Perfected by Christ
Christ has died and risen from the dead! This is the wonderful news of Easter. More than a merely historical event, Jesus' death and resurrection offer transformation to all who repent and believe. Hebrews 10 tells us that, through Christ, we stand perfected forever. Our status before God is that of a perfectly righteous saint. Our sins are entirely forgiven once and for all because Jesus paid the debt for us. At the same time, Hebrews 10:14 states that we are being sanctified. God is transforming our character by writing his law on our hearts and minds. The incredible result of our transformed status and character is that we are invited into the presence of the Holy God without fear. Thanks to the work of Jesus, our status, character, and access to God are all transformed! As one who has received this great gift, pray that the Lord will enable you to tell one other person about Jesus' work and call to faith this week.
Matthew 21:1-10 records Jesus intentionally fulfilling the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9. After a ministry of healing, teaching, raising the dead, casting out demons, and commanding nature, Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey to say loudly and clearly, "I am the promised king who is a descendant of David and Son of God. I am the one who will rule over all creation." A week later, Jesus was killed on the cross but then he rose from the dead. Romans 1:1-4 states that the resurrection validates Jesus' claims! Now the question comes to us: Will we believe Jesus was raised from the dead and confess him as Lord? Will our lives display loyalty and love to Jesus as his people? Moreover, Jesus promises to return to rule in power and glory one day! Knowing this, Christians are invited to live with hope in a fearful world. Is Jesus your king?
In Deuteronomy 9 we read that God took care to remind Israel that they were sinful people who provoked him. God and not the Devil! Why would God do this? He did it to humble Israel, to magnify his generous grace, and to motivate Israel to greater faithfulness. We see this same pattern in the New Testament. In Titus 3:1-8 we find a reminder of sin, a focus on God's grace, and a call to humility and gratitude. How do you respond when you remember sin with its shame? Rather than self-loathing, let the reminder of sin move you to rejoice in God's grace, to have compassion on the lost, and to gratefully serve the Lord.