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For and Because

We went to a fantastic Good Friday service yesterday at Harvest Bible Chapel.

The whole point of the music, skits, and pictures was to remind us that we were at the crucifixion. You were there. I was there.

We put Jesus on the cross.

Jesus not only died for us. He died because of us. 

Let that sink in. 

What great, unfathomable, undeserved love He lavishes on us.

As one of the songs said yesterday, “You [Jesus] didn’t deserve this. I couldn’t have earned it.”

How true that is.

My parents and I were discussing which of Jesus’ 7 last phrases before He died means the most to us. Those 7 phrases are: 

Luke 23:34– “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.

Luke 23:43– “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.

John 19:26-27– He said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son! Then He said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!

Matthew 27:46– And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lemma sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?

John 19:28– After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.

John 19:30– …he said, It is finished,” and He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

Luke 23:46– “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!

The most meaningful to me is the 4th one– “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?”

It gives me chills, it brings tears to my eyes…the SON of God had to ask that question.

And because He asked that question, I will never need to.

In that moment, God turned away from Jesus–because of MY sin.

When Jesus took my sin and asked that question, He effectively removed that question from my vocabulary. 

I never have to ask that question of God.

So that, dear friends, is God’s grace in my life not only today but every single day:

As an adopted daughter, redeemed by the blood of Jesus and restored by the love/mercy/grace of God, I will never be forsaken. I will never have to face even a millisecond of my life without Him. 

Jesus, thank You.

As always–if you don’t know Jesus, PLEASE don’t waste any more time without Him. Whether you believe it or not, your sin nailed Jesus on the cross, just like my sin did. He died for us and because of us. Don’t let this moment pass you by without grappling with that fact. Think about that–the Son of God died for you. That fact hit me again last night as I watched an intense representation of Jesus’ arm being nailed to the cross. I just kept thinking, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m so so sorry. I did this to you.” We have to get to that point of utter anguish at what our sin caused Jesus to suffer…only then can we understand the glory of the gospel. No other religion, no other “path” is as remarkable or shocking as the truth:

For God (the greatest lover) so loved (the greatest degree) the world (greatest company), that He gave (the greatest act) His only Son (the greatest gift), that whoever (the greatest opportunity) believes (the greatest simplicity) in Him (the greatest attraction) should not perish (the greatest promise) but (the greatest attraction) have (the greatest certainty) eternal life (the greatest possession).”

-John 3:16, parenthetical commentary by Chuck Swindoll

Don’t let this moment pass you by. 

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me or contact a local church:

NWI area: Bethel Church (bethelweb.org) or Mercy Hill (mercyhill.cc)

Chicago area: Harvest Bible Chapel (harvestbiblechapel.org)

Indy area: College Park Church (yourchurch.com) or Harvest North Indy (harvestnorthindy.org) 

And if you’re not from any of those areas, I’m sure you will still find a great church by you.

Either way, get a Bible (you can even read it online at biblegateway.com) and investigate the gospel of Jesus Christ for yourself. 

Don’t let this moment pass you by. Whoever you are, whatever you’re doing, whatever you’ve done, whatever you will do: Jesus died for YOU. Come to Him as you are. (And come SOON so you can celebrate the joy of Easter with us tomorrow and every single day! Jesus is ALIVE!)

Beneath the cross of Jesus

I find a place to stand,

And wonder at such mercy

That calls me as I am;

For hands that should discard me

Hold wounds which tell me, “Come.”

Beneath the cross of Jesus

My unworthy soul is won. 

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