This is a special guest post from a certain man I’m pretty fond of. He’s a youth pastor and the father of our children. Everyday he is a living example of selfless love to me and our boys and I am proud, honored, and extremely blessed to call him husband. I hope you enjoy his words as much as I do.
If you were asked the question –”What is the one single event that has had the most historical significance across the world over?” How would you answer?
Would you say it was creation?
God created everything you see around us and it is beautiful. There was nothing and then there was everything. That was a pretty big event.
Was it the Fall?
Adam and Eve chose to disobey God’s directives and eat from the tree that they
were commanded not to eat from. We’ve inherited a sin nature from Adam because of this action.
Was it the birth of Christ?
This was an event that had a huge significance to all of Israel and even humanity. God’s Messiah had arrived! The pomp that was on display was amazing. Prophecy was being
fulfilled and the angels were singing praise to God.
I asked the youth this same question a few weeks ago and these were some of the answers I got.
I would argue that the death and resurrection of Christ are the most important to all of history.
This event is one that has changed the course of history and the eternal destiny of billions of people. In fact, as you read through the Old Testament, history from the very beginning was building towards this event.
In the Garden of Eden, a prophecy was given that promised this event. Genesis 3:15 tells us:
And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.
God was talking to the serpent (Satan) and promised that he would strike the
heel of the women’s offspring. This happened when Christ died on the cross. He also promised the offspring of the women would crush the head of serpent. This happened when Christ rose from the grave and conquered death.
This prophecy is one filled with hope as it is the first promise of the Messiah, but it’s also one that is filled with mercy. Adam and Eve had just done exactly what God had asked them not to do. They ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. He promised that if they did that, they would die. When they ate that fruit, physical death and spiritual death were introduced into the world (Romans 5:12). Even though they had just sinned, God was going to show them and the rest of humanity mercy. They were not deserving of His mercy and yet His love overflowed and mercy was introduced.
What is Mercy?
Mercy comes from the Greek word eleos which means showing mercy or compassion. It can be defined as “compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.” As sinners, it is well within God’s right to bring judgment upon us. A price has to be paid for sin.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23
Yet God, through His mercy, does not want us to have to pay this price on our own. So He sent the Messiah to restore our relationship with Him.
In Isaiah, the prophet writes about the coming Messiah:
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5
The prophet was describing the crucifixion of Christ, some 700 years before it happened. He was going to suffer a terribly painful death for us. His death paid the price of Sin. So while He suffered, it was an act of Mercy towards us, Isaiah tells us, because it brought peace to us, and we are healed.
Our relationship with God can be restored because of the Cross.
History was building to this event- the death and resurrection of Christ. Christ suffered a horrible brutal death. He was whipped and beaten. He was mocked and spat upon. He was nailed to the cross and exposed to the elements to die. And yet God took this terrible instrument of cruelty and turned it into something beautiful. Christ rose from the grave three days later. Death was beaten, Christ gained victory over it! Through this victory mercy was shown to us! We were not deserving of it, but because of God’s great love for us, mercy was made available to us. Titus 3:5 tells us that “he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy…”. We can have a living hope because of the mercy that was shown to us. Peter writes:
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” 1 Peter 1:3
Mercy is free for us. We don’t have to do anything to acquire it except to ask for it. However, mercy wasn’t free for God. It cost Him everything. It cost Him His Son’s life. That is about as high a price that can be paid for something.
How do you respond to this gift of mercy?