Where will I spend eternity? What will happen after my life on Earth is over? Is there any hope for mankind? These are all extremely important questions and God has an answer for them. He loves you so much that He gave His Son Jesus so you could be saved and enjoy abundant life that lasts forever!
But to save you, God first had to deal with your sins – the wrong choices that separated you from Him. Have you ever told a lie or taken something that is not yours? Have you ever looked at someone with lust or acted with purely selfish motivations? Any sincere person confronted with these questions will confess they have sinned before.
God is absolutely holy and good. There is not a shadow of evil in Him and He will never compromise, accommodate or accept sin. That is why every time we choose sin, we choose separation from God – which is spiritual death. Because we cannot meet God’s standards of perfection, we desperately need the salvation and new birth Jesus came to bring.
One day, a reputable religious leader named Nicodemus came to see Jesus with many intriguing questions. Jesus told him plainly: “no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” (John 3:3)
Nicodemus was puzzled by Jesus’ disconcerting answer. How on earth can anybody be born again? Jesus revealed that He was not referring to a new physical birth but a spiritual one: “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.” (John 3:6)
Nicodemus thought he was right with God because he was religious and a good person, but Jesus made it clear that no one can be saved because of religion or good works. If you are not born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God!
The apostle John explained that when we put our faith in Jesus, God gives us power to be born again in our spirits and become a child of God, conceived by the very will of our Heavenly Father (John 1:12,13). Simply amazing!
Our salvation and new birth are only possible because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. About 2,000 years ago, Jesus came to Earth to call all mankind to turn to God. However, He was rejected by religious leaders, brought to a fraudulent trial, falsely accused and unjustly condemned. His sentence was death by crucifixion, a punishment reserved only for the worst criminals.
After His condemnation, Jesus endured unthinkable cruelty… He was severely beaten and tortured. Then, He was nailed to a cross and left to die. Even in the face of all humiliation and excruciating pain, Jesus’ prayer was “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34). On the cross, Jesus, the innocent Son of God, took His last breath and died as a criminal, alone and forsaken…
But why did He do that? Why did Jesus accept such humiliation and pain? At any moment, He could have cried out to His father to send hosts of angels and destroy His torturers; instead, He endured the indignity of the cross…
Why? The shocking reason is simple: He did it for us! On that cross, Jesus switched places with us and received the punishment we deserve for our transgressions. His sacrifice satisfied the demands of justice and took away the sins of the world.
This stunning story didn’t end on the cross. After Jesus died, His disciples placed Him in a brand new grave. A large stone was used to close it and soldiers stood guard to make sure it wouldn’t be touched by anyone.
But on the 3rd day, something extraordinary happened. When some of Jesus’ disciples came to the grave, they were greeted by an angel who proclaimed “He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.” (Matthew 28:6). Jesus Christ is alive today!
He was risen by the power of the Holy Spirit and invites all mankind to believe in Him, to receive forgiveness and eternal life. He knows you personally and cares about you. Because of His death and resurrection, salvation is yours as a free gift. You can be born again through faith in Him.
You can receive salvation by a sincere prayer dedicating your life to Jesus and asking for forgiveness of your sins. Have you ever prayed this prayer? If not, the time is now. Take a moment and honestly pray, asking God to make Jesus Lord and Savior of your life. He will answer with salvation and the new birth. He will change your life forever!
Welcome to your new life in Jesus! God has many good things in store for you. In our next devotional reading, we will learn about repentance, an essential aspect of true faith in Jesus.