For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:16-17
Jesus left heaven, all the comfort, all the glory, all the honor, all the respect that He deserved, and became One of us. He had to be One of us; otherwise, He couldn't pay our ransom price.
Jesus became One of us. From cradle to cross, to grave, to resurrection, and beyond, Jesus did everything right. He fulfilled every law we had broken. That's major. He resisted every temptation to which we have consented. That's just as essential.
With stories and parables, He told people how they ought to live, and what ought to be important and of high priority. He got close to those who were alone, and He reached out to those who were untouchable. He healed those who were hurting. He cared. He showed us just how much God cared about us.
Now, for having done all this, you might think people would applaud and appreciate Him.
They didn't. They hit and hurt Him. They lied about Him, laughed at, and leered at Him. They struck Him and spit at Him and scourged Him. They condemned Him, and they crucified Him.
Jesus knew that would happen. He knew it had to happen that way. Before He had ever been born, God's holy writers had said His life would play out this way. He could have escaped; He chose not to. Instead, He took your sins, my sins, all sins with Him to the cross. There, as He hung on nails, suspended between heaven and earth, He erased every wrong and evil that we have ever committed.
On the cross Jesus wiped out every transgression we have ever contemplated, considered or done.
Jesus died for you. You didn't deserve it. You didn't earn it. Then, when Jesus came back to life, three days after He had been murdered, He showed to all the world that God had accepted His sacrifice. That is why all who by the Holy Spirit's power are brought to faith can say, "Jesus, my Savior, be merciful to me a sinner" -- and can be sure He is.
Faith that Christ has been your Substitute means that because your sin is gone, your worries, your weariness can also disappear.
Years ago I read about a lady who lived alone. Partly crippled, she relied upon the good will and help of her neighbors. Although she had little to record, each day she kept a diary. Eventually, she died. It took a number of days before anyone noticed. When the police looked through her diary, they found, not surprisingly, little of interest. Near the end of her life, as one day followed another, she wrote only three, pitiful words on each page. She wrote, "No one came."
Today I want you to know that Someone has come to save you. I want you to know that same Someone has invited you to come to Him.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, there are no words which can properly convey my gratitude for Your love and the Savior's sacrifice. May I be ever mindful that my salvation begins -- and will always continue -- because You have reached out to save me. This I ask in Jesus. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries