The Power of the Gospel
How do we save sinners? We don’t! Jesus saves them. Our responsibility is to confront them with the Gospel. The Gospel has power to save even the hardest of sinners. Observe the amazing responses to the crucifixion of Jesus.
Before Jesus died, the repentant thief was saved.
It doesn’t say so, but I expect to see Barabbas in Heaven. Imagine standing near the cross and watching One hanging there in your place! That’s how every Christian sees Jesus. He died in our place.
It wouldn’t surprise me to see Simon of Cyrene in Heaven. Remember, he’s the man who helped Jesus bear His cross to Calvary. You can read his story in an earlier article in this series.
After Jesus died, there were more positive responses.
Matthew 27:54 tells us that the Centurion and they (the soldiers) who were with him watching Jesus die, experiencing the sudden total darkness from noon until 3:00 PM and feeling the violent earthquake and graves opened and Old Testament saints rise from the graves and go into Jerusalem, feared greatly and were convinced that Jesus truly was the Son of God. I expect to see that Centurion and some of the soldiers who crucified Jesus saved and in Heaven.
The cheering crowd who welcomed Jesus as King a week earlier with waving palm branches, were suddenly influenced by the religious leaders to turn on Jesus and cry for His crucifixion. They too watched Jesus die on the cross and observed the terrifying events that accompanied His crucifixion. They responded by beating their chests in grief and guilt, as Luke 23:48 describes. Many of those Jews were saved a few weeks later when Peter preached to them at Pentecost, as recorded in Acts 2.
Acts 6:7 tells us that later, many of the priests were saved. Can you imagine the chaos in the temple that crucifixion afternoon as the veil in the temple was wrent down the middle from top to bottom, opening up the Holy of Holies to everyone’s gaze? Can you imagine what happened as the priests prepared to slaughter lambs for the Passover? I imagine everything came to a grinding halt in the temple that day and priests began to question what they were doing there. The Lamb of God had been slain on the cross. There was no more need for animal sacrifices and Passover observances. The temple worship was over! Seventy years later the Roman armies would invade and totally destroy that useless temple.
If you are among those who may be questioning the value of religion, and sacrifices and priests as your intermediary to God, I encourage you to read Hebrews 10 over and over again until the light dawns on you as to the meaning of the death and resurrection of Jesus. I Timothy 2:5 says. “For there is one God and One Mediator between God and men.” Who is that Mediator? “The Man, Christ Jesus.” Not Mary and not the saints; but Jesus Himself.
Will you trust Him as your Saviour? Do you understand that He died on the cross, shedding His blood for your sins? Do you understand that Jesus is alive now in His glorified body in Heaven and He is one day returning for His own. Are you His? Have you received Him by faith as your Saviour?
Find assurance of your salvation in the Bible. Read I John 5:11-13. That’s the little Epistle next to Revelation near the end of your Bible. Read that promise/check for salvation from God. Cash it by faith this moment and go on your way rejoicing that you belong to God for eternity. Heaven is your Home. It’s not for anything you did. It’s all a Gift of God’s free grace. Receive Him now and rejoice!
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