Change. I almost shiver at hearing that word sometimes. There are good changes and there are bad changes. But, for the most part, we don’t like any type of change. Change may bring sadness or difficulties or happiness or something new different. And we don’t always like something new.
The Jews didn’t like change. They loved their traditions and laws and sacrifices. So when Jesus, the Son of God, came down to earth and told them to change, they hated him. He offered them something new and different, and most of the people rejected him. They crucified him. Jesus gave them freedom from the law and forgiveness of sins without sacrifices. He offered them new life. Eternal life. But for this they had him beaten and hanged on a cross.
Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers.
This is why Christians are persecuted more so than most. We’re different. Our “religion” isn’t a religion. It doesn’t tell you to work harder and be good so that you can earn your way to Heaven. All religions ask something of you. They give you laws to follow in hopes that you might earn your way to Heaven or Paradise or something like that. But you can never do that. None of us can. We’re too sinful and fallen. We can’t do anything on our own.
The Jews were in the same predicament as everyone else who followed a religion, except for the important fact that they followed the one and only true God. If you look throughout the Old Testament you’ll see that they couldn’t live up to God’s standards. Again and again they fell short.
Jesus changed things. We can now have a one on one relationship with God. We don’t have to be good enough for Him; we just have to believe in Him. There is no more need for sacrifices. All we have to do is ask for forgiveness and He will never fail to forgive us of all our transgressions. We were in slavery under the law, but now we are set free.
This is why someone will always be persecuting us (at least until Jesus returns). Our sinful human nature wants to work for salvation. It gives us a feeling of self, of identity (though our identity can be found in Christ). We like to believe that we did something on our own. Like God isn’t actually in control of our lives. But that’s not true. For everything we’ve done or ever will do has been because of God. All the glory belongs to Him.
Let’s rejoice over the freedoms we have today in Christ.
We are set free from the law of sin and death.
The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins.
This doesn’t mean to live however an ungodly lifestyle you want. Because of this precious gift God has given us we should want to live by the example Jesus set before us. We shouldn’t ever waste such freedom that way.
Jesus changed the world. Now it’s our chance to live out that change to the fullest.