Friday, April 14

Entering God's Kingdom

Jesus answered "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying 'you must be born again,'"--John 3:6-7
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Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." Jesus answered him "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise." --Luke 23:42-43



I chose to reflect on two scripture passages today because today has two-fold meaning for me as a Christian. The first and perhaps most obvious is that today is Good Friday. Many of my fellow Christians and I are commemorating Christ's crucifixion--the greatest sacrifice of love ever made by one human being for another. For that reason, Good Friday is one of the most vital aspects of the Christian faith.

Along those same lines is the secondary, but not unrelated, personal significance of this date. It was 10 years ago today that I publicly accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. One decade ago I made it known that I knew I could not save myself or get into heaven of my own merit. I stated that I believe that the Bible is God's word, that Jesus is God's Son who was both human and divine. I believe that Christ took on the punishment that I deserve for my sinfulness when He was put to death by crucifixion. I believe that Jesus has conquered death and rose from the grave three days after his death. Because of that belief, I have been born-again--born of the Spirit.

I believe all those things even more strongly than I did when I was a teenager. The reality of God's love for me has become all the more apparent through the years. Like the thief who hung on the cross beside Jesus, I will be welcomed into God's kingdom when I die. That is what makes Good Friday so good, and what makes me look forward to celebrating even more on Easter Sunday.

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