Ill be back soon,"
a soldier told his wife, as he left her and their infant son to fight
in World War II. The young mother would show her boy a portrait of
the soldier and say, "See, thats your daddy. One day hes
going to come home."
One morning the boy said, "Mommy,
wouldnt it be great if Daddy would just step out of the picture
In a sense, thats what God
did 2,000 years ago. As part of His eternal plan, He stepped out of
heaven and became a man so you and I could look at Jesus and say,
"Thats what God looks like."
On the first Christmas 2,000 years ago, God came to earth to live
among us. The human mind is boggled by that. Even more unexpected
is the first picture we see. No flaming chariots brought God into
the world, and no royal entourage greeted Him. God entered the world
as a helpless baby with a feeding trough as His bed.
Even though we celebrate this
miracle every Christmas and wonder at the mystery of it, many people
dont really think about it or believe it. But if God is God,
He can take upon himself a human body.
Jesus Christ was no ordinary man.
He was God become man. But first He was born of the virgin Mary by
the miracle of the Holy Spirit. Jesus did not evolve from history;
He came into history from the outside. His life is the highest and
holiest entering the lowest and lowliest. But that was not enough.
If Jesus had grown up and lived only a perfect and marvelous life,
without another great miracle taking place, His life likely would
mean nothing to you and me today.
Jesus had to go from the cradle to the cross. After Christmas comes
Good Friday. The Bible clearly states that the cross was the reason
Gods Son came to earth. In the mystery and marvel of it, Jesus
was willing to go. "And being found in appearance as a man, he
humbled himself and became obedient to death even death on
a cross" (Philippians 2:8, NIV).
What happened on the cross? The
Bible teaches that God the Son took upon himself all the sins of the
world. To think every evil thought you and I have ever pondered; every
sin that we have ever committed; every evil, mean, dirty, jealous
act that we have practiced was laid on Jesus Christ.
The Bible calls Jesus "the
Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).
What is it talking about?
In the Old Testament God gave
us a vivid picture of what the Cross is all about. In those days,
if you wanted to get close to God but felt you had a burden of guilt
on your conscience, you would take a lamb to the priest at the temple.
The priest would lay your hand
on the head of that little lamb, and you would confess your sins to
God and ask His forgiveness. The priest would then kill the lamb as
an offering to God. Then, the Old Testament teaches, God would forgive
That was a picture of what Jesus
Christ would do on the cross. He took my sins on His own body. He
took my rebellion, my pride, my impurity, my covetousness every
evil thing Luis Palau ever did and said, "Luis, I love
you. I want you to know I am going to die for you. And if you repent
and turn to Me, then I will forgive you and cleanse you. Every sin
you ever committed will be forgotten forever."
It doesnt matter how rebellious
and evil you have been or how guilty you feel; if you want forgiveness,
you must come to the Cross. Once you do, you wont have restless
nights with a guilty conscience. Instead, you will be able to sing
praises to God. You will have peace with God because Jesus is the
Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
The Bible says three days after His death Jesus stepped out of the
grave. Thats what Easter is all about. Jesus is alive. Hes
not in a tomb. Mohammed, Buddha and other religious leaders of yesteryear
are dead, buried and gone. But you can visit Jesus grave, and
its empty. Hes the reigning King of kings and Lord of
lords. Hes God the Son, with all the power in heaven and on
earth. God the Father has given Him a "name that is above every
name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow
tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord" (Philippians 2:9-11).
Have you confessed the Lord Jesus
as your Savior? If you havent, I urge you to stop playing games
with your eternal destiny. Commit your life to Gods Son. He
was born and placed in a humble cradle as a little baby. He died on
a Roman cross to take away all the worlds guilt and shame. And
then, on the third day after He was buried, He stepped out of the
grave. Jesus Christ is alive. Hes ruler of heaven and earth.
He wants to be your God and King.
You can step out
Have you taken the important step of acknowledging Jesus Christ as
your God and King? It is the greatest decision of your life. If you
have never made the commitment, I encourage you to do so right now.
You may wish to use this prayer:
"Heavenly Father, I believe in my heart You raised Jesus from
the dead. I believe He was God become man. I believe He died for me
on the cross. I believe He is crowned at the right hand of God the
Father. Thank You for forgiving my sins. I accept Jesus Christ as
my Savior. Amen."
Luis Palau has preached the gospel to more than 14 million people
in 69 nations. He has written 44 books and booklets in English and
Spanish. He lives in Portland, Ore.