In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God.
All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
John 1: 1 - 5
For Jews and Christians who believe the Scriptures to be inspired of GOD ('GOD breathed'), the entire thrust of the Bible is to go from the Original Sin of Adam and Eve to atonement by GOD. All else is history, and suggestions - Commandments - on how to live one's life. As the Scriptures say, "The wages of Sin is Death; [...]" There is no other payment that we can make to pay for the Sins we commit. And we commit them all the time!
GOD allowed mankind to atone for his sins, by blood sacrifice, nearly anywhere and anytime, long ago. But then HE began to narrow the rules, bit by bit, over the Ages. Eventually those who wished to atone and seek GOD's forgiveness needed to go to certain places to make sacrifices. This was GOD's way to direct mankind to seek the path to the Messiah. There then came a time when the only place to make sacrifice and seek atonement for Sins was in the Temple in Jerusalem.
No longer would anybody be allowed to simply erect an altar in the wilderness and make a sacrifice to the LORD there. This narrowing parallels GOD's withdrawal from day-to-day communion with Man. You can follow this in the Old Testament Scriptures. You can see GOD pulling away as HIS plan for salvation moves along HIS appointed path. Finally the day arrived when GOD said, "Here's is MY Son, whom I love. He is the Way to Salvation. There is no other Way for you to atone for your Sins than to believe on Him." Within that very generation the last place where sacrifices to the LORD were allowed had been razed to the ground, destroyed forever, replaced with a Human scapegoat.
GOD poured out onto HIS only Son the very Wrath HE reserved for the sinners of this world. He placed on Jesus the cost of our Sins, allowed HIS Son to pay the price for us, in our stead, and allowed HIS only Son to die an agonizing, humiliating, undeserved Death. For us!
The Scripture says it all in John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life."
But HE will not accept another Way to atone for our inborn Sins. Jesus was the last chance that anybody would have. The Wages of Sin is Death. Not a second chance, not an, "Oh, well, you've lived a pretty good life." Only through Christ can we atone for our Sins.
Christ's resurrection proved once and for all that Death is not final when GOD intercedes. But while HE offered us this escape from our own earned destruction, HE expects us to accept the gift as HE intended it. HE has rules. HE expects us to follow them. HE knew we could never lead sinless lives, knew that the Ten Commandments were beyond our abilities. For we are imperfect humans. So he gave us One Way Out.
Now some of you may wonder why the phrase is "Believe on Him," and not "Believe in him." Different versions may say "in" but the original text said "on". There is a difference. Satan - Lucifer, if you like, or The Evil One, if you prefer - believes in Christ. Why not? Satan has known Christ all his life. He knows Christ better than anyone save GOD HIMself. He knows the Scriptures better than any human alive. Satan believes in Christ. But he is opposed to Christ, wishes Him to fail, and seeks to defeat GOD the Father. We, on the other hand, if we are 'believers' must believe on Christ. This means we don't simply know that Jesus walked the earth, but accept him as GOD's Son, the Messiah, our Savior and our Deliverer. As one pastor said, "You can believe in an elevator all you like, but it won't get you anywhere until you get on! You have to believe on Jesus Christ!" And that's what the difference is.
On Easter Christians celbrate the rising from the dead of Jesus Christ. We don't need to venerate some musty old tomb, of questionable provenance, for the Angels themselves told us, "He is not here! He is risen!" We celebrate the Son of GOD's resurrection as the final proof of the very power of GOD above, over the Universe. GOD stands without the Universe; HE does not need to follow the rules of physics or biology, nor those of Space and Time. GOD is eternal, and can choose to condemn or forgive us. All HE demnads is that you follow HIS rule. The only one that Christians, believing Christians, must follow.
Believe on Him!
A Blessed and Happy Easter to all of my fine friends, fellow bloggers, and visitors! Be safe! GOD Bless!
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Most excellent post benning. Really brings the thoughts back to normal..... Great springy look too....
As one pastor said, "You can believe in an elevator all you like, but it won't get you anywhere until you get on! You have to believe on Jesus Christ!"
That sums it up, doesn't it?
How does another verse go? "I know that my Redeemer liveth...."
Amen and amen.
as an evangelical christian, might i suggest to you that we should celebrate the resurrection this thursday from sundown until sunup friday?
easter, in and of itself, is a pagan holiday - the bible speaks specifically to bowing to the east and the consequences thereof in the old testament.
and no, i am not a jehovah's witness, and nor am i a catholic - this is the first year in many "easter" has been in the same week as passover a holy day worth celebrating and remembering what our Savior, Yeshua, has done for us.
otherwise, i agree with every point you made.
hosha na, Moshiach. save us, Messiah. thank you for Your sacrifice, without i would have no salvation. amen.
thank you for this, benning - you are a person of passion.
I believe that God doesn't care about semantics...or when you celebrate, so long as you do.
ABF: Thanks, I use the graphics form Pat's Web Graphics to springy it up! Next step is the Patriotic months.
AOW: Yeah, the old hymns. Before the PC years!
Camo: As I say, GOD has few rules for us, but HE expects those to be followed. Kinda like the parents of a child, right?
Nanc: I know where you're coming from. I had a grandmother who became a JW. I loved her, but beyond studying the tenets of their form of Christianity, little else took hold of me. ;)
I gave up worrying about the orirgins of Christian holidays. I know the 'reason for the season', and if a few ducks, bunnies, and chocolate eggs are now a part of it, well ... I sure like chocolate! Christ told His followers to do one thing in remembrance - Communion - and the religious hierarchy that came later screwed that up! If we keep our hearts tuned to the Word of GOD, the dross will fall away and leave only the real morsels behind.
Benning, this is an absolutely beautiful post and your blog is beautiful too! As an offspring of a devout atheist I've never been able to understand that mindset. God has always been very real to me and has helped me through many trials and tribulations.
Happy Easter and thanks again for the wonderful post! :)
My pleasure, believe me, Gayle!
stunning and inspirational as always my friend..Blessings for a meaningful Holy Week!
Ty for the comments at my humble abode !..:)
Thanks, Angel. I always enjoy your abode - humble it ain't!
Blessed Easter, Angel!
Great post, great post!
You could ghostwrite for a sermon, my friend!
Thanks, Brooke! I think my folk's pastor would object. ;)
Wonderful post. Jesus was God's greatest gift to man. Without Him we are doomed.
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