Living Hope

The death of Christ is one of the most climactic moments in the Bible. It stands as the most horrifying, yet beautiful act of love the world has ever known. The atoning sacrifice of Christ on the cross changed everything, bringing about the satisfaction of God’s justice and the appeasement of God’s wrath. Man can now stand justified before God, no longer condemned but redeemed! Whenever I contemplate this incredible news, I am left asking like Charles Wesley, “How can it be that my God should die for me?” It’s impossible to imagine the level of difficulty it was for our Lord to freely give His back to the punisher, His cheek to the striker, His beard to the plucker, His face to the spitter, and His hands and feet to the pounder (Isa. 50:5)—all while bearing the weight of our sin and the immense agony of His Father’s separation. The injustice Christ endured was not only for our sake but for the very ones inflicting such pain as they cruelly put Him to death. It is entirely natural for humans to recoil from pain, but Christ not only resisted this human instinct, He willingly gave himself over to a punishment He did not deserve (1 Peter 2:23). Nothing Christ did was accidental, manipulated, or coincidental. Jesus told Peter in Matthew 26 that it must be so, how else should the Scriptures be fulfilled? Jesus also said in John 10, “No one takes it [my life] from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.” Every step taken was intentional and by design. Why? Because of His marvelous matchless love. Romans 5 makes clear that Christ demonstrated His love—He proved His love on the cross for the sake of sinners like me and for sinners like those who drove the nails through His sinless flesh. But praise God it does not end here or else this news would not be so incredible. The bloodied dead corpse of God’s Son was not left to rot in that tomb two thousand years ago. His love meant something more than a selfless demonstration. The bodily resurrection of Jesus ratifies the blood atonement. It conquers death, affirms His deity, and completes the gospel. May we forever be in awe of God’s boundless love; for it is this love that provides salvation and promises lasting life with Him. Hope is alive because He is alive! May we no longer live for ourselves but for the One who died for us and lives forevermore (2 Cor. 5:14-15). —Pastor Nate

Sunday at Liberty

9AM: How to Study the Bible–OT Prophecy

10AM: Pastor Nate Wagner–Living Hope–1 Peter 1:3-9 (sermon notes)

No Evening Gathering

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