Beloved, Do you realize how personal Jesus has established His relationship with you? Is it clear to you how much He truly loves you?
Today is Good Friday, the day that Jesus was crucified. It marks the darkest day in the Christian Calendar. It is a day of sorrow. Soon, it will be transformed into a day of gladness and rejoicing in the knowledge of His miraculous resurrection, on Easter Sunday. The Passion Play, Jesus’ tribulation, death, and resurrection, is the quintessential act of love for all humankind. He took our sin upon himself to open the spiritual pathway to eternal life with the Father. It was completed to benefit all who receive Him as Lord and Savior, and even offered to the ungodly who discredit or loath Him still to this day. I heard Billy Graham once say, “Jesus loves you and there is nothing you can do about it!”
Jesus’ wants an intimate and genuine relationship with you.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.Romans 5:8-9 NKJV
Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.Romans 5:5 NKJV
How fortunate we are to be loved and known by our Lord. Not only is He willing to suffer an excruciating death for our sake, but He shares His very essence by the indwelling Holy Spirit awarded us. Do you recognize the awesome power we have been given? We share His Spirit within us. It is a profound connection. What more could anyone ask for in any relationship, than to receive unconditional love, authority, and protective power? Yet, so many discredit God’s truth by adding their own passive human twist to such a profound personal connection when they suggest there are many ways to heaven than through Jesus.
I have heard it said, “To believe that there are many ways to heaven, is to declare Jesus a liar!” Think about that for a moment. Are you prepared to make that claim? Recognize that you do just that when you claim there are other ways to heaven. For Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6 NIV) Narrow is the way and only a few find it (ref.: Matthew 7: 13-14). Therefore, one would either be blind, a hypocrite or a fool to disregard Jesus’ own words. To do so would dishonor Him and your relationship to Him. Don’t fool yourself by reducing the amazing gift of salvation from our Lord by claiming there is any other way to eternal life in Heaven, but through Him.
Knowing what I know from various other religions (including the Koran), historical documents and from other cultures touched by the life of Jesus, it is clear that Jesus existed and was revered as an extraordinary Spiritual Teacher – A Holy Man – A Wiseman – A Healer – A performer of Miracles. Followers of Christ know this to be true in addition to the most important fact that He is who he says he is – The Messiah – The Son of God. His word is truth.
The relationship Jesus offers us is genuine and sincere. The Lord shares his sorrow, his glory, and his power. Let that sink in the next time you allow yourself to feel discouraged by your beliefs or when you want to wallow in self-pity. When you do, you discredit our Lord and Savior who is always present and who genuinely cares about you. In relationship with Jesus Christ, we have everything we need to feel complete. You are a child of the most high! You have His sincerity, His embrace, His promise, His hope, His salvation, His compassion, His listening ear, His love and His shared authority to defeat the enemy. All He asks in return is that you call on him and believe in Him and His word.
But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more,Romans 5:20 NKJV
My suggestion, ask Him into your heart and praise Him for the amazing gift of relationship. If you are feeling discouraged, stop dwelling on your sad sorry circumstance, doubts, worries or things that make you feel stressful. Stop taking away from God’s truth by allowing the influences of this dark world to confuse you. Instead, push them aside and embrace the fullness of the Lord Jesus in your life. Reflect on what He has done for you and His promise to never leave you nor forsake you. Lift your hands in praise and thank Him for the gift of His presence, His leading in your life, and most of all his intimate friendship. Thank Him for His love, that is a gift to treasure all the days of your life. When you do, your outlook becomes surprisingly more peaceful and upbeat. Then you’ll be well-equipped to stand strong with Him and honor Him with your loyalty, your gratitude, and your faith even on a day like today.
There are no words of gratitude that suffice for your amazing sacrifice and gift of friendship. Our human mind may never truly comprehend it and our appreciation pales in comparison. But, you did it for us, Lord. You gave us eternity. You gave us life everlasting. You awarded us peace that passes all understanding. You gave us a way to have an intimate relationship with you. We pray we hear you in our hearts and through our prayers. Guide us Lord in all ways. We humbly ask you make yourself know to us and show us the way. Help us honor your sacrifice by surrendering every aspect of our lives at the foot of the cross. In complete surrender there is freedom. Thank you Jesus. May your name be praised forever and ever. Amen.