The scenario: you have been accused of a “capital” crime, and the punishment is death. The charges have been proven beyond any shadow of a doubt, and there is no appeal. All hope is just about gone.
Then, you’re taken from your cell and called back into court for final judgment; the outcome looks dim. Just before the Judge announces your punishment, a Man steps forward and says, “Your Honor, I will take this person’s punishment, and ask that you set him/her free.” The Judge sees that the One making the request is His Own Son.
The Judge grants the request, and you’re told you are free to go. As you exit the courtroom, you pass by the “Volunteer,” and you look into His eyes. All you can see is pure love. He gently says to you, “I died for you; will you live for Me?” At this point, what would your answer be?
The Ball Brothers are a Christian/Gospel quartet that formed in 2006. Their music is very pleasant and inspirational, and even though they are all young (compared to my age), they don’t do the “7-11” songs that are popular in some circles today. You know, the same 7 words sung 11 times, then another 7 words sung another 11 times, and so on and so forth. Their style appeals to all age groups, and their messages are significant.
The other day, I listened on YouTube to one of their releases, and it caused me to stop and do some serious self-evaluation. My true relationship with the Savior goes back over 30 years, when I finally realized just how lost I really was. Had the Lord called me to leave this earth before that time, I realized I would have ended up separated from Him forever. Like so many others, I believed I was “good-enough” for the Father to take me Home. Careful study of His word showed me just how wrong I really was.
I called out to Him to rescue me, and over the past several decades, my faith and trust in Him has only grown stronger. He is my Rock, my Shield, my Comforter, my Redeemer, my Savior, My Lord, my King, my God and, most of all, my Best Friend. Do I ever disappoint Him? Absolutely! But He is always ready to forgive me when I ask (1 John 1:9).
The song I heard is called, “The Least I Can Do.” Consider the words as you read further. (emphasis mine)
(V-1) You never asked me to stretch out my arms; no one put nails in my hands. I’ll never feel the weight of the world, or carry that cross on my back. Nothing I do could ever repay all that you did for me on that day.
(chorus) You took my place up there on that tree; You paid the price so that I could be free. You died for me, now I’m living for You. Lord, that’s the least I can do.
(V-2) You never sent me out on my own; You’re always leading the way. All that I ask, Lord, is a hope in my heart and only a small seed of faith. I know You gave me all that I have; so why would I not give it back?
(chorus; V-3) You didn’t have to walk down that road; You didn’t have to rescue my soul, lay down your life just for me; I should have been taking those steps. It should’ve been my last breath, but you just want me to believe.
All too often, we get caught up in the things of this world, and lose sight that it’s only temporary. Many do not stop to think, we came into this world with a sin-nature already built in. If we go through this life and never do anything to atone for our sins with the Creator, we are lost forever. Satan will do all that’s in his power of deception to keep us from that atonement.
From the first sin of mankind in the Garden of Eden, all persons that ever lived on this earth – except One – have sinned (Romans 3:23). Jesus, Our Savior, was the only fully-human to have lived without sin. He was tempted just as we are; He was scorned and ridiculed, and ultimately died on a cross that was meant for us. He did this just so our sins could be completely forgiven. Some false prophets today say He had to have sinned at least once; but that would’ve made His sacrifice null and void. Though He was still fully-God, He allowed Himself to be lower than the angels for a while (Hebrews 2:9). This way, our Creator could experience firsthand what human needs, feelings, desires and all the rest were like. Also, His sacrifice was totally His will; He was not forced (John 10:18).
Even though He never sinned, for a brief moment He took on every sin that ever was, or ever would be committed on this earth. Only His precious blood could cover anything of that enormous magnitude. Thinking of this, I look back on my past and realize that every time I sinned, Jesus had taken my punishment for them. Then I realize, I am only one person among the billions that have lived, and all those who will live on this earth through the Millennium.
Is it any wonder that the Father would have some “requirements” for us to fully receive this gift that was given so freely by His Son on an Old Rugged Cross? Also, is it any wonder that any and all who refuse this gift will be made to answer for their own sins and be judged accordingly?
So, what do I have to do to meet the “requirements” and have all my sins forgiven forever? First, I must admit (confess) that I am a sinner, and that I can’t possibly save myself from the Lake of Fire. Then I must believe Jesus came to this earth, and His sacrifice was for me, to cover all sins that I have committed or will commit. Next, I must believe His fully human self really died on that cross, and was raised from the dead by the Holy Spirit just as the Bible says. (note: as with all believers today, His Spiritual Self was with the Father immediately at His last breath on the cross. That is why He said He could be with the thief that accepted Him that day.)
Next, I must have the Faith that His sacrifice was complete and paid my sin penalty in full. Then, I must accept His wonderful gift that He gave to me, and call out for Him to be my Savior. After all, what good is an unopened gift? What else? That’s it.
There are no works we can do, or price we can pay that would be worthy of this gift (Ephesians 2:8-9). To believe we could is to insinuate His sacrifice wasn’t complete, and this would be a large insult. If we truly accept His gift, we should want to turn away from habitual sin, and to live to honor Him. It was the Son’s Grace and the Father’s Mercy that has saved us. He knows we will still slip and fall, and is always ready to forgive us. Our sins from this point on should be the exception, not the rule.
What is so awesome is, He is available any hour, minute and even second to receive our call. He is never too busy. Talk to Him daily (prayer), and read His love letter (Bible). He will be rising up very soon from His throne, which is at the right hand of the Father, to take up all existing believers to be with Him (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53).
Those who died from the day of the cross to that moment of His call will rise first to meet Him in the air. They will be reunited with their souls that went to be with the Savior at their death. They will receive an imperishable body designed to last for all eternity. Then, the believers that are still alive will be caught up (Raptured) to meet Him. Our bodies will be converted on the way up as well. The description of the speed of this event is said to be in “the twinkling of an eye,” or considerably less than one second. Therefore, you must have accepted Him before He calls.
He’s made it possible for all to call on Him to be saved. Wouldn’t accepting His gracious gift be “the least we can do?” It’s a decision each and every person must make for themselves, and one you will never regret. He is coming any day now.
Shalom! Come Lord Jesus!