This post was started on Resurrection Sunday April 2011
Will you go without? There are lots of things that we can do without: computers, chocolate, dishwashers, heated seats in our cars, satellite radio, television, bias news reporting, video games, facebook (& twitter), wars, family feuds, disease, nightmares (real & dreamt), resentments, unnecessary laws, misunderstandings, language barriers, etc. Some of those things we would rather not go without but we can definitely live well without them. However, there is one thing that lots of people cannot do without including myself. Other people seem to be just fine doing without it and still more people who suffer miserably without it, now and into eternity. What is this thing that I cannot do without? Forgiveness.
Christians around the world celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. So what does that have to do with forgiveness? According to God and His Word, there is no forgiveness without the shedding of blood. Throughout the Old Testament we can see how the shedding of blood for forgiveness of sins was animals blood, the sacrifice and it was done annually. Jesus Christ offered Himself as the sacrifice and it was done, "once for all." Jesus from the Cross said, "It is finished," in another word, DONE. The blood of Christ still to this day is more than sufficient for the forgiveness of sins.
In Isaiah 53 it says, in verse 5:
But he was wounded for our transgressions;
pand with his stripes we are healed.
If Jesus had simply died and was buried PERIOD, then He simply would have been a martyr, a liar and a highly esteemed preacher of the 1st century. In Matthew, Jesus forgives the sins of the paralytic, the Pharisees know that only God has the authority to forgive sins and even prior to the shedding of His own blood, Jesus exercises His authority forgives the man's sins and heals the man's body.
The Resurrection sermon at BBC was from Hebrews 9 & 11.......
From Hebrews 9 "there is no forgiveness without the shedding of blood"
Hebrews 11 "without faith it is impossible to please God"
Christianity is a bloody religion. We serve a holy God who cannot tolerate sin. He is altogether just and altogether loving. God is beyond our human understanding but I do understand that it is impossible to lead a sinless life. I believe that ONLY One has ever completed the sinless Life and that was the Lord Jesus Christ - perfect Righteousness. But Justice needed to be served. The LORD God sent His Son to make the forgiveness of sins possible by pouring out all His Wrath upon His Son Jesus Christ at the Cross. The Wrath that we deserved was indeed upon Him. It seems completely radical in putting my trust in the God who sacrificed His Own Son for me and that this Jesus went willingly. Even Jesus cried out in the Garden, Father if there is any other way but nevertheless not my will but yours.
Thou He slay me yet I will trust Him. By the power of the Holy Spirit, through the bloody sacrifice of the life of Jesus at the Cross and the perfect (incomprehensible) plan of the Father, FORGIVENESS OF SINS is provided. Though we mourn on Good Friday, we still call it good because it was on that day that all our sins were washed clean as the new driven snow in the blood of Jesus Christ. I have lived without the precious gift and it nearly drove me insane and to an early grave. The burden of guilt and sin are too much for me. Jesus lifted the burden first by forgiving all of my sins. When I am cognizant of this fact of ALL my sins have been forgiven, who am I to not forgive those that sin against me. It is an act of love as illustrated beautifully in Luke 7. The conclusion is "she who has been forgiven much, loves much."