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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.

 


He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. 1 Peter 2:24

Normally we think of  healing in a positive sense. Healing removes pain and makes us healthy. But for any of us who have ever had surgery we know that sometimes pain is required in order for us to be healthy. It isn’t fun to go through the pain, but we have to do it in order for us to be able to function.

Just as pain is sometimes is necessary for healing in the physical realm, so it is in the spiritual realm. The reality is, the only way to receive spiritual healing is death. In the garden of Eden, when Adam and Eve broke the relationship with God through their sin, He killed a calf, offered a sacrifice and clothed them with the skin of the animal. From that point on Adam and Eve had a renewed relationship with God.

The problem was they still suffered the consequence of their sin. The relationship with God was never the same for Adam and Eve, or their descendants. From that point on sacrifices had to be made for the sins mankind committed. Every sacrifice meant the death of an animal. But those sacrifices were temporary and had to be repeated time after time in order for mankind to enjoy relationship with God.

When Jesus came, all that changed. The poor choices and sins of mankind still plagued the human race. The difference is that One person offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for ALL of the sins of mankind. The sin I bear is like a cancerous tumor. It’s a fatal disease with no cure. There is no hope for cure except for my death.

But Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead paid the debt for our sin. His wounds heal us from the fatal spiritual disease that threatens to keep us from heaven and fellowship with God. We have a new, healthy spiritual life because of what Jesus did for us on the cross.

Now, imagine that you have suffered from some terrible disease that kept you in a wheelchair. One day a cure was found for your disease and you were free to walk about as normal people. You could run, jump, swim and play just as you’d always hoped you could do. Would  you stay in the wheelchair? Of course not! Because of the healing you no longer need it. You are free. You can throw that wheelchair away and never ever think about it again.

In the same way, in the spiritual realm, we are healed. We don’t need to carry the burden of our past with us. Others may say, “Hey, shouldn’t you be in a wheelchair?” But we can say with confidence. NO! I’m free now. None of the things of my past matter. I’ve been healed because of Jesus.

Live life free of your past. Don’t allow the disease of sin to keep you captive any longer. Jesus suffered death so you could have full, abundant life. He sent His Holy Spirit to empower you to live above the effects of the deadly disease of sin.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father. I thank you for the healing and freedom I have in Jesus. I’m forgiven because of His death. He has healed me of my sin. Empower me now to live with the power I have through the Holy Spirit so sin will no longer have dominion in my life. I pray this in Jesus name, Amen.

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