Today, on Good Friday, Christians around the world celebrate the event that changed everything. It was a moment in time that demonstrated the greatest act of love that mankind will ever know. It was a moment filled with terror, excruciating pain, and the ultimate act of forgiveness that resulted in what we now experience as amazing joy and peace.
In those final hours, Jesus Christ endured rejection from people who just days before had sung his praises. He experienced lashings, a thorn crown, people spitting and jeering at him, and endured a horrific death. Why?
Because He loves us.
As I [Ginny] reflect on what He has done for us, my heart divides in so many different directions. While I want to thank him and sing praises to him, I can't help but think about the reason He had to die - to take the punishment for my sins - your sins - mankind's sins. Every sin we commit was laid on him that day. While outwardly, those who witnessed his death saw him struggle for breath, bleed from his hands, feet, side, and head, and cry out his final words, so much more was happening that day. He was also taking on the weight of our sins because of his deep love for us.
But today should not be just a day of reflection - it should be a day when we ask ourselves the question, "Now what?"
How should we respond to this act of love? Let's look to Scripture:
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." - John 3:!6
The first thing we must do in response is to BELIEVE. Believe the Word of God. Believe that you do not have to pay the cost of your sins if you just trust with all your heart that Christ indeed DID die for you and took the punishment for you. God wants you to have Eternal life. He wants it so badly that He sent His SON to die for you. No matter what you have done. No matter what others think about you. He loves you. He wants you to live with Him forever in Heaven. All you have to do is believe.
By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. - 1 John 2:5b-6
When we truly believe, our hearts begin to change. Because we are human, we will still sin, but as we grow in our relationship with Christ, we can't help but act more like Him. We must SEEK his will and ACT on that. If you truly believe that Christ died for you, you can't help but want to serve Him. While we are not saved by works, works are a sign of our salvation. Let me be clear - PERFECTION is not a sign of salvation, but a heart yearning to be more like Christ and that seeks this incredible being that DIED for us is.
If someone saved you from a burning building that was seconds from collapsing in on you, wouldn't you want to do everything in your power to thank them and let everyone know about what they have done? In the same way, Christ saved us from eternal damnation. He pulled us from that and all we have to do is stop fighting him and trust Him to carry us away from that. And because we do, we will want the world to know about Him and to experience the same saving grace we experienced.
What are you doing today to respond to Christ's incredible act of love? If you haven't experienced His grace and asked Him in your heart, let today be the day. If you HAVE allowed Him to give you this eternal gift, are you sharing that with others? Are you seeking each day to grow closer to Him? Are you examining your life to see if there are things keeping others from seeing His act of salvation through you?
Today, let us reflect not just on what Christ has done for us, but how we are responding to the cross.