Jesus lived and died for me

slater-troy-religion-hdr-kBy Troy Slater/Pastor Faith Lutheran Church

The Christian church is often criticized as being a rather condemning and hypocritical entity that is just trying to force its views upon other people or that uses religion to push a political agenda. You’ll see that criticism by some in the media, by a great many on internet message boards, and in conversations by a growing number of people who are opposed to being associated with a Christian group of any kind.

And truth be told, I believe that some of that criticism is well founded, as many in the church seem to think that God saves the world through politics and laws. Making our country more “moral” through legislation or getting the right politicians elected is what will advance Christ’s kingdom, or so they say.

And while I won’t argue with the fact that Christians do have just as much right and responsibility as anyone to be active in the political processes of our country, and while Christians dare not shrink away from calling sin a sin (in love, however), or standing up against the many injustices going on in the world, none of that gets at the heart of the Christian faith.

Jesus, the one whom Christians worship and follow, did not come in order to establish an earthly kingdom or to give yet another set of laws, which we would only break anyway. Nor did He even come to condemn. Rather, Jesus, the only-begotten and eternal Son of God, came to save. He came to live. He came to suffer. He came to die for sinners and to call those sinners to repentance and faith in Him. Jesus Himself said, “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:32) And, “God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” (John 3:17) And as a sinner, I thank God for that fact every day. I thank God for His undeserved love to me in Jesus – the Son of God from eternity who took on human flesh in order to save sinners.

Probably my favorite hymn of the Christian faith is one by the name of “Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness.”

As a Christian pastor and as a fellow sinner, I would like to share with you a verse of that hymn which summarizes so well the hope that is at the heart of the Christian faith and what Jesus is all about. It says, “When from the dust of death I rise, to claim my mansion in the skies; this then shall be my only plea: Jesus has lived and died for me.”

That’s what it’s about. That’s what the Christian faith is all about. Jesus lived that life that I cannot live. Jesus died the death that I deserve. By His blood shed on Calvary’s cross, Jesus has won heaven for me, even though I may rest in my grave. That’s what it’s about. And you know what the really great news in all of this is? Jesus lived and died for you as well.

Have a blessed day!

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