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Was It All in Vain?


          Have you ever done something for someone and felt that it was underappreciated or even ignored? Maybe that person was unaware of your sincerest efforts and just didn’t value what you did for him or her. Maybe you felt your effort was in vain. However significant the work, we have never done anything that compares to the sacrifice that Christ Jesus made for us.

          Can you imagine how Jesus must feel when people reject, ignore, or misunderstand His purpose and sacrifice on the cross at Calvary? Before He came into this world it was proclaimed by the angel, “He shall save his people from their sins.” Since He came to save us, then we must acknowledge the need for Christ to save us from our sins. “There are none righteous, no not one.” The Bible says, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” The three-letter word “all” includes me, you, and everyone. We don’t come anywhere near the perfection that is necessary to enter the gates of Heaven. That is why Christ Jesus’ death was necessary!  

Many hope that they are “good enough” to go to Heaven and are trusting in their good works.  It is a frustration to God for us to think our righteousness is a substitute for the grace that He bestowed upon us when Jesus died for our sins.  Galatians tells us that if it is about our righteousness then He died in vain. Why did Christ die if we could do it by ourselves?  If it is only about us being kind, doing the right thing, and being a great humanitarian, we can do that without the very existence of God.  Christ left the splendor of Heaven for you and me to be forgiven and changed by His grace.  We must come to Christ Jesus for forgiveness of sins and receive Him as our Lord and Savior.  If we choose to ignore or reject that portion of the gospel, then His death will be in vain!

Many gods have died, but it was Christ’s resurrection that sets Him apart from all other gods.  He lives!  He arose victorious over sin, death, and hell. It is His resurrection that sets Him above all principalities, power, and might.  That same resurrection is what gives us hope of our eternal resurrection one day to meet our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  When making a profession of faith, Paul talks of our life being changed because we have accepted the finished work of Christ.  He also spoke of dying to self and living a resurrected life.  When we take Jesus Christ as our Savior, the Holy Spirit comes in and empowers us to overcome the sin that so easily besets us.  It is hard for us to fathom, but the very power that raised Jesus from the dead indwells every believer.  Sin should not rule us, but we should rule it by the resurrected Spirit that lives within us.  Grace should be lived out with a life that denies sin and lives as Christ lived. As a Christian, if we are living a life of sin and do not live a life that exemplifies Christ’s character and grace, then to others it may seem that Christ’s resurrection was in vain. Let’s live a victorious life that proclaims, “His death, burial, and resurrection were not in vain!”

 

Jesus,

I know You did not die in vain for me. You saved me from my sins and gave me a new life to worship and serve You. Help me never to forget Your sacrifice and Your hand of mercy on me. I choose to live my life with power over sin. May my life be a testament of Your grace as my good works express my gratitude for all that You have done for me.  I choose to live for You because You died for me!

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