There was once a time when the world knew not of its Savior. Yet there was hope because it had been foretold that a child would be born and called Emmanuel – God is with us. In Lent, we prepare for his coming anew. During this season, we discover for ourselves the call of salvation and the promise of eternal life.
God sent Jesus to earth to be “the Word made flesh,” as the Apostle John wrote. He came to give voice to God whom could not be seen nor heard. “The Word was with God,” stated John in the opening verse of his Gospel concluding with, “and the Word was God.”
But what exactly were the words that Jesus was to convey to the world?
God told Jesus to communicate to us:
- “Tell each one of them, ‘I love you.’”
- “Let them know you are my Son and through you, and only you, I come into the world.”
- “Ask them to believe in you and follow you.”
- “Because if they believe in you and follow you, they will not die.”
- “And if they believe in you and follow you, they will live eternally in my heavenly kingdom.”
It was a bargain between God and the people, a promise of salvation that was offered to each and every person on earth. And the broker for the deal was Jesus.
Jesus, being graced by God as the Word, summed up God’s promise in a single statement:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
These are the words Jesus gave us on behalf of God. One sentence that forms the terms of our existence—and our future. This is the faith we are asked to embrace.
Here’s the thing, though: you have to believe all of it. You can’t accept it in parts. You believe that God loves you; you believe that Jesus is His Son; you believe in the teachings and miracles of Jesus; you believe that death occurs to those who reject the way of Jesus. If you believe this, if you believe all of it, God promises to reward your faith with eternal life.
That’s the promise God makes to those who believe.
Do you believe?
These Gospel stories are re-imagined in the book series:
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