If we read through the first chapter of John we’ll discover it’s the only Gospel that speaks of Jesus Christ’s eternal existence rather than just the time He spent on earth. This verse especially can be difficult to comprehend…for it tells us that the majesty and power behind all things came to earth… willingly becoming a man of flesh and blood … taking on human nature…thus subject to all human feelings, emotions, suffering and mortality. God the Father sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to redeem mankind from the bondage of sin and death…to take our place and thus bridge the gap between a holy God and a sinful world. And it is only through Him that we can have eternal life, for Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Think back a moment to your “BC” days. (Before Christ) Maybe you had heard about Jesus, but He was far from what you wanted in your life back then. You were content to be in charge…doing things your own way. But in your rebellion you were also alienated from God…spiritually dead and blithely headed to Hell. It was while you were still estranged from God that He reconciled you to Himself through Christ. (II Corinthians 5:18-19) It was while you were still in rebellion that Jesus redeemed you… taking on Himself your sins that you may have a right relationship with God…and eternal life. The bottom line is…long before you were thinking about God…He was thinking about you.
In Luke 11:1 it tells us that the disciples came to Jesus and asked Him to teach them how to pray. This verse is the start then of what we call The Lord’s Prayer….undoubtedly the most perfect prayer we could ever utter. The prayer starts off by firmly placing the focus God, our heavenly Father. Jeremiah 3:19 tells us that God wants us to call Him Father, but not like any earthly father…for we are to revere His authority and divinity in light of redemption.
We were all once, “…without hope and without God in the world.” We were separated from Him by a chasm so deep and wide… there was no way of getting across by ourselves. In this bleak darkness our desperation grew, and we felt the hopelessness of being abandoned. But God then provided the bridge across that vast chasm…it was in the shape of a Cross. The gracious gift of redemption and reconciliation was bound to this Cross as the blood of our Savior, Jesus Christ, ran down it. Yes, we were all once hopeless and cut off from God…but then God built a bridge for us…in the shape of a Cross.
You have been redeemed! Your debt of sin has been cleared off the books forever…your freedom purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ. But Jesus didn’t have to die over and over a multitude of times to atone for your sins… rather, He came and gave His life once for all in order that you may have eternal life. Yes, you have been redeemed!
So many times our humanness gets in the way of a right relationship with the Lord. In a twisted form of arrogance, we place our wretched past up on a pedestal and proclaim it to be “too terrible” for the Lord to forgive. Yes, your past may be riddled with bad choices…but nothing God hasn’t forgiven beforehand. Murder, adultery, rape…the list goes on in the Bible of deplorable actions done by people in difficult situations. But when they took responsibility for their sins and asked forgiveness…God forgave them. For there’s nothing so serious, so vile, that God’s redemptive power can’t forgive.
It is simply by God’s unearned and unmerited favor that we have the chance to be saved. It’s by His absolute free expression of His loving kindness towards us that we may come into a right relationship with Him through His Son Jesus Christ. This divine gift…the gift of eternal life is not to be taken lightly, or with a casualness that doesn’t fully take into account the terrible price Jesus Christ paid for our freedom. The gift of salvation can not be bought with a price…for what Jesus did for mankind was priceless.