JANICE M. WILSON
(COPYRIGHT 1998 )
Jesus’ life was in the hands of the governor Pontius Pilate, and the governor did not want to be responsible for an innocent man’s blood. He gave the matter over to the crowds to make a choice: to crucify Barabbas the murderer, or Jesus. Persuaded by some leaders the worked up crowd did not hesitate in their decision. “Crucify Him!,” they called out. They favored the release of a repeat convict over the innocent Christ because of their envy and love of sin.
Sound familiar? Two thousand years after his death and ascension, humans all over the globe are still contemplating this decision. We still seem to favor the sinful over the pure, as evidenced by our choice of entertainment and current (lack of) values.
Thanks to modern technology and willing souls witnessing to the lost, almost everyone who has ever lived has heard of Jesus’ name and testimony, and faced with the eternally vital choice – to believe in Jesus’ resurrection or not. This very simple choice is fulfillment of prophesy of world spread missions all over the globe! Before you make a choice, consider these facts:
- The very significance of Jesus dying and then being raised from the dead is that no organized religion in the world can claim their gods have the power of resurrection. Being a Christian is believing in a Living God. Most religions are based on the worship of a deceased individual or are polytheistic (more than one god or goddesses). Worship of their god(s) consist of rituals to appease these gods, for fear of their wrath while living (i.e. sickness, death, natural disasters, attacks with animals or other people groups, repeated karma through reincarnation, etc.). All require either special dress, periodic purchases and replacements of objects (which can get expensive after a while), songs, dances, or the general labor and preparation costs to get these ceremonies started. These ‘gods’ are dead people who are dust in the ground, mystical entities, elements on earth or planets (crystals or stars) or things made by man (i.e. stones, wooden idols, paintings, drawings, etc.). None of them offer any guarantees or assurance of life after earthly death.
- Only Jesus Christ gives blessed assurance of salvation, a paradise after this life and frees us from the slavery of “hopeful salvation through so many works.” Salvation was his work and he finished it on the cross. It is free to accept from a Living, loving God, and requires no cost. Just repent and believe!
- Jesus is the most significant man in history. All time revolves around his life and death (BC/AD). Scientists, historians, and scholars through history have spent countless hours debating over his life, death, afterlife, and His return. In their attempt to prove his hand in creation and the future, or dethrone him, they still make Jesus to be the most popular subject on earth. Christians spend multiple hours each week worshiping him, witnessing, and reading his word; others kill whoever believes in Him. Either way, His name is still recognized.
- His letters to us, the Bible, is the best seller of all time, and most influential of all books ever written. The cannon is the only one that tells of man’s past and future, and the prophesies described inside continue at an accelerating rate. Jesus’ life was even predicted in the Old Testament. He fulfilled every prophesy about the coming “messiah”
- It has existed through thousands of years (old testament even longer), surviving the ages and decisions of ungodly men bent on ridding the earth of its existence. People in third world countries beg for a piece of page from the bible because they are so hungry to learn about the Living God. In many countries, the persecution to rid the world of the bible is so severe that Christians found with a bible can be imprisoned or even executed. Whether for it or against it, the significance of the bible is continuously proven – one book does all this!
- There is no other name in this whole world as suppressed as Jesus, and the persecution is the most severe for His name alone. Even Jesus suffered it with the leaders of His time, as we do today. It is the only belief not based on human rules in religion but solely on faith in Him.
Our worldly nature leans on the sinful desires. Like the serpent tricked Eve to think, we’d like to think of ourselves as self-sufficient and all knowing. People are naturally fascinated with death, eternity and spiritual phenomenon, because we were made aware of sin and death when we chose to not listen to God. Before Eve and Adam made their choice, they didn’t have a care in the world.
All organized religions recognize sin, however they may prefer to call it (karma, evolution, lack of personal power, etc.). And all of them have set rules to correct the imperfections of man, but none offer freedom of being saved from bondage of fear, uncertainty, addictions, continuous mistakes, and eternal healing or Paradise.
Only the Lord Jesus has freely taken the punishment for us (regardless of what we have ever done) so that we can be forgiven and not have to worry about damnation or reincarnation (who’d want to do it all over again with the way the world is?). As simple as it is, He wants us to just repent and believe in Him! The Grace has already been paid in full cost with His life.
The battle between right and wrong, and the belief in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit goes on and we all must make a personal decision, and do it very soon. What will you do with this man called Jesus the Christ?