He was just one of the thousands who had died on a cross. One of many who said they had the answers to life’s problems and riddles.
Even so, two thousand years later, He is the most important person in millions of people’s lives.
Who was he? Or – if he he was right – who is he?
Jesus was His name. The name “Jesus” means “God will save,” and the three years of His life described in the Bible tell us that He was a man who healed the sick, performed miracles and in every way showed how good God is.
Jesus said all people have been created by the one and the same God, created in “God’s image,” and that this God had chosen to base His relationship to man on love. A love that always requires free will, the ability to say yes or no, to choose between death and life.
But man made the wrong choice. Man chose selfishness and death and turned away from God.
Jesus came, first and foremost, to show the world that God so much loved the world that He sent His own son, so that everyone who believes in Him, won’t have to perish but have eternal life. He showed there aren’t any hopeless cases for God.
However, Jesus was too provocative for His surroundings, too radical for others to be comfortable. So He was arrested and sentenced to death. But what seemed a failure to a promising career, was in fact a planned step in God’s rescue plan.
There, on a cross outside Jerusalem, Jesus took the punishment for mankind’s sins upon Himself. He took all that is dark inside of us, all that produces the evil things we say and do and separates us from the God who is altogether pure and good.
All darkness, evil, fear, hatred – yes, everything that creates the problems in our world that we desperately try to solve – He took upon Himself so that you and I wouldn’t have to carry it. No other philosopher or founder of religion has done anything like it. Only Jesus.
Three days later He rose from the dead. He conquered death and is now standing with open arms, ready to receive everyone who wants to come, everyone who wants to accept what He has already done for us all.
And people are coming. Every day tens of thousands of people all over the earth experience what it is like to be forgiven and cleansed on the inside. Experience what it is like to pray to a God who listens and answers, now that what used to lie in between Him and us – that is, sin – is gone. Experience what it is like never to be alone.
No matter how hard it is for you to believe it, He says He is interested in you. That He has a plan for your life. That He loves you more than you can ever imagine.
In His eyes you are not just a grain of sand in the great universe, not a coincidence, but a beloved son or daughter who is welcome back to Him.
“Yes, Jesus” or “No, Jesus.” You are the only one who can decide and choose for your own life. Jesus will never force you. One day life will come to an end, and the possibility to choose will be gone.
But right now the door is still open for you!
If you want to read more about what it means to receive Jesus and become a Christian, click here.
If you want us to pray for you, click here.
© Joakim Lundqvist
(published with permission)