When we think of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, probably the first thing that comes to mind is His crucifixion. His dying for us on the cross sticks out in our minds. It should! His was a sacrifice which we desperately needed yet which we did not in the least deserve. Without His paying the price for the guilt of our sins through His death on the cross we would have no hope of eternal life. But Christ did much for us beyond dying on the cross.
He humbled Himself, submitted to the Father’s will, left Heaven, came to earth and became a man in order that He could be our Savior (Phlp. 2:5-8). In so doing, He gave us a great example as to being humble and being in submission to God’s will in our own lives (1 Pet. 2:21-24). At the same time, by living as a human being in this world, He demonstrated to us that we can have confidence that He understands what we go through, having already gone through it Himself (Heb. 4:14-16).
His serving as our Savior was not a one-time thing. When we come to Him in repentance and obedience, His blood continues to cleanse us of our sins. His righteousness continues to cover for our unrighteousness (Rom. 3:25). He continually serves as our advocate, pleading our case before the Father in Heaven (1 Jn. 2:1-2).
In going to the cross, Christ also brought the Old Testament law to a close (Rom. 10:4). In so doing, He brought us a better spiritual law under which to live (Heb. 8:6; 9:15). As part of this transition, He established the church (Matt. 16:18) which is His Body (Eph. 1:22-23) and of which we are living stones (1 Pet. 2:5). Through Him we can boldly approach God’s throne of grace in prayer, seeking help in all of our needs (Heb. 4:16).
Even though Christ has gone back to Heaven and is presently at the right hand of God (Acts 2:33), we are assured that He is coming again to take us to be at home with Him in Heaven (Jn. 14:2-3). As we live our lives in accord with His teachings, we can be confident of our salvation in Him (1 Jn. 5:13).
Truly, Christ gives us meaning, purpose and direction in this life like nothing else can. And, He gives us assurance of eternal life with Him in Heaven when this life is over. Thank God that Christ not only went to the cross for us, but that He did all of the rest for us as well…
Gary L. Hutchens