Sunday, April 5, 2015

His Choice

And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.       Matthew 27:50  NKJV

This week as I read once again the story of the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, my thoughts were drawn to the word “yielded”.  When I looked it up in the Greek, I was surprised to find the definition of its meaning and usage was a little longer than most.  As I read the many different ways it has been used in scripture, I was struck with the thought that in all of the cases, implied but not stated was the fact that it was a “choice” which could have, or not have been made.  As I thought about that, I could not help but think about the fact that even on the cross, Jesus knew me and all of my faults and sins and still made the choice to die for me.

Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men. But the angel answered and said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you." So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word. And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, "Rejoice!" So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. Matthew 28:1-9 NKJV

Rejoice indeed. The Greek word for rejoice also means “be glad”.  I wonder if, at that moment in time, the disciples understood exactly all that they had to be glad about?  Of course they were glad that Jesus was alive, but did they understand that exactly what it meant to them as well as the rest of us?  Because of the resurrection, we all have the opportunity to share in His power over death. It is the gift of grace, freely given to anyone who chooses to believe. Have you ever considered the fact that as a believer in Christ, you are immortal? Death has no hold over us for we have the promise of eternal life, and to prove it, Jesus rose from the dead to show us He alone has the power.

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. "And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"
John 11:25-26 NKJV

Do you believe?  This is the most important question that anyone will ever be asked.  If you can answer yes, your place in eternity in the presence of our Lord and Savior is guaranteed.   We can know this because God has promised us that all who believe will have eternal life.  It’s been said that grace is getting what we do not deserve, and mercy is not getting what we do deserve.  That truly defines what Jesus did for us on the cross by dying in our place (what we deserve) and rising from the grave so we might live (what we don’t deserve).  Nothing we do in this life could be enough to earn that salvation but God offers it to us free of charge because He loved us enough to choose to send His Son to die in our place.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16 NKJV

And it shall come to pass [That] whoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be saved.' Acts 2:21 NKJV

And he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" So they said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household." Acts 16:30-31 NKJV

I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. John 10:9 NKJV

God made the choice to save us, but it is up to us to make the choice to accept it. My prayer for you today is that if you have never made the decision to believe that Jesus Christ died and rose again for you, you would choose to do it right now. Invite Jesus to come into your life and forgive your sins, and begin to experience the joy that comes from having a relationship with a living God, and the knowledge that He has promised us eternal life with Him in Heaven if we only believe.
  Pray this prayer and accept the gift of eternal life God has offered you by the death and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ.

Dear Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner. I believe You died for my sins. Right now, I turn from my sins and open the door of my heart and life. I confess You as my personal Lord and Savior. Thank You for saving me. Amen.

He lives!