“One-A-Week Challenge” – Week 23
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me.”
-John 14:6 nasb
The line in the sand between all religions is this authoritative claim by Jesus. Many people will proclaim that Jesus was a good teacher and a capable moral leader, but nothing more. While these first two claims are true they are meaningless if He is not more.
The Bible tells us that Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared person. Heaven is not the reward of good or sincere people. It is the home of prepared people. Jesus said,
“Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.”
–John 14:1-4 NASB
Jesus promised to prepare a place for us and He did. Heaven is this prepared place. He assures us that we can have a home in this place for all eternity, but we must take the necessary steps to be prepared. Last week our verse of scripture reminded us of the truth about ourselves … we are all sinners. This week’s memory verse affirms the truth about Jesus.
STEP TWO: We must face the TRUTH about JESUS.
Jesus is God’s only solution to our sin problem. But why does Jesus have to be the ONLY solution to our problem? Throughout the whole bible, God says that without the shedding of pure innocent blood, we cannot be forgiven or cleansed of our sins. In other words, someone or something that is pure and clean has to die and take the place of the sinner.
And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
—Hebrews 9:22 NASB
In the Old Testament God said that the sinner could take a clean animal without spot or blemish to the temple and it could be offered in the place of the guilty sinner. The priest would shed the blood of the animal on the altar and when God saw the blood the sinner could be forgiven and have his sin covered. The Old Testament sacrifices covered the sin but never cleansed the sin. Only Jesus can do this. But first, the innocent had to die for the guilty.
But now, in the New Testament …after 2,000 years, God said that he would not accept any more sacrifices of bulls, goats and lambs. He said that He would provide one final sacrifice for all the sins of the world that would ever be committed. So He sent His final sacrifice, and just like the Old Testament sacrifices that had to perfect and clean, this one did too! But this time the sacrifice would be a man. JESUS!
“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God … In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men … And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory,, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
—John 1: 1, 4, 14 NASB
“Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world”
—John 1: 29 NASB
“You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin.”
— I John 3: 5 NASB
Jesus was born without sin and the bible says that he lived for 33 years and never sinned, and then he was arrested and put on the cross. When they put the nails in his hands and feet and the spear into his side, the pure clean blood of the perfect sacrifice flowed down the cross and when God saw the blood of his son, he said now the price has been paid for all the sins of the world.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, and whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
—John 3: 16 NASB
“He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
—2 Cor. 5: 21 NASB
He became God’s solution to our problem. But the story doesn’t end there. The bible says that on the third day after His crucifixion, Jesus arose from the grave and just as He was victorious over the grave, when we die we have the promise that we can be too.
The first step to heaven is to realize that we have a problem. We are all sinners with a dirty heart. The second step says God has provided the solution for us in Jesus.