Have you ever wondered … what’s the big deal with Jesus?
Where I grew up, I remember singing songs like, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, greatest name I know.” I’m sure I’ve heard hundreds of lessons and sermons about Jesus … that Jesus is the answer … that he is our hope … that he loves us. There were all true.
Today’s climate and culture is different, I suppose. It seems we live in a world that doesn’t value Jesus in the same way. It’s as if his name has become just another name, and he has become just another way.
So why do we make a big deal about Jesus around here?
Why do we say that the Bible is a big deal and that Jesus is the biggest deal?
It’s a good question.
One of the most famous believers in the Bible is a guy named Paul. He’s a guy with quite a story. He spent a good portion of his life persecuting those who believed in Jesus. He hated Jesus and anybody who followed him. He tried to put a stop to the emerging Church by killing the early Church leaders.
Until he met Jesus. When Paul met Jesus, his whole life changed … for the better.
He wrote a lot of letters that became books of the Bible. Romans is a letter he wrote to the churches spread across Rome. There was a lot of tension in the early church. They were trying to figure out what it looked like for the life of Christ to be lived out.
Today’s teaching comes from Romans chapter 5. Paul opens chapter 5 by talking about the one thing everybody needs – peace with God. From these verses, we learn why Jesus is a big deal.
Why is Jesus a big deal?
Because Jesus …
1. RESCUES US
6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5
Paul is saying that when we don’t know Jesus we are helpless, powerless, and cut off from the presence of God. Yet, Jesus still died on the cross for our sin. God sent his Son to die for the very people who refused to worship him. That reveals the magnitude of God’s love for us.
When we are helpless, powerless and cutoff, we think that doing right will make us right with God. We think: Maybe I can volunteer my time somewhere. Maybe I can give some money. Maybe I can improve my life. Maybe I can try harder and clean up my act.
We think that doing right will make us right.
The problem is that doing right can never make us right.
We can’t earn our way into heaven. We can’t bribe God to get him on our side. No matter how hard we work or try, there is still a gnawing feeling inside of us.
At the right time, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us and went to the cross and redeemed us from having to earn our way in. We don’t become Christians because we believe in our own goodness. We don’t become believers because we believe in ourselves.
We come to Christ and he gives us the faith and the confidence to believe in him. When we believe his death as our own death he frees us from having to earn our way into the presence of God. He rescues us from ourselves and the world.
2. RELEASES US
10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. – Romans 5
Paul explains that anybody who doesn’t know Christ personally is at enmity with God. Why? Because we can’t obey God’s law or fulfill God’s Will. Condemnation means that God declares us sinners, which is a declaration of war. Justification means that God declares us righteous, which is a declaration of peace, made possible by Christ’s death on the cross.
He removes the hostility that existed between us and him because of that sin. He makes relationship possible. Jesus releases us from our past mistakes, scars and screw ups.
Jesus declares us to be something we could never attain on our own.
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3. RESTORES US
9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. – Romans 5
God hates sin. It cost him the life of his son. Ever since Adam and Eve sinned against God, everybody has been born a sinner separated from God because of our sin. Sin makes us enemies of God.
But now because of the death of Jesus he has removed the separation and restored us into a relationship of peace. He has paid for the sin. The reason why we are able to experience the presence of God is because Jesus made peace and restored us so that now we are able to step into the presence of God and know him.
4. RECREATES US!
11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. – Romans 5
Eternal life is not just about heaven. Eternal life is the life of God given to those who by faith know him as their leader and are letting him control their life now.
The life of Jesus is deposited in us. His presence in our life enables us to live the life that he’s called us to live.
So why is Jesus a big deal?
At the end of the day, all that we really long for and truly need is peace with God. The thing that we truly need is something we can’t get ourselves. Only Jesus can give it.
Only Jesus can rescue us.
Only Jesus can release us.
Only Jesus can restore us.
Only Jesus can recreate us.
That’s a big deal.
This devotional is one in Sugar Hill Church’s First 30 devotional series for college students. To access the entire series & podcasts be sure to check SHC’s site each day, as new ones are added daily. (Because we know you are busy, just click here & save as bookmark.)
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