As a favour to someone I painted their front door. The first coat went on and and everything seemed fine. When I’d finished all I had to do, I said my goodbyes, but just as I was leaving a cat walked into the house, brushed against the painted door and left his hair stuck to it as a reminder of his presence. So one coat was definitely not enough, and another visit became necessary.
That’s life isn’t it. One minute everything’s going well and you feel good, the next minute something happens and life’s not so good anymore. Coronavirus is a classic example, which has changed everyone’s life practically overnight. In my lifetime I’ve never known anything have such a dramatic effect on the whole world.
2000 years ago something else happened that transformed the world, but this time it changed it from bad to good. It led to women and children being treated with dignity, a legal system designed based on fairness and justice, the abolition of slavery, dignity being given to the mentally ill, prisoners being cared for, a nursing profession that prioritised the needs of patients above everything, respect for all life and a concern for the environment. It didn’t happen all at once, but it happened, and the root cause is an event that went unnoticed at the time. With no social media to spread the news overnight, it took a while for the news to spread, being dependent on people to take the news to towns and cities, and then countries. The news spread though, and it’s said of those early news spreaders that they “turned the world upside down”.(1)
The event I refer to, of course, is the death of Jesus Christ. The Christian message quickly spread as his disciples obeyed his command which was, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations”(2). His teaching of love, compassion, and mercy, struck a chord and became the foundation and springboard for many great things that have happened in the world. People like William Wilberforce, Florence Nightingale and Elizabeth Fry point to Jesus as their inspiration (If you don’t know these people I’ll leave you to Google their names).
However, that wasn’t the point of his death, or life. He said many wonderful things, he did many wonderful things, but the reason he left heaven and came to earth was to die. This was the way God determined that we would have our sins taken from us. You see, sin has separated us from God. The Apostle Paul, writing to some Christians, said that once they were “without hope and without God in the world”(3). It’s such a sorry state to be in, but sadly it’s the natural state of all men and women until they come to Jesus Christ for salvation. Paul also wrote to the same Christians, “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ”(4). Jesus died on a cross, his blood was shed, i.e. he gave up his life for us, he took the punishment we deserve for our sins, as we come to him in faith our sins are forgiven, and we are brought near to God. That’s the wonderful Christian message.
Jesus has transformed the world through his teaching, but he wants to transform you through his death. I made the decision to follow him 47 years ago and I’ve never regretted it. Why would I? My sins have been forgiven and I have peace with God. Wouldn’t you want the same?
- Acts 17:6
- Matthew 28:19
- Ephesians 2:12
- Ephesians 2:13