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A Hope and a Future

Jesus' story is a story of love. It’s a story of God so desperately wanting to live in relationship with you that He did everything is His power to resolve the matter in the only way He could.

You see, God is holy. There is no sin in Him. The Bible says, “…all His ways are just; a God of faithfulness and without injustice, righteous and upright is He.” (Deuteronomy 32:4)

The problem is: We are not. We’ve all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).

Because God can’t be in eternal relationship with sin – there is nothing unclean in heaven (Revelation 21:27) -- He requires a perfect sacrifice to wipe away the sin.

Because all people have sinned, no average or even exceptional person could be a perfect sacrifice. It had to be someone perfect.

So God sent His Son.

Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:20) and was born as an ordinary man to do an extraordinary thing: He lived all His life without sinning. Can you imagine? He lived over thirty years without sinning even once.

“…Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth….” (1 Peter 21-22)

How did Jesus do it?

Well, He loved people and hated religion. He lived and preached love and rebuked people who used the law of religion as an excuse not to love others.

This teaching was revolutionary. He gained an enormous number of followers, and many enemies who were too challenged to follow, thinking His way was too hard.

And then He got killed for it.

Jesus was crucified – one of the ugliest, most painful methods of execution ever invented. At last, that perfect Sacrifice -- a man who had lived sinless, loving God and others and Himself – had been offered, and God accepted the offering.

That’s how badly God wanted to be in relationship with us: He sent His Son to take our place of punishment which we – not He -- earned. But we couldn’t pay the check, so He did.

Three days after Jesus died, He was resurrected.

Luke, the doctor and historian, wrote:

But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men suddenly stood near them in dazzling clothing; and as the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living One among the dead? He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.” And they remembered His words, and returned from the tomb and reported all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. Now they were Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James; also the other women with them were telling these things to the apostles. But these words appeared to them as nonsense, and they would not believe them. But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings only; and he went away to his home, marveling at what had happened. (Luke 24:1-12)

Because of Christ’s acceptable sacrifice, you can have that eternal relationship with God and a secure home in heaven. In order to do so, you simply must believe.

Accept God’s love telling Him in your heart that you believe Jesus is the Son of God Who died for your sins, was buried, and rose again on the third day.

It’s a gift. There’s nothing you can do to earn it (it’s too late for that!); you simply believe that Christ paid for you. Be gracious and thankful for God’s gift of a Savior.

Living in Christ will give you an absolute freedom you have never known before as you enjoy God's forgiveness and your new life. You'll discover the true value of others and yourself.

Whatever is in the past is in the past. Let Jesus erase any shame you may have and give you a hope that never fails and a peace that surpasses understanding.

And get ready for the adventure of your life!

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