You’ve been here before. You understand this verse highlights the basic principle of Christianity. You understood it when you first said, “I believe,” and meant it. Jesus died so we may live. So why do we need to keep repeating it? Why is it that we the people keep coming back to this basic, first principle over and over again?
Got skin, got sin. Take out that “k” and, within your skin is sin. Cliché, I know, but it’s also so true. We keep coming back to the cross because, despite our belief in what Jesus did there, we can’t help ourselves. We need constant reminders that He forgives us, that we have overcome the world because He overcame the world of sin.
We need to be reminded that God raised Jesus back to life after people no different than us had Him murdered. The sins of every person from Adam to Caiaphas put Jesus on that cross. The sins of every person since, including me and you, put Jesus on that cross. He died that agonizing death and experienced the spiritual banishment we deserve because of our sins that put Him on that cross. And yet, through it all, God the Father was both apart from Him and with Him. And on that following Sunday, God breathed life back into Jesus’ dead heart and made it beat again. No matter what disease or injury plagues us, at that moment, He healed us from within forever.
We need to be reminded that we died to sin on the cross with Jesus. He bore our sins there when He didn’t have to. He took on the guilt and anguish we feel, then He took on the spiritual punishment we earn with each transgression. He submitted to God’s holy justice there and pulled our sinful life out of us in doing so. When that was done, even before we were born, He had made us ready to be re-filled again, only this time with His life-giving Spirit.
Last, we need to be reminded that we’re waiting for Him to come back and bring the physical redemption He promised centuries ago. It’s been a long, long time and the world of common sin still siren-calls us to fall back, to slide back into the muck of ordinary rebellion. “It won’t be so bad,” sings the song, “it’s natural.” Jesus has been gone for so long; just give in this once. We need the reminder that, because all His words were honest, His final promise – to abide with us, then return – is honest as well. He’s coming back, and soon.
We’ve been here before. Thank the Lord for that.
For further reading: Acts 5:30, Romans 6:2, Hebrews 9:28, 1 Peter 2:25
Lord Jesus, I need You and Your reminders today!