Today marks the most crucial date in the history of mankind. Hate him or love him, there is no middle ground. He’s either incited millions to mindless hatred or shown how love can transform lives to better the world. Everyone must make this decision for themselves. A lunatic or a savior. Who do you say that Jesus is?
In light of today’s economic news, worldwide natural disasters, human trafficking, and corporate greed…there is so much bad news going on. Countless broken families because of infidelity, ravaged by selfishness and hate. As the life pace quickens with each passing day, we find our longing for peace drowned out by the harsh realities of the world.
But maybe it isn’t meant to be this way.
Maybe there’s more to life than what I want and me going out to get mine. Perhaps life isn’t meant to be lived in solitude, me against the world. Maybe my self worth isn’t in what I have or what I’ve done. I sure hope it isn’t…cause I haven’t done much good but I’ve sure done my share of harm.
A friend of mine came in from out of town this weekend and we had the opportunity to hang out. It was significant because in high school I made life extremely hard for her. Looking back it wasn’t an isolated case, i wasn’t a very nice person to be around. High school and college were tough enough to just get through, let alone having a douche like me making life more difficult.
for a long time I felt the burden of guilt. i tried to claw myself back to good standing. i wanted to pay for my actions, it’s the only way that felt fair. if i helped enough people, it should offset the damage of my previous actions right? every step i made moving forward i found myself slipping and sliding two feet back. i tried so hard to be a good person. i tried to serve the homeless, i tried to help the needy, and it felt good…but inside it didn’t alleviate the guilt. I had built a prison out of guilt and each time i messed up I fortified the walls with another 6 inch metal sheet. there was no getting out.
life began feeling like sitting at a blackjack table and playing with everything i had but not knowing how to play. at first i was even with the bank but at some point i started losing and even though i got lucky on a few hands, hit black jack on other hands, I was steadily losing and seeping into the red. Another big loss and I’d be wiped clean. Once you’re in the red, is there even a point in playing? I just end up losing more to the house…
in my time of most need was when i realized a need for a savior. Some say religion is for the weak. That’s probably true. except in this case i think the full truth is “Jesus is for all who are weak”.
For all who are sick and weary. For those without hope of a better day, for those enslaved by physical or psychological barriers…there is hope. There is hope because a man who claimed to be God said that he came into this world not to condemn but to save it. He came for me and you. He came to save us from this life of imprisonment.
And if there is doubt to his claim we need to look at an impossible event that occurred nearly 2000 years ago when he rose from the dead, as he said he would. Because if that claim is true, then his other claims may be true too. If there is a creator of the universe out there who created me and intimately knows me. If He knows how high i can jump, how fast i can run, and how many hairs are on my head…it’s completely possible that He knows how life should be lived.
And if that’s true, then his claim that we are freed to love is true too. Freed of fear and of condemnation, I have every opportunity to live life as He intended. Because left up to my own methods, I think i’m screwed. I can keep trying to live a better life, but in the end I don’t think that’ll be enough. Maybe for someone else? Maybe if I had $28 mil to donate to a charity…but if that’s the standard of morality, i think we’re all screwed. at least we’ll be screwed together.
all i know is i sat and played and i’ve had missteps in life that I know I can’t repay. I cried out and I believe that Jesus came, settled my debt, and freed me from my payment. For that I’m forever grateful and I dedicate my life to Him.
but all of this hinges on one essential point. was Jesus who he said he was? and that, my friends, is why easter is the most crucial day in history.
Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress…”