Much More [Easter blog]

Romans 5:8-10; Much More
Romans 5:8-10 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” [NASB]
This is an amazing passage from the Apostle Paul. The message in these few verses enunciates the message of the Gospel in a nutshell. The wonderful news that the Lord Jesus loves us [me] is the good news to a hurting sinner. God is the initiator of this love for us. There is nothing we can do to deserve or earn the love of God. [Eph. 2:8-10]. We know the Gospel, that Jesus saves the sinner from the reality of suffering in separation from Him in a real place called Gehenna Hell. Everyone I talk to seems to know that Jesus died because of sin, our sins. That is a Friday night message. I am sure that the Jerusalem Times ran the front page with “JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE GALILEAN PROPHET WAS CRUCIFIED ON GOLGOTHA’S HILL TODAY. The death of Jesus, barbaric as it was, is the plan of God to restore mankind and deliver us from the penalty, power and presence of sin. The initiator, God, loves you and I “while we are still in our sins.” While we were helpless – Romans 5:6; Jesus’ mission was to come and in obedience give His life a ransom for many. I am still overwhelmed by the love of God for me.
Millions have trusted in the vicarious death of Jesus for the forgiveness of sin, and deliverance from an eternity in Hell. I have heard so many preachers say that people are only interested in “fire insurance” as the reason for professing Jesus and being baptized. This cheapens salvation; Salvation is not about a destination change, but a destiny change.
On Friday we have the message of the cruel cross, the mock trials and the betrayal of the disciples. Friday means death. It is gruesome to read about and any visuals we could conger up in our minds would fall short of the agony Jesus endured. But while verse 8 extenuates the death of Jesus verse 9 says – MUCH MORE, having been justified by His blood we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. Again, this is the message, that Heaven not Hell is our destiny.
I walked the Friday night message in my walk with Jesus. I did so for some 15 years. But something was wrong, I wanted more than just a hope someday, I needed hope for the day! I learned that much of my Christian teaching was teaching me to trust Christ for salvation but work like a dog to prove that I was saved and do the proving/work in Church. I was churched not discipled! No, I needed more than just an escape from my sin penalty. I wanted life, the joy and power that John 10:10b says I can have. This is where verse 10 comes, we are cleansed and justified by the blood of Jesus – that’s Friday. But we are “saved” by His resurrected life! Oh, how grand that message. Yes, Jesus died, but the rest of the story is that Jesus lives. Not just resurrected, but somebody [Jesus] living in somebody [me]. That is Sunday morning news, that is Resurrection News. Sunday changed everything. The empty tomb confirms the promise of John 11:25-26, that anyone who believes in Jesus will never die.
The message of Easter is that Jesus did die, was buried, AND resurrected. I have found so many believers living out a self-defeated Christian life, absent of the power of the resurrection. If we are just content with not going to Hell, that’s only a Friday message. But if you want more, Much More – experience the Sunday Good News – Jesus the Christ is Alive – and He is alive in you. Galatians 2:20 – “I am crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I that live, but Christ lives in ME; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loves me and gave Himself up for me.” Quit living a Friday salvation, start enjoying the Resurrection power of Jesus Christ. His death gave us life; our death to self gives us His life in us! The Exchanged Life!!

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