God directs all of history towards His predetermined ends. God also powerfully superintends even the rebellious actions of free creatures. On the day that Adam and Eve seemingly wrecked the future of the human race, God made a promise. One day, at the proper time, He would send an “offspring”, a child, of a woman, who would crush the plans of the deceiver, whom we call Satan, and who would redeem the human race from the just and righteous consequences of sin. When the prophets began recording the words that God was revealing to them by His Holy Spirit to write down as Scripture, over a period of 1,600 years, writing in three different languages, some 40 different authors, prophesied about this coming child.
We learn His lineage through Abraham, through his great-grandson Judah, through his descendant David, to a young virgin named Mary. Every detail of this child’s life was foretold. Also foretold was the purpose for His coming. He would bear the sins of His people, he would be killed for their sins even though he was righteous and sinless. The prophets foretold that this child would reign as place of God almighty, with a kingdom that never ended.
The New Testament reveals the identity of this real, historical human being. His name is Jesus. His name when translated literally means “savior.” In his life, Jesus was perfectly obedient to His God the Father. He was led in everything he did, even to his death, by God the Holy Spirit. In Jesus, the triune God is revealed. He never sinned, even though he was tempted in every way a human being can be tempted. As a human being, he stood in the place of every other person who has ever lived. Yet, as God, He held the power and authority to forgive sin and defeat death.
Jesus was put to death by the Roman and Jewish authorities who feared his power and influence, but what they intended for evil, God intended for good. Because of humanities sin, God poured out his righteous fury against sin upon Jesus. He made atonement. He was a willing sacrifice, upon whom sins are placed, and by whose blood sins are forgiven. In this act, the wrath of God against sin was appeased for all those who would repent and believe.
Three days after dying, Jesus was physically resurrected. His body was transformed into a glorious body, but it was still a physical human body. As a man, he became the first of all humanity to be resurrected into glory. The promise for resurrection remains for all those who will repent and believe.
We have willfully rebelled against our Creator. We are justly under his condemnation. Jesus, however, took our sin and its righteous punishment upon Himself and conquered them through His death and resurrection. What then remains?
Will all human beings be saved from the coming judgment? Will you be spared God’s eternal wrath?
God simply asks that we repent and believe. To repent means literally to turn around. Think of a path winding through a narrow mountain pass. That path is your life. It goes somewhere. Will it lead you up the mountain? Down the mountain? Off a cliff? You can’t see clearly because on either side, before and behind are mountains and cliffs.
Contrary to popular belief, all paths do not lead to the top. When the early settlers were moving through the Great Plains, over the Rockies, the Sierra-Nevadas, to California, many paths led over the mountains. Some were longer, some shorter. Many looked for shortcuts only to be trapped for winter and die of starvation, sometimes only three days journey from their destination. Henry Hudson was abandoned by his crew along the bay that bears his name, where he then died, because he could not find a northwest passage from England to the Pacific Ocean.
Starting from yourself, going towards an unknown destination, you are likely to get lost. When that destination is eternal, ultimate, and metaphysical, how can that which is finite, limited and physical find its way? We are lost.
“Broad is the path that leads to destruction.”
The good news is that a map has to be made, and that came from God. We cannot save ourselves from certain death. But God, in His love, is powerful and mighty to save. More than that, He is willing.
Only we have to return from the man-made paths we daily tread. We have to turn around.
This means confessing our sinfulness before God and our many sins we commit daily. This also means repudiating, hating, and rejecting our sinful rebellion. This takes faith.
God is asking us to go “all-in” with our lives. We must place our full life-allegiance upon Jesus.
This means trusting that He will not punish you for your sins because you believe that God punished Jesus instead, and trusting that upon the last day, instead of being place under God’s wrathful condemnation for all eternity, through Jesus and like Jesus, God will raise you back from the dead in glory.
Will you turn away from the rebellion and trust in God’s beautiful salvation through Jesus?
You owe Him your very existence.