The Gift of Life

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23 (KJV)

As descendants from the bloodline of Adam and Eve we are all plagued with the same sinful nature they possessed. And as Paul states so bluntly in Romans 6:23, “The wages of sin is death.” Lucky for us God had a plan. Early on he promised a Savior who would come and rid man of this death sentence. There is a catch: no amount of good deeds can rid us of this curse as God doesn’t operate on the points system. Only belief in Jesus can guarantee us this incredible gift.

Thinking only in human terms, the Israelites He made this promise to made the mistake of believing God had in mind a Messiah who would establish an earthly kingdom and they would suddenly, miraculously find themselves living on easy street. Little wonder, as they were not only seeking relief from oppressive Roman rule, they were likely also chafing under all the strict rules and corrupt practices in place within Judaism. 

By the time Jesus arrived on the scene the temple hierarchy so jealously guarded God’s covenant, they had come to believe the offer was exclusive to their people. They were so blind to the truth they didn’t recognize the fulfillment of all of the Old Testament prophecies their generation was fortunate enough to be privy to. What a tragedy to be witness not only to Jesus’s signs and wonders, but also be in the glorious presence of truth in its purist form and be too self-absorbed to accept him as God incarnate. Instead of embracing Him, the religious leaders led a mob in clamoring for His death, not realizing by so doing they were facilitating the plan God had all along. Wouldn’t they be surprised today to realize Christ’s simple message of belief, repentance and love has thrived over time, delivered by passionate missionaries to even the most remote tribes?

But the beauty of God’s plan was twofold. In sacrificing His perfect Son atonement for the sin of all mankind was made, negating the need for further retribution to balance the scales. Secondly, Jesus rose from the grave to show us more than the fact He was God incarnate. He did it to prove one day we would as well, providing hope to countless generations. If He hadn’t risen from the dead His death would be no more momentous than any other martyr, and His life would be no more than a topic for college research papers. There would be no New Testament for the very title of this prized collection of twenty-seven books heralds a new beginning---one without end. Perhaps we believers should consider replacing the period punctuating the end of our obituaries with the infinity symbol instead.

Dear Father, Please accept our praise and gratitude for not giving up on us and offering us the privilege of spending eternity in your glorious presence. Amen

Carol (NC)