“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
Perhaps the most well-known verse in all of Scripture, even non-Christians might be familiar with these words. I don’t doubt that you’ve heard this verse a multitude of times in your life. But have you ever stopped to think about it? Have you ever seriously contemplated what these words are saying?
We tend to really complicate things in life, don’t we? Do you want to hear the Gospel (The Good News) simplified? Do you want to hear the Gospel in 4 words?
Jesus in my place.
That’s it. That’s the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus in my place. The cross and its shame should have been my fate; it should have been yours. But God in His mercy and grace sent Jesus to the cross in our place. We deserved to hang there and suffer. We deserved to die. Our sins earned each of us that punishment. But Jesus went in our place. He suffered so we wouldn’t have to. He died so that we might live.
What does that do to you? I know you’ve heard it before, but let it sink in! Seriously, what does that do to your soul? Jesus took your place. The thought of the sinless Savior taking your blame and your shame upon Himself, suffering the most agonizing and humiliating of all deaths…in your place? I’m sure many emotions rise to the surface, but I pray that one of them is praise. Thankfully, we live on this side of the cross. I cannot imagine living before the cross. But do we take grace for granted? Are we allowing days, weeks, perhaps months to pass without thanking Jesus for the cross?
Let’s do that right now. If there’s anything that can re-align us with the heart of God and His purposes it’s the praise of His Son, Jesus. Join me in thanking Jesus for the cross.
We come with hearts of praise, with hearts of thanksgiving recognizing the sacrifice you made – an atoning sacrifice. We worship you and lift high your name, the name that is above every name. There is none like you. Jesus, you took my place. Were it not for your act of love on that cross, I would be forever lost in my sin, without hope, wallowing in despair. In reality, it was I that deserved that fate. My sins earned that punishment. It was my sin that nailed you to that cross. Thank you for your love that compelled you to die in my place. Thank you for your blood that covers my sin and cleanses me from within so that I can live in relationship with you. Thank you Jesus for the cross. You became sin for us so that we can stand forgiven in God’s sight. Your shed blood ransomed me from death and brought me to new life. May I never cease to sing your praise, Jesus who took my place. Your name is Love. Your name is Holy. And it is because of your love and holiness that I stand forgiven at the foot of the cross. Your blood poured out as mercy to all who would receive you. Thank you Jesus for the cross. Thank you for taking my place.