Here is what I want you to connect with today: Easter is a story about God rescuing you.
What is your immediate response to that? Easter is a story about a God rescuing you! Many people would say , “I don’t need to be rescued. I am paying the bills, cleaning up after the dog, everything is fine. I don’t see my need to be rescued.”
But the realty keeps coming back. “I sin and I can’t control that” – can anyone help me? Or, “I walk with hidden addictions that I want to be freed from” – can anyone help me? Or, “The more I try to control my life and others, the uglier it gets” – can anyone help me? Or, “People have hurt me and I have never gotten over it” – can anyone help me?
Here is the deal. We all suffer from those Human Problems. We need to be rescued. We need to be rescued because we find ourselves unable to overcome the challenges of our lives. We tend to be prideful and say, “I don’t need help, I will do it on my own.” We fake it to others and try to act like everything is fine. We get lost in our business and it helps us forget about our human problem. But, that reality keeps coming back. I sin. I have hidden addictions. The more control I take the more I hurt others. Or, that hurt just doesn’t go away.
Listen to what scripture says about this: With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death. God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. MSG Romans 8:1-3
That’s Easter. God came to rescue you. He came to fix that HUMAN PROBLEM. How? He personally entered earth, took our sin and pain onto himself, and died. Then three days later, He overcame death. When you give him your life, you allow Him to rescue you. I want to share God’s invitation to rescue you. There are actually three invitations. Everyone knows about the first invitation. Not everyone knows about the other two.
The first invitation to rescue you is this: I have come to forgive you of your sins.
This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him. MSG John 3:16-18
God’s offer is to forgive you of your sins. You can live a guilt free, shame free life. I want to ask you a question. What are you going to do with your sin? If you keep your sin, it will ruin you from the inside out and you won’t walk with God in heaven. If you died today, would you be in heaven?
The second invitation to rescue is this: I have come to give you a life of freedom.
Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them – living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. MSG Romans 8:5-8
This person is a person of pride. They say, “I don’t need to be saved, I can to it on my own.” Because of that, they never enjoy the freedom God has. That’s why scripture says – Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end. This can be the religious person who goes to church who focuses on the rules. You can have freedom from that if you focus on God’s grace. This can be the person who ignores God, focuses on the rules and says I can’t do it. You can have freedom from that if you focus on God’s grace. The invitation from God is: He came to give you a life of freedom. What do you focus on, the rules or God’s grace.
The third invitation to rescue you is this: You’ve been hurt and you can’t overcome it. God’s invitation to you is to heal you. You don’t need to be forgiven because you did nothing wrong. You’ve been hurt and God has come to heal you.
It was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him – our sins! He took the punishment, and that made us whole. Through his bruises we get healed. We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost. We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way. And GOD has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong, on him, on him. He was beaten, he was tortured, but he didn’t say a word. Like a lamb taken to be slaughtered and like a sheep being sheared, he took it all in silence. MSG Isaiah 53:¬5-7
Did you see that part: “Through his bruises we get healed.” Jesus didn’t come to just forgive you, He also came to heal you. Have you been wounded or hurt in anyway? Do you still carry the damage from that wound? God invites you to be healed from that wound. Do you continue to live with that pain every day?
I have three questions for you.
Question 1: When you go back into life today, what are you going to do with your sin?
Question 2: When you go back into life today, what will you focus on, following the rules or God’s grace?
Question 3: When you go back into life today, what are you going to do with the pain in your heart?