We all know the story. God sent His Son, His only begotten Son, to this earth to walk among us and be a witness to us. He would make Himself known in a humble sort of way, but He would impact thousands while He did it. He also did miracles, and taught through parables, and He garnered many followers. He chose twelve men to be His companions, and who He knew would carry on His ministry once He was gone. Yes, gone. For He also had a mission to save all of mankind, if they wished to be saved. He would become the sacrificial Lamb of God, and die for us on the cross. But wait...there's more.
He arose again! Yes, He died, no question. He was wrapped in cloth and laid in a tomb, and the stone was rolled to close it. All who knew Him personally, His family, His friends, His disciples, mourned Him. But they had forgotten what He had tried to tell them all along. They had never embraced what He was sent here to do.
So, when He was missing from the tomb, when He was seen and His wounds touched, when He had a meal with His disciples, all were indeed amazed. For here He was, yet they had seen Him crucified. They had seen Him give up the ghost. Yet He lived! He was flesh and blood, and He ate and walked and talked with them. He still told stories, and He still questioned them, just like before. And yet...He was indeed different.
For now He was changed. He was no longer the man-Christ. He was not like them anymore, not in the way He had been. Oh, yes, He was still their Jesus, and His beliefs and way of living, and His teaching was the same. But He had stayed the course, He had fought that good fight, and He had overcome. He had really overcome. For He had defeated death. He had done something that no man had ever done, not by His own hand, anyway. He had shown His power, His Father's grace, His purpose in earthly life. Now He was changed. He was just about finished with His need to be physically present in this world. He was ready to return to the Heaven He had been sent from.
And one day He did just that. He was taken up into the clouds, as the disciples watched in awe. And they stared after Him, even after He was gone. They had to be wondering what was going on! Why would He die, rise again, and then leave again? This was more than they could understand. Until the angel told them that this same Jesus would come back soon, the same way they had seen Him leave...in the clouds.
So it is left for all to wonder...why? Why did He die for us? What worth are we that God should take on a human form, be born just like our babe's are, and walk this earth with all the things a man goes through in life? Why would He choose to leave the wonderful warmth and comfort of that place called Heaven, where angels sing, and the light is bright, and all things are perfect and in harmony? Why?
Because He loved us. Even before we were born, He knew everything there is to know about us. He cared for us. He wanted us. He loved.
The world had fallen very early in its life. But God always had a plan. And He brought this plan to realization when He sent Jesus to atone for our sins. Yes, we all sin. We cannot help it, no matter how hard we try. We were born with a sin nature. Not our fault, but within our power to correct. By choosing Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, we find forgiveness for that sin, and for all our failings. If we will repent and turn from that sin, we will be saved. And this was what Jesus was here for. This is why He died.
He defeated death, and took the keys to hell. He gave us the promise of eternal life. He let the curtain be torn, the veil destroyed, that we may have direct access to Him, to His throne of grace. He made it possible for us to walk in faith, to live in faith, to die in faith. Because we know our hope is in Him, we need never fear anything again. We are His. He is ours. And that is why...that is why He did it. For you...for me.
Give God praise from the innermost place in your heart. Shout it to Him, whisper it softly, sing it in His ear. But give it from your very soul. For He has purchased your soul, your life, with His. And to Him, it was worth it.