anyway. Maybe I chose some little sins along the way, but for the most part I tried to be good and ‘make the world a better place’. “Anyway, I don’t sin like some of my friends.” These are empty excuses. But God has made a way to deal with our sin.

 

I want to go to Heaven, but if sin is a part of me and God will have nothing to do with sin, how do I get rid of it? The answer to that question is Jesus. The only way to be acceptable to God in Heaven is to accept Jesus as Savior and Lord of your life. You do that and God will accept you. Why? When Jesus dies at the end of this week, it is because He was a willing and perfect sacrifice for all the sin inside of us. His death was the perfect atonement for your sins, and the sins of the world. He took them all to the cross. For that atonement to apply to you, you have to receive Jesus as your Savior. You have to understand and acknowledge that Jesus was the only man that ever lived a sinless life. You have to accept that His death is the one-time, all-sufficient sacrifice for your sin, my sin, and all sin. When we understand these truths, we also accept Jesus as Lord of our life for whatever time we have left in this world. That means we change. We do life differently, we do marriage differently, and people become more important to you than things.

 

 

That is the difference Jesus made. It’s why He came as a little baby and lived on earth with us, experiencing the same temptations that test us. Through his teachings, healing, and actions He showed us firsthand God’s love for mankind. By allowing His own cruel death, in the prime of life, He showed His love for you and me: That even though we are sinners, He would die for us. He was the final, once-for-all sacrifice. Jesus is God’s plan for our salvation and righteousness. There is no other way. You can’t be “good enough.” By His resurrection we know He is alive, He is with us. By this we also know our death is not the “end”; eternity is real and it is coming.

 

As Christians, we realize the standard for “being good” is holiness. It doesn’t matter if we are “better” than those around us – that won’t get us to Heaven. The goal is holiness, and Jesus set the standard. Comparing yourself or your behavior to those around you will lead you nowhere. It is a worldly ploy to fool you into thinking “I’m okay.” Prayer, reading the Bible, hanging out with other Christians, Church, Bible study, Christian music, Christian marriage retreats, etc., alongside studying who Jesus is and what He is about are godly ways to grow in faith and understanding of our Lord. We don’t get there immediately – It’s a process. Praise God for His grace that allows us to fail as we grow stronger in our walk with Jesus. God knows we are sinners in a broken world, and He does not require perfection. God wants our hearts to change from a worldly attitude to a sincere love for Jesus, His Word, and His Ways.

 

When all this sinks in and changes your heart, when you receive the forgiveness for your sins that Jesus offers, when you realize your eternity will be with God in heaven, when you realize Jesus is with you today and wants you to trust Him and not yourself – THEN you will do life differently. You will forgive your spouse. You will minimize yourself and take genuine interest in others. You will want to know what God’s plans are for the rest of your life. “Why did He put me here?” “How do I love others as He has loved me?” “How do I do marriage God’s way?” Instead of following your rules or your spouse’s rules for relationships, why not learn and follow what the Bible says?

 

That is why Christians celebrate Easter. Jesus’ birth, life, death, and resurrection are all about my life today and my eternity tomorrow. Abundant life today and eternity in heaven with God IS something to celebrate!