Jump Start # 1941
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
My friend, Daron, last Sunday, gave some moving thoughts before the congregation took the Lord’s Supper. He tearfully told the story of a time when his three year old daughter swallowed a marble. She was choking and couldn’t breathe. Daron didn’t know what to do. He was alone with the child. He held her in his arms and fervently prayed that she would not die in his arms. The only thing he could think to do was to turn the child upside down and shake her. The marble came out and she lived. From that story, he told us about God allowing His Son to die for us.
That thought has stayed with me. I saw another lesson as well. Here was a parent who was doing everything he could think of to keep that child alive, and here was a God who was doing everything He could to make His Son die. Isaiah’s prophecy about the death of Jesus says it pleased God to crush Him.
God did everything to make Jesus die. Think about that.
First, in prayers. Jesus prayed fervently in the garden. His prayer was so intense that sweat became blood. “Let this cup pass from Me,” was Jesus’ plea. The answer was, “NO.” There was no other way. God was doing everything He could to make Jesus die.
Second, the lack of angels. Have you ever noticed that before? Angels announced the birth of Jesus. When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, angels came and ministered to Him. Angels are found throughout the life of Jesus. When He is resurrected, there are angels present. But for that short period of time, from the arrest, trials and crucifixion of Jesus, we do not read of angels. Jesus declared that He could summon legions of angels, but He didn’t. They didn’t come.
God did everything to make Jesus die.
Third, God separated Himself from Jesus. While on the cross, the sky grew dark, and there was a separation between Jesus and His Father. This was the first time in eternity that had happened. Jesus was truly on His own. It is one of the few times that Jesus calls His Father, “My God.” Most times, it’s “Father.” Jesus didn’t have God to help Him. No prayers answered in His favor. No angels sent. And no fellowship and support of His Father.
God did everything to make Jesus die.
And yet, there is still another thought running through all of this. God did everything to make You live. The “living” here is not a long life on this planet, but to live spiritually and eternally. Have you thought about that before? God did everything to make you live.
First, there was Jesus. He was sent for you. He died so you could live. You are so valuable to God that He sent the best of Heaven to save you. God didn’t send an angel. He didn’t send some old prophet. He sent Jesus—pure, perfect and sinless. Faith in Jesus and obedience to His will changes your relationship with God. Sins forgiven, He adopts you into His family. You become one of his. You are his. You belong to God.
Second, God has given you His word to guide you and help you. We call that word, the Bible. It has been preserved all these years. Men have tried to destroy it, yet it lives. Men have tried to discredit it, yet it lives. Translated into multiple languages. Available in many formats, even electronically, God’s word reveals His heart. By reading it, following it and making it our life, our character changes. Our attitude changes. Our behavior changes. We become more and more like the Lord. We love instead of hate. We forgive instead of hold grudges. We serve instead of turning our backs. Holiness and righteousness becomes our goals. God did everything to make you live.
Third, God hears us. Prayer really works. It works best when we are close to God and are doing what He says. God opens doors to us. God encourages us. God helps us. God is there for us. There is never a place and never a time that prayer doesn’t fit. God is listening. God cares. He wants us to burden Him with the things that makes us anxious. He wants us to trust Him, believe Him and know that He is always there for us.
God is doing everything to make us live.
Fourth, God has surrounded us with amazing examples, help and support. We call that the church. It’s a fellowship. It’s a family. We don’t fly solo with God. We need one another. They need us and we need them. We worship together. We grow closer together. We are there for one another. We are accountable to them. They can count on us and we can count on them. We pray for and with each other. We roll up our sleeves and work together. We pool our money and help the kingdom of God. We belong. We are loved. We are accepted. We are not alone in this journey. There are living examples all around us to show us what we need to become. There are those that we can talk to. There are those who are teaching us and leading us in the ways of God. God has set up this amazing system so that you can be with Him forever in Heaven.
God arranged this so we could have answers to our questions, encouragement through our dark periods and love and hope.
God did all that He could to make you live.
Have you thought about how much God has done for you? He really wants you to make it. He really wants you to live.