If there was no Jesus:
_We’d be forced to relate to God everyday on the basis of our works, and could have no certainty that God accepts us, let alone loves us. Any attempts to work our way to God would only result in guilty, fearful uncertainty.
_There would be zero hope of heaven, zero hope of seeing those who have died before us, zero hope of being in the presence of God for eternity. Only the prospect of hell. Unending punishment. Relentless flames and unbearable wrath.
_We could never pray to God intimately, as a son or daughter. God wouldn’t be our wonderful Father, he would be our judge.
_A clean conscience would be impossible. The weight of our guilt would be a never ending, suffocating burden. Any attempts to clean our defiled souls would be useless.
_There would be no one to satisfy our souls. All joy would be the superficial, short-lived, junk-food joy that comes from the pleasures of this world.
Because of Jesus:
_Our relationship with God isn’t about merit, it’s all about grace. Jesus lived in my place, died in my place, God accepts me. Period. He sings over me, rejoices over me, delights over me. I come to him freely, without fear, without guilt.
_I have the certain, assured hope of an eternity in the presence of God. This world isn’t my final resting place. Jesus has secured my place in heaven. When loved ones die, I can grieve with hope. Every day takes on meaning in light of eternity. What I do here matters then.
_We come to God as Father! He’s our Father who cares deeply, intensely, passionately about us. He cares about every moment of my day, and I’m greeted every morning by new mercies. My relationship with God is as son to Father.
_Clean consciences! Every night I can go to bed knowing that my soul has been washed in the blood of Christ himself. I’m not guilty before God. I’m not kept awake at night by an unhappy soul.
_The glorious satisfaction of my soul in Jesus. The world is on an endless, fruitless quest for happiness. In Jesus there is true joy for my soul. There is joy every day, joy in the pain, joy in old age, joy in death.
Isn’t the gospel glorious? What else would you add to the list?
+photo by kevindooley
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