Ben Reaoch | Category: Personal Testimony
In the sermon last Sunday, on “The Gospel of Jesus Christ,” I encouraged everyone to give some thought to a simple outline of how you would share the message of Jesus, and how that message has impacted your own life. Here’s my attempt at doing that.
I started hearing about Jesus pretty early on in life. My parents became Christians when I was 2 years old (that’s another story . . . and a good one!). So from a young age I was becoming familiar with the Bible, and the Bible’s main character—Jesus Christ. During my teenage years I waffled. Though I professed to be a Christian, I was not living like it. But during my senior year of high school, and heading into college, I was convinced that Christianity is not only the best way to believe, but the best way to live. And if you really believe this story, it must transform the way you live.
God showed me that the things which seem so important to so many people—money, sex, power, comfort, the American Dream—are not the things that will make us happy forever. In fact, to pursue those things apart from God is a recipe for disaster. I realized that there were serious sins in my life for which I needed God’s forgiveness. I sincerely desired to follow the good instructions in God’s Word, rather than following the fickle pressure of teenage peers.
My hope and joy is now firmly rooted in who Jesus is and what He has done. He is the eternal Son of God. He is the second Person of the Trinity (the Trinity refers to the biblical truth that there is one God who exists in three Persons—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit). Jesus Christ is both fully God and fully man. He came to earth, born of a virgin, lived a life without sin, and was pleasing to the Father in every way.
He went to the cross, which was a horrific way to die. He was tortured, ridiculed, humiliated, and brutally killed. As He hung on that piece of wood, with His hands and feet nailed to the beams, He suffered another (and even greater) pain. The Father’s punishment for sin fell on Jesus.
This is the horror of the cross. The Father punished His own (perfect!) Son. And this is the beauty of the cross—that Jesus died in my place. I should have been on that cross. I’m the one who deserves that punishment, because of the ways I have dishonored God. But Jesus took the nails for me. Jesus bore God’s wrath for me. And He rose from the dead on the third day! This shows that Jesus succeeded in His mission. He paid the full price for my sin, so there is nothing left for me to pay.
This is God’s story which means everything to me. It’s the story that invaded my life and changed me and is changing me still. I hope that you, too, will look to this Jesus, this Savior, who is infinitely kind to all those who seek Him.
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