I’ve been reading a book written by Vishal Mangalwadi that explains how the Bible has changed the way the western world looks at things like rationality, technology, true wealth, family, and heroism. If you like to think philosophically, I highly recommend reading this book.
In one chapter, Mangalwadi explains how Jesus was so unlike what people viewed as what the Messiah should be like because His message to the world was the opposite of the triumphant conqueror and leader they were expecting. Instead His message was one of love. He exemplified this love through self-sacrificing service. Remember when He humbled himself by taking a basin of water and a servant’s towel, and He washed the disciples’ feet? Jesus is the King of kings and Lord of lords. All power in heaven and on earth is His. But, when He came to earth, He did so not to be served, but to serve others. He did not come to kill, but to give to us the free gift of eternal life.
Mangalwadi goes on to point out that the apostle Paul was determined to preach the cross of Christ even though that was not what people expected. Paul wanted people to hear the Good News that it was Christ’s victory over death and fear that provided for man the only means of salvation. We can see today how the cross became the symbol of the Christian faith. Mangalwadi said, “following the New Testament’s emphasis on the cross, the preachers preached about the cross, the painters painted it, the poets wrote poems about it, and the singers sang about the glories of the ‘old rugged cross.’”
As we head into the week leading from Palm Sunday to Good Friday, and ultimately to Easter Sunday, I remind you that it was because of Jesus Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross and His victory over death that we have obtained eternal life. Please take time this week to truly focus on what this means. (Read Luke chapters 22-24.) God created man in His image, but man sinned and was separated from Him. Because God is perfect, there was no way for sinful man to have a relationship with Him. So He sent His one and only, perfect Son Jesus Christ to earth to pay the penalty of man’s sin by dying on the cross. Through this ultimate sacrifice, we have been given the forgiveness of sin and restoration of our relationship with the Almighty God. It is only by God’s grace and nothing that we have done to deserve it that we are saved from God’s wrath and eternal separation from Him. By acknowledging our sin and accepting this free gift, we now have the assurance of salvation and of spending eternity with God.
Please celebrate with me the joy that our sins have been forgiven and that Christ did not remain dead in the tomb. We serve a risen Savior!
- Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
- Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
- Ephesians 2:8-9 – For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.
- I John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
- John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.
- Romans 10:9 – If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Because of His Faithfulness,
Sharon Brobst, Ed.D.