His Death Leads to Our Life

His Death Leads to Our Life
Pastor Stephen "Red" Shumate
April 16th, 2017

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His Death Leads to Our Life

1. We will Dance on the streets that are golden
Imagine that for just a moment a place that is so amazing that gold takes the place of pavement.  There are sounds of laughter and joy, some of the most beautiful music you have ever heard is playing.  What an amazing place that would be.

Now, can you imagine what that would be like to spend your entire life being color blind and then one day being able to see every color of the rainbow.  Watch the following youtube video of a grandfather who is color blind and puts on special glasses that allow him to see color for the first time in his life.

This experience was so overwhelming that at first he could only wear those glasses for a few seconds at a time before he was overcome by emotion.  And here is the crazy thing, he had to have imagined what it would be like to see color all his life.  I mean you wouldn’t spend 50 or 60 years of your life, knowing you are color blind without dreaming what it must be like to see color.  I’m sure this moment of being able to see color has played over and over in his mind for many years…And yet, when the time came and he put on the glasses, the actual experience of seeing true color for the very first time was so far beyond what he had imagined that it began to overwhelm him.

Here is the thing…This experience doesn’t hold a candle to what our experience will be like when we get to heaven and are in the presence of God’s glory.  In Exodus 33:18-23 Moses asked to see God’s glory.

18 Then Moses said, “Please, let me see Your glory.”
He said, “I will cause all My goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim the name Yahweh before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” 20 But He answered, “You cannot see My face, for no one can see Me and live.” 21 The Lord said, “Here is a place near Me. You are to stand on the rock, 22 and when My glory passes by, I will put you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will take My hand away, and you will see My back, but My face will not be seen.”

God’s glory is so amazing that we cannot physically handle it. And if you look in chapter 34, we see that jut hearing His voice and being near His presence caused Moses to glow…and not just like a pregnancy glow or a sunburn glow, we are talking about a glow that was so different that it made his brother Aaron and the Israelites afraid of him.  I’m imagining a nuclear radiation type glow.

Exodus 34:29-30
As Moses descended from Mount Sinai—with the two tablets of the testimony in his hands as he descended the mountain—he did not realize that the skin of his face shone as a result of his speaking with the Lord. 30 When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, the skin of his face shone! They were afraid to come near him. 

And this is how glorious, and how perfect our God is.  And this is what we will get to experience one day, after Jesus returns for us.  But no matter how many times we imagine what it will be like to dance on the streets that are golden, it will pale in comparison to what we will experience when we get there and we see it in all of God’s glory.

2. His Death Leads to our Life
So, this experience is what we have to look forward to, but how do we get from here to there?  We’ve already read that we cannot see His face without dying.  This puts us in a bit of a bind.  Because our end goal, where we want to be, is in God’s glory, dancing on the streets of Gold, but in order for that to happen we gotta die…

Why do we have to die?
Well, honestly it’s because we are broken.  We are not perfect or glorious like God is.  And God is so perfect and glorious that anything that is not perfect and glorious that looks upon his glory dies.

And why are we broken?  Because of sin…

Romans 5:12
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all men, because all sinned

And this sin means that we fall short of God’s glory - Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

And the thing is, that we fall so short of the glory of God, to see His glory means death… And I don’t think it’s hard for us to get our heads around the fact that we fall short of God’s glory.  If we simply look around, look to see what the world has become, it’s not hard to see how we fall short of being perfect.  And it’s not hard to see how the world isnt’ perfect, it’s pretty clear that the world is not what was it meant to be.  Even if you didn’t believe in God, I would think that you would still come to this conclusion.

Everywhere you look things are imperfect.  The weather is imperfect…animals, are imperfect…there is not a perfect tree, or a perfect blade of grass anywhere on the face of the earth…everything in this world is broken in one way or another. Every person in the world has some flaw in them…

So, everything must die.

But I don’t want to die, and more importantly, God doesn’t want me to die…He doesn’t want you to die.  He created us. He meticulously built us from scratch.  So, He doesn’t want to see us die…But since we are broken, He has two choices, He can either destroy us or He can fix us.  Fortunately, God loves us enough to fix us.

John 3:16 "for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that Whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have ever lasting life." [emphasis added]

But this fix, involves Death.  So we are back to square one…what do we do?

We need a substitute…We need someone to take our place…we need someone to take on our brokenness and die in our place, so that we can one day live in the Glory of God. And that someone, of course, is Jesus.

Jesus is God’s one and only son.  Jesus was perfect.  Jesus was not broken.  Jesus never was and will never be found guilty of anything….He did…But He was found guilty of what we have done.  He was found guilty of our brokenness.  He was found guilty of our sin.  And because he took on our sin, He had to die on the cross.

It should have been us on that cross.  We are the broken ones. We are the sinful ones. We are the ones who should die.  But because God loves us so much, He sent Jesus to take on our brokenness and die in our place, so that we can spend eternity in His presence.

That is what Easter is all about and that is why we celebrate.  We celebrate that His Death, leads to our life. We celebrate an empty tomb proves He was the only one who could do it…We celebrate His return to Heaven, because that means He will one day come again, to take us back with Him, so we can have life in the presence of our God.

The fact that Jesus took on our brokenness and took it to the cross for us, means that we get to live!  His Death Leads to Our life…  

Romans 6:23…
For the wages of sin is death…BUT the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. [emphasis added]

3. But we must accept His gift

Did you know that people can offer us gifts all day long, but we don’t have to accept the gift.  We can reject a gift, we don’t have to take them.  And the same is true with the gift of eternal life. Eternal life with God is a Gift from God…a gift that we must accept.

How do we accept it…John 3:16 clearly tells us…that whosoever Believeth IN Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

We accept it by believing in Him. But we must be careful here…
This scripture does not tell us that we just need to believe that Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins but instead it says we must believe IN Jesus.  True belief IN Jesus will result in trust and obedience and it will result in a dramatic change in our life.  And this is not just a one-time thing, but a lifelong commitment to Jesus Christ.

Belief THAT Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins, will result in a praying and asking for eternal life, but then going back to life as usual, with no change in your life.  But true faith IN Jesus results in a prayer that confesses Jesus as Lord and the gives Him your life to change and mold into what He wants you to be.

Our faith in Jesus is not about a prayer that we say, or about a list of things we must do, but instead it is about a belief in Jesus that compels us to follow Him and rely on Him for our salvation.

Do you believe IN Jesus to save you?  Or have you only believed that Jesus can save, but you still need to accept His gift?

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