THE CROSS: THE END OF HUMAN EFFORT TO SALVATION
We praise our Lord Jesus for dying on the cross for our sin because He paid the penalty of our sin so that we can be forgiven and have a new life in Him. Jesus accomplished what we could not do to ourselves on the cross by saving us through dying for our sin. He saved us not through our good efforts but through His life. Different religions in the world teach that in order to be accepted by God or blessed by God, we need to perform certain religious rituals or be kind to others. The religious leaders in the time of Jesus, like the High Priests, the Priests, and the Pharisees, did not recognize Jesus as God because their religious beliefs blinded them. God sent Jesus Christ to end the human effort to be accepted by Him, but they did not receive Him because they were so fixated on their religion.
The message of the gospel is simple: Jesus Christ died on the cross for the forgiveness of sin, and on the third day, He rose from the dead so that those would believe in Him would be forgiven and have eternal life (1 Corinthians 15:3-4; John 3:16). The answer to our salvation is not being good in the eyes of God or perform the religious rituals that we know, but the answer to our salvation is our genuine faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. If we are still relying on our good effort to be accepted by God or gain favor from our God, such as being good, how much we pray every day, how much we read the Bible, or going to church every Sunday, then we are not completely relying on what Jesus had done of the cross.
God accepts us the moment we genuinely believe in Him. We do good, pray, read the Bible every day, and go to church every Sunday because we already have a relationship with Jesus. Our good efforts are the result of our wonderful relationship with God. God gives us His favor because He loves us, and He has a beautiful plan in our lives. As believers of our Lord Jesus, let us rely entirely on God's saving work on the cross. We do good because of what Jesus had done on the cross and not trying to get salvation or the favor of God through our good works. The cross showed us that good human effort was not good enough for our salvation.
Ask yourself these questions: Why did Jesus die on the cross for me? Can my good efforts be enough to gain my salvation and God's favor? What must I do to be saved from my sin?
Write down all the worries that you are facing today and lift them up to God.
Father in Heaven, thank you for saving me through the death of my Lord Jesus. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for your sacrificial death on the cross for the forgiveness of my sin. I was dead to my sin, yet you made me alive through my faith in you because you have done everything to save me. Please help me to continue to grow in my new life in you. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.