The scripture for today, May 21 (5/21), is 2nd Corinthians 5:21 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:
A lot of people do not understand what Jesus’ death has to do with going to heaven. The key is in Romans 3:23 that says “The wages of sin is death.” In Genesis, 2:17, God told Adam and Eve the moment they disobey him, they will die. When Adam and Eve sinned, immediately their souls died, and the bodies gradually died. That was the wages they collected for sinning.
It’s been happening to everyone since then. Why is God so strict? He is trying to protect us from Satan. He is like a parent shouting, “Don’t go out into the street!” So, during Old Testament times, God told people to kill an animal to placate Satan temporarily. Apparently, it did but not forever.
Hebrews says the blood of animals cannot truly take away (take the substitute punishment for) sins; they are remembered again every year (Hebrews 10:3-4).
Finally, John the Baptist announced Jesus was “the Lamb of God” (John 1:29). This is what Satan really wanted. He had not yet put mankind in hell with him. He was holding mankind for ransom. He wanted God to die before he would release mankind from his hold. For 33 years, God’s Word took human form in Jesus and became one of us. Then he died in our place. In so doing, he collected our wages forever.
Jesus did two things impossible for us to do: Live a perfect life without sin, and come back to life after he died ~ both physically and spiritually. Why? So we could do two more things impossible for humans to do on our own: Release ourselves from Satan’s captivity and escape to heaven where we would be permanently safe.
But we have to believe this happened. As long as we do not believe it, even though Satan has opened the gate to release our captives, we must walk through that gate and through the gate of heaven.
It is not about being good enough. No one can do enough good works Satan has no choice to release us and God has no choice but to let us into his home, heaven. It only takes one sin to be a sinner. God cannot exist with sin.
God begs us to come to him and follow him out of danger and into the safety of his heaven. It is not automatic. If we follow Jesus, God sees us as sinless. Jesus was perfect for us. What a plan ~ the things Jesus had to go through to free us. What unimaginable love.
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