We have been talking about why Jesus is the only way to God. We talked about how Jesus came not to establish a new religion but a new relationship with God – and how His work on the cross did everything necessary to make that relationship available to us (immediately upon receiving Jesus, and trusting in what He has done). We talked about Jesus being the way, the truth, and the life (what He brings within that relationship with God). And about how, by His Own admission, HE is the only way to KNOW God.
But there are still so many who may have heard these words (and these claims) but do not accept them. They still think there is another path to God… one of their own choosing – and one that offers them a much more “acceptable” way of doing the “God thing.” They adopt the attitude: “I believe in God. I’m a good person. When I stand before my Maker, I’ll be just fine.”
It is still the prevailing thought, in most people’s minds, that on that Day of Judgment… our good deeds will outweigh our bad… and the scales of God’s mercy will be tipped in our favor.
Only one problem. I’ve read the Book about that Day (in Revelation 20) and there are no scales in sight! Just books that will be opened… and one book that is all-important… the Book of Life. There will be no court system. No trials. No defendants. No pleading our case. Just the Judge of all mankind, and those books. According to the Bible, on that Day… ONLY those whose names are written in the Book of Life will escape judgment.
So… how do we get our names in that all-important Book of Life. There is (you guessed it!) only one way. Jesus came to be that way that enables each of us to escape the pending judgment of our lives.
Jesus came to BE judged for OUR sins. Jesus was condemned for our condemnation. Jesus bore our punishment for what WE deserved. And He did it willingly… out of the immense love that God has for each of us.
His death… brought us life – IF we will humbly give up seeking our own way and simply embrace Him as the way!
But it is deeper still…
After Jesus talked about why He came into the world (John 3:16) He gave us some crucial information.
Religion constantly tells us: “Be good. Do the right thing. And God will accept you.”
Jesus is telling us that we are already condemned (judged!) because of our sin. No amount of “good” (thoughts, deeds, words, intentions) can rescue us… BECAUSE we are already on “death row.” Our die is already cast. Our sentence is already passed.
This would be such terrible news except for one thing… our Savior came to offer us a way out – for all eternity. All we are required to do is the simplest thing… just believe (trust completely) in Jesus.
He came that the condemned could be eternally pardoned. He came that the guilty could be declared innocent. He came to pay that terrible price so we would never have to pay it ourselves.
Only Jesus offers this to us. That is why He is the ONLY way to God.