As many of you know, yesterday was Good Friday. For myself and other Christians, Good Friday and Easter are the keystones to our faith in God. Jesus Christ gave up His life for the sins of humanity. He died a gruesome and traumatic death, just so that His children would love and follow Him. Think about it, would you ever die for someone? A loved one, maybe. But what about a prisoner? A murderer? Would you give up your life for them? It's so easy to ignore and forget about the truth of the cross. Yeah, yeah, we've all heard the stories about Jesus and we've all sung "Jesus Loves Me" in kindergarten, but when it comes to actually grasping the truth and the love of Jesus Christ, I think we've all fallen short. The truth of the matter is that God loved His children enough to send His only Son, Jesus, to die for the sins of humanity. Jesus was tortured and crucified on a cross, forced to suffocate until He died. Bill Lobbs said it best:
"Does God really love us? I say look to the crucified Jesus. Look to the old rugged cross. By every thorn that punctured His brow. By every mark of the back lacerating scourge. By every hair of his beard plucked from his cheeks by cruel fingers. By every bruise which heavy fists made upon His head. God said, "I love you!" By all the spit that landed on his face. By every drop of sinless blood that fell to the ground. By every breath of pain which Jesus drew upon the cross. By every beat of His loving heart. God said, I love you."
In case reading isn't the best way to understand God's sacrifice, then here's an illustration that I find is extremely powerful and true:
Yes, the story of Jesus is extremely powerful and His death was awful and devastating, but the story isn't over. He didn't die and remain dead. That's the difference between my Jesus and the rest of the religions in the world. He rose again. On Easter Sunday, Jesus was alive. He conquered death and set us free from the strongholds of Satan. We no longer are separated from God anymore. If we simply believe that Jesus is the Son of God and we accept Him into our hearts, we will go to Heaven with Him for the rest of eternity. I don't want to seem like I am preaching to all of you, but I just feel like this is a topic that is so important, that everyone needs to hear it. Don't think that Jesus is a religion, because He isn't. Jesus is the complete opposite of religion. He doesn't want you to only follow rules and be afraid of Him. He just wants you to love Him as He has always loved you.