GOD HIMSELF DIED FOR YOU TAKING YOUR PUNISHMENT
WERE YOU AWARE OF THAT?
Do you know that God HIMSELF died for you on the cross?
God loves you so much that He took the punishment for your sins on the cross. He does not want your sins keeping you separated from Him for all eternity, which they will, if you don't accept this FREE GIFT OF PARDON God has given humanity.
That's some pretty exciting news, isn't it?!
But perhaps this sounds like the most ridiculous thing you have ever heard. But is it really? Maybe you have or haven't heard it said that 'God is love.' If God truly is the essence of love, then what does His dying on the cross to take someone's punishment have anything to do with His love, you might wonder?
(Besides, who can prove that God died anyway, right? 'What a ridiculous statement!', you might be thinking to yourself).
Understandably. But let's flip-flop our reasoning. Can we prove that God did not die on the cross to take our punishment? Not really. The best (worst?) we can do is believe He didn't.
Consider this for a moment. Either the following scriptural declaration in 1 Timothy 3:16 (NKJV) is FACT, or it is NOT:
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:
God was manifest in the flesh,
Justified in the Spirit,
Seen by angels,
Preached among the Gentiles,
Believed on in the world,
Received up in glory.
Imagine for a moment that you are God. Imagine that you created all things. You decided to create universes, and planets and stars in that universe. On one planet in particular, you decided to create creatures in your likeness. Your primary reason for doing so was to reveal your wisdom motivated by love. These unique creatures would be unlike any other you had ever created. They would be created in your likeness in that they would be a three-part being: they would be given a body, a soul, and a spirit. You would give them dominion over the other creatures you had created on planet Earth.
In your love, you gave these created beings called Man and Woman the freewill to choose. You did not want to force them to serve and obey you like robots. To make them serve and obey you would not be love at all.
In your infinite wisdom, these special created beings would be given an extreme high place of rulership throughout eternity, if they chose to follow the course you laid out for them. This course would not be an easy course. This would be a most difficult course for most to follow. After all, for these special created beings to deserve the honor of being placed at an extreme high place of rulership, they would have to prove their appreciation and their obedience. To simply give them this privilege and right without them having to pay a great price for it would not really be wise.
Yet here was a dilemma you were faced with. In times earlier, in your love, you had given your angels, which are spirit beings, the ability to chose as well, and one of the most powerful ones began to think more highly of himself than what he should. A third of the angels less powerful than him also desired to see him placed above you in glory, and so a full-blown rebellion was brewing.
In your wisdom and power you removed these rebels from your midst. You confined them to a specific place until final Judgment would be given them for their wicked disobedience. They would be confined to planet Earth and surrounding it, until the completion of future judgment.
YOUR MASTER PLAN UNFOLDS
In your immeasurable wisdom, your master plan unfolded. You would allow this angel, who was now called Satan, to tempt Man and Woman to disobey you. If they weren't given the choice to choose to obey you or disobey you, given the choice to obey what you say instead of what your enemies say, how could they prove themselves to you that they could be trusted with it?
So you create a special place on planet Earth called Eden. You placed Man and Woman there, giving the Man a name called Adam. Adam named his wife Eve. You tell Adam and Eve they can eat of every fruit in Eden, except one. In so doing, you have just given to them your highest expression of love: Choice.
In due course Satan shows up in Eden. He entices Eve to taste the fruit you told her she shouldn't eat. Once she has eaten of the forbidden fruit, with Satan's help, she entices Adam to eat of it as well. You had warned Adam and Eve to not eat the fruit, because if they did, they would die. Satan used his lying powers of persuasiveness to convince Adam and Eve that they would not die, but would become like himself. Himself!? Sure, he just didn't say it quite that way. He said that they would become like 'God' to know the difference between good and evil'.
What Adam and Eve didn't realize is that they should have first asked you, their Creator, for a second opinion on the matter before just listening to someone else say everything was going to be okay.
After they ate of the forbidden fruit, sure enough, they began to die, just like you promised them they would. (You just didn't give them the details of how it would happen). First their spirit began to lose the intimate spiritual life you created it to have with you. Their hunger to fellowship in your presence would diminish from then on. Their love for the light of your essence would begin a slow death, and their love for darkness away from the light of your presence would intensify.
Secondly in their dying, their soul (mind, will and emotions) now began to experience fear. They were incapable of experiencing fear of any kind before disobeying you. In their fear, they now were compelled to hide from you, rather than desiring to have intimate fellowship with you as before. Along with fear came all kinds of other frightful, devastating feelings and emotions they never would have had to battle had they not disobeyed you.
Thirdly, in many years to follow, their physical bodies died. Had they never disobeyed you, their physical bodies would have lived on forever.
Something else happened when Satan gained legal influence over Adam and Eve. When they had their first child, their spiritual DNA was passed to that child. Their now spiritually defective DNA was partly of your nature, but now tragically partly of Satan's nature as well. Satan's deceiving nature was to try to turn spiritual light into spiritual darkness by trying to convince everyone that his darkness is the true light. Because Satan's fall transformed him into the father of all lies, he is now totally incapable of telling the pure truth. His essence for being is to attempt to convince all that the lies he speaks must become reality, his spiritual darkness has become that black.
Along with their now partly defective spiritual DNA was their physical DNA that also passed to their offspring. Diseases, abnormalities of all sorts, could and would be passed to their offspring to every person born thereafter, right to this very day.
In essence, everything good you created Adam and Eve for was now turned into a defective creation: Spiritually - emotionally ' physically. The light you had created in Adam and Eve would now begin to grow dimmer day by day in all three dimensions of their being. Yet in your wisdom, you had a plan from the beginning of all creation. In your love for the fallen human race, you were not about to let them remain under the control of Satan's darkened influence indefinitely. You would give mankind a second chance to become all that you originally created for them to become.
UNDERSTANDING TO THE HUMBLE
It is very difficult for a mere human to fully comprehend your need for The Master Plan of Redemption and Reconciliation to be given to the human race, but for those who seek to fully understand it, you give them the ability to understand and appreciate it enough to respond properly to it.
Here's the preciousness of the Master Plan of reconciliation for the human race. Because you are God, you have all power. You always were God, you always will be. You know all things, from the beginning to the end. In you, there really is no end. You are everywhere at all times. Love originated from you, because that is what you are. Wisdom originated from you, because that is what you are. Mercy originated from you, because that is what you are. Peace originated from you, because that is what you are. Joy originated from you, because that is what you are. Righteousness originated from you, because that is what you are. Holiness originated from you, because that is what you are. Perfect justice originates from you, because that is what you are. In fact, you are so holy and so righteous and so just that you cannot and will not stand sin (rebellion -- criminal acts ... against you) in your full presence, which is why you must implement your Master Plan. In your vast wisdom, you realized that Man and Woman could not be trusted with free will to obey you. Adam and Eve had already proven it. The only way Adam and Eve would never have chosen to sin against you would to have never given them the ability to choose between good and evil in the first place. To have done that would have made them subservient robots, slaves.
No, it was only right to give them and their offspring the ability to choose.
But because they chose to disobey you, which their offspring would also do by the very rebellious nature they inherited from their parents, your righteousness and holiness and perfect justice would never allow them to remain in your presence for eternity. After all, you are The all-just Judge as well. Wrongdoing against you and others must be judged and punishment must be executed against the guilty.
Sadly, it appeared as though you had backed yourself into a corner. Because you cannot tolerate sin (criminal acts against you and others) in your presence, Adam and Eve would never be able to be in your full presence any longer. Tragically, neither would their offspring - (which includes you and I and our offspring ... and it keeps going from offspring to offspring). The entire human race would be doomed to be separated from your full presence for all eternity, because now sin (criminal acts against God) stood between you and them, just like between you and Satan and the other fallen angels.
Yet in your mercy, you would give human beings a chance to have your holiness and your righteousness, which would be like garments that covered their sin. There was absolutely no way they could become holy enough or righteous enough in their own abilities that you would find acceptable, so you would lovingly give them yours. In fact, though it would cost you your very life, with pain unspeakable, you would give them this holiness and righteousness free (Click on the following link for expanded understanding: The Breastplate Of Righteousness). All they had to do was believe for it, trust you for it - because you would pay the price for them to receive it totally free of charge, without somehow having to try to earn it by being 'good enough.'
THE GREATEST EXPRESSION OF YOUR LOVE IS: CHOICE
In fact, it would be so simple to receive that it would seem unbelievably impossible to obtain. Yet it would be obtainable . . . to all of humble spirit and soul. Yet they would have to believe for it. But to have the ability to trust for it, they would have to obey you and ask you to forgive them of their sins. (That would be the most difficult for most, admitting that they were 'sinners' to themselves and others). They would also have to forgive others. If they refused to forgive others, no matter how much they were wronged or how great the offense was or the pain experienced by the wrongdoing, then you would not forgive them of their wrongdoing against you. The wise would appreciate your wisdom in so doing: The proud and vengeful of heart would refuse to see your wisdom in so doing. (See: Matthew 6:14-15 for Bible clarification of the necessity of forgiving others who have hurt us).
To implement the Father's Master Redemptive Plan on Earth to deal with the spiritually corrupt and rebellious, disobedient nature of mankind (or now simply translated as sin), in your mercy, [because you always submit your will to the Father], you chose a small group of people called the Jews to be a people who would be given more revelation and understanding about you than any other group of people until after your Master Plan had been totally executed.
Through the Jews, you would prove to mankind that they were incapable of following 10 holy commandments. If they did, which you knew they really couldn't, (because of being born with the sinful nature passed down to them from Adam and Eve), you promised them you would accept them back into your holy presence upon their dying. But because you knew they wouldn't and couldn't keep them, there would be only one option left for you to allow them to be reconciled back to you in totally good standing.
YOU would take their punishment for their rebellion - law breaking - failure to obey you. Yes! This was the totality of the Master Plan. Because you are The holy and righteous God, and there can be no other, YOU would pay the price for them to be forgiven and made holy and righteous -- to be in your presence forevermore once they finished the original course set forth for them, which would be death of their physical body and then judgment. You would execute righteous judgment upon yourself instead of them! You would go to prison and be cruelly tormented in their place so to speak, so they could go free!
What love you have. =What compassion and mercy you have. But the price you would have to pay to impart your love, compassion and mercy to the human race would not come cheaply for you. For those who would believe your Master Plan was the truthful way for their sinful, rebellious nature to be dealt with, you would grant them privilege throughout eternity that would stagger their imaginations. But for those who rejected the costly price you would have to pay for that privilege, for those who mocked and rejected and made light of this costly sacrifice of taking your wrath upon yourself (so they could be freed from receiving it) -- these would be sentenced to eternal separation from you. These would be sentenced to an eternity of suffering to different degrees along with Satan and his rebellious followers, because of the insult it was to you for them to be so unappreciative of the costly price you would pay to have their rebellious natures dealt with. No hell could be so deserving for those who willfully scoffed and rejected the incredibly costly sacrifice you would give to the human race to deal with their sinful natures, the sacrifice of yourself.
So you allow the Master Plan to continue to unfold. As you wrote through the hands of Jewish people devoted to you, the Messiah would one day come forth through the bloodline of one of the kings of Israel. The Messiah would be the One who would put a face on you. The Messiah would be none other than Yourself, albeit it in a uniquely disguised form.
When the Jewish nation had fallen into so much spiritual darkness that expectation of the long awaited Messiah appearing in their midst seemed to be the farthest thing from most of their minds, you showed up on the scene. (Contrary to popular hu-ha propagated by sugarcoated greed, Santa Clause did not deliver you from the North Pole in a sleigh pulled by reindeer to a little manger in Bethlehem). The Father expression of you willed The Holy Spirit expression of you to impregnate the egg of a devoted lady named Mary. This was the only way it could happen for you to be qualified to be the perfect, acceptable sacrifice to take the punishment of others. You would have to keep enough of your true essence, otherwise it would not be God taking mans punishment, (not merely a human being trying to take their punishment). Yet you would have to be so much a mere human to know the torment and the inner pain of being tempted to sin like mankind suffered daily since the fall of Adam and Eve. Because you have declared of yourself that it is impossible for an all holy God to sin, (which you truly can't), then you would have to make yourself human enough that you could sin, (and know the pain involved while trying to keep from sinning), though you never actually would sin, because if somehow you did, your Master Plan would be worthless. That's right -- if you gave into temptation and sinned only once, you would no longer be the perfect sacrifice for the human race.
HE CAME TO DIE THAT YOU MIGHT LIVE WITH HIM FOR ETERNITY
What a challenge you set up for yourself. But in your love, nothing was going to stop you from executing your plan. As history records, you lived as a human being for 33 years. You took the time to record in your holy scriptures that although you were tempted to sin like every other human being ever has or will be tempted to sin, you did not once give into those temptations. Yes, there had been times when it seemed like maybe you were going to, but because of the pain that it brought to you in knowing that if you did, the human race would be under the full control of Satan and ultimately would be doomed to continued eternal darkness and suffering. You could not, you dare not, give into those temptations. Complete execution of your Master Plan hinged on one thing and one thing only: You must not sin. Though you were capable of doing so because you had the corrupt DNA of Mary your mother imparted to you at birth, you also had incorrupt DNA not from a human being, but from yourself, which cannot sin because you are perfect obedience to what is right.
In your wildest comprehension, you had no idea how much pain you would suffer inside yourself as you hung their purposely on the cross, being willing to take the wrath every human will experience one day if they reject the Master Plan of reconciliation to God. Everything inside you was screaming to be freed to leave this place of torment you had willingly put yourself in. You didn't have to be in this torment. You didn't have to take your wrath that rightly deserved to be executed against the disobedient instead of yourself. You didn't need to be taking this ridicule of those standing around you, most of them refusing to believe you were even the promised Messiah -- the One who would save people from their criminal acts of sin against God (you) and mankind.
More painful still, you had the ability to see into the spirit realm as a mere human being. You could plainly see Satan there at that scene as well, with myriads and myriads of his demon followers, (whom you had originally created for good) screaming into your mind that you had sinned at least once, and that God the Father was not going to accept your sacrifice after all. This doubt was so real, so penetrating, that you began to literally sweat drops of blood from your forehead. What if I somehow HAD sinned once, and the Father refused to accept my sacrifice? What if, as Satan is now trying to convince me of, that I am sinning by my act of taking my own life, in affect - committing suicide? What if I'm wrong in thinking that I'm obeying the Father's will by what I'm doing, deceived like Adam and Eve were, Satan having tricked me?
Worse yet, I can feel the separation already starting from my intimacy with the Father. I'm beginning to fear the presence of hell that I will be sent to as soon as my spirit departs. The intimacy I've always experienced with The Father has now departed from me. Perhaps Satan is right? Perhaps it's an unknown sin I've committed that has caused The Father to reject me. Why do I feel like I am so forsaken by the Father?
Because the Father is dumping His entire wrath on me for the sins of humanity, the emotional torment of it is more than I can almost bear. Because now I AM sin, though I don't believe I have sinned, I must have my righteous and holy judgment executed against me because of that sin. I must also be sent to hell to experience the torment that others are experiencing there because I cannot make myself better than Man or Woman.
IS GOD DEAD?
Finally it is finished. My spirit is released from the torment inside my physical body. The next thing I realize, I'm in the hell I created. But something is different about me. I no longer feel the pain and torment I was suffering moments earlier on the cross. I have been freed from it. My man side has now been shed, and my God side is what remains. According to my Master Plan, I now will minister to departed souls in the spirit realm.
Many believe what I tell them, like my disciples did on Earth, but many also scoff and disbelieve. Those who believe, I am about to free so they can enjoy the fullness of heaven with Me and My Father and the holy angels. Yet before I do, I must do something to complete the Master Plan.
HAND HIM THE KEY
I walk into Satan's throne room smiling. He is not. No words are necessary to speak. He simply hands me the keys of his kingdom. He knows I defeated him in every arena. Literally - I have won the keys of death and hell. I have now provided Adam and Eve and every offspring of theirs, whose names were written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world a way to be completely right with the Creator again, because of the sacrifice I gave. My sacrifice was so costly, so precious, that no amount of money could buy it. No amount of their 'doing good' would qualify them to be given it. There would be only one way they could receive it, it was so costly to me. They would have to believe for it -- trust for it.
I did one final act to complete the Master Plan. It was imperative that I destroy my final enemy: physical death. (Spiritual death was destroyed when the sins of the world were placed on me while I hung on the cross). Thus, I resurrected my dead physical body three Earth days after my dying. I showed myself to many of my followers my new glorified body: A body like they would one day receive. I told them I could not stay with them long, because I needed to go back to my rightful place with the Father, otherwise the fullness of the Holy Spirit could not be poured out on them in His fullness to enable them to complete the work I assigned for them to do, and for the work assigned for the rest of my followers to do.
You see, I have come to painfully learn something about the humans I give life to. In their lost, sinful state that got passed to them all the way back from the rebellious fall of Adam and Eve, it is easier for most of them to believe a lie than believe my truth. Though I have every legal right to execute my final judgment now against Satan and his demons and the departed souls separated from me for eternity, I'm going to delay my most severe judgment. I'm going to let Satan have a little more time to tempt and deceive mankind. I'm going to see who really wants to pay the price to believe the truth and show by their actions (obedience) that there is some meaningful substance to what they say they believe.
To those who really want to be right with me, I will reveal the truth they need to gain confidence that they will be with me for eternity upon their physical death. For those who don't want to pay the price to believe the truth I give, or continue to keep on believing the truth I give, though the struggle to hold onto it may be very painful and difficult at times -- I'll allow Satan to give them what they rightly desire anyway, and that is to believe that lies are truth.
Do I sound cruel? Not if you knew what I have in store throughout eternity for those who will pay just a small price during their lifetime on Earth to hold onto truth and obey me. Some I will allow to suffer hardship because it will cause them to turn to me. All will be tested, some even to the point of death if I so allow Satan to take it that far, simply because they live in Satan's domain on Earth like I had to when I lived on Earth for those 33 years. You cannot be devoted to me on Earth and escape suffering from Satan completely. Some will suffer much more pain than others, simply because in my wisdom, it will produce in them the capacity to experience greater joy and appreciation throughout eternity that they would not be capable of experiencing any other way. It will also qualify them for some things I am keeping secret yet, to be revealed in its proper time.
THE GREAT EXCHANGE
It can hardly be made any more clear than quoting the words of a very well-respected Bible teacher: "When one is redeemed in Christ's precious shed blood, which at Calvary was shed as a payment for the sins of every believer, this burden is taken from the believer and placed on Him. Christ who knew no sin was made sin for us that, in turn, we might have imputed to us His righteousness. The first declaration of God, regarding Christ becoming our propitiation, was not our salvation but rather the declaration of Christ's righteousness (Romans 3:25-26). Because of Christ's perfect righteousness, He was able to render to God his Father and our heavenly Father what we could never repay, the payment for the penalty of our sin. Therefore, in Paul's writing of this divine declaration, God can declare "just" those who are not so. We have then, as believers, imputed to us Christ's righteousness while our sin is imputed to HIM. The sobering reality that we should see is that Christ is devoid of all sin and could not possibly have sin in Him, so we are devoid of all righteousness and can have none in ourselves. This divine condescension is the miracle of God's salvation for us."
This mind-boggling, mind-blowing miracle is referred to as the "power of God" spoken of in 1 Corinthians 1:18. What no other created being can do - God the Father accomplished through Jesus Christ through His death, burial and resurrection. He made sinners as holy as He is!
(You may get a better understanding of the imputed righteousness that saves sinners by reading: The Breastplate of Righteousness. )
There you have it. I took the eternal punishment for your sins so you could be freed from the punishment of God the Father's eternal wrath against sinners as recorded in holy scripture. It's was the Father's will that I did (do) so. He wanted the barrier of sin removed between you and Him ... so you and Him and I and the Holy Spirit can become your closest friend. We desire nothing greater than for you to become one of Our closest friends.
And I did something else. I made you as holy and righteous as I am; as the Father is; as the Holy Spirit is. (My heart's desire is that you live up to it, by working diligently in practicing righteousness - practicing obedience to My Word, the Bible).
Thank you for taking the time to hear the in-depth reason "Why The Cross." We trust you now have a much better understanding of what the Cross of Calvary truly represents. It removes the barrier of sin between you and God, so we can have intimate relationship starting now, if you want it ... but that's up to you. It is a decision you must make. All it requires is a simple little prayer, but you must mean it. We'll help you out by giving you a simple prayer to follow:
"Dear heavenly Father, I come to you right now, and I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I ask that You forgive me of all my sins, so that I can be made in good standing with You. I do not want to go to hell when I die because of my sins. I want to go to heaven when I die because I believe You made a way to have all my sins forgiven. I believe this WAY was given to me and everyone else by the substitutionary death, burial and resurrection of your Son, Jesus Christ. I ask and pray this in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen."
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Remember: All that we do in this life comes back to our God-given purpose which is to serve and glorify God. The money and assets we accumulate, the fame and power we've attained or seek to attain - all of the things of this nature will one day pass away, but those lives of others we impact for Jesus Christ will last for eternity, and we will be rewarded for the part we helped play by impacting those lives ... for eternity. (Matthew 6:19-20 is our assurance)