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For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. 1 Peter 3:18

The Leper probably thought Jesus came to heal for, as a result of Jesus’ touch he was not only physically healed but he was able to go home to family and friends.

The woman caught in adultery probably thought Jesus came to forgive those, like her, who had failed miserably in life and found themselves in a place they never thought they’d be.

To the parents who were forced to interrupt the funeral of their little child, he no doubt came to raise the dead and restore hope to families who have suffered the loss of a child.

To those who were in bondage to a ruthless religion set on performance and rules, it must have seemed like he came to rescue them from the irrelevant and oppressive system of guilt, shame and fear.

Obviously in one sense all those people and thousands more had good reason to think that. Their hope was restored. Their emotions were healed. Their bodies, once racked with pain were healed. But, that’s not why Jesus came. Jesus Christ came for one purpose and one purpose only. Oh, sure, he gave us a glimpse of what God was like. He showed us the power of a loving Father and the emptiness of religion gone irrelevant. But Jesus came to die. That was his sole purpose in coming.

The manger. The teachings. The miracles. All valuable lessons. But if he hadn’t died for our sins all of that would have been wasted. If he hadn’t risen from the dead, none of us would have the hope of eternity with him waiting for us.

Now, you say, there are many people who have died for a cause. It’s being done on a daily basis. Many who give their lives to rescue others and help others ‘in the line of duty. You’d be right of course. But all of those people who die for a cause are still dead.

Jesus separates himself from them for two major reasons. One he was without sin himself. Jesus Christ, the son of the living God was completely innocent of any wrong doing. Secondly, unlike the others, Jesus lives! He defeated death so that you can have eternal life with him.

That’s grace! There is nothing you can do to earn it. Nothing you can do to keep it. All he asks in return is that you love him and show him that love by living for him. Jesus’ only reason for living was to die so that my only reason for living is to live for him.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, Thank you for the examples you gave here on earth of love, healing, mercy and compassion. I praise you for your willingness to die for me even though, in my rebellion, I continue to do things I know I shouldn’t do. Empower me with your Holy Spirit to show you my love by living a life set-apart from the fickle morals of our society. In your precious and holy name, Amen.

 

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