Week of April 8
By Skip Heitzig
Access to Christ the Redeemer was cut off last year. I’m talking about the famous landmark in Brazil that towers over the city of Rio de Janeiro. You’ve all seen pictures of it, a huge, 130-foot-tall statue of Jesus with arms outstretched on the top of a mountain. It’s been there since 1931, and two million tourists visit it annually. But last year Brazil experienced the heaviest rain in decades, resulting in landslides that blocked the roads leading to it. It took months to clear away the debris.
Back in the Garden of Eden, man’s access to God was cut off when Adam and Eve sinned. After that, man could only approach God through an elaborate system of sacrifices. Hebrews 9:22 reminds us that “without shedding of blood there is no remission” of sins.
But God had a permanent solution to the problem of sin, and that was to provide the sacrifice Himself. Jesus Christ, His only Son, took on all of our sins and died in our place. “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18). The sacrifice of Jesus cleared the way and provided our access to the Father. Using the analogy of the Christ the Redeemer landmark, it’s as though that statue leaned over and used its huge hands to scoop away the mud and debris on the roads so that people could come.
The word “redeem” means to “buy back.” In the Bible it speaks of someone going to a slave market and purchasing a slave in order to set him free. That’s what Jesus Christ did for us.
Jesus, our Redeemer, is my favorite subject. And that should be the emphasis of every believer and every church: Jesus Christ, crucified, risen from the dead, coming again. I like talking about Him so much because He saved me. He redeemed me by paying a debt that I could never pay. I owe so very much to Him, and so talking about Him is something I plan to do until my dying breath.
Somebody said that the reason people have trouble being obedient to Jesus Christ is they have trouble taking commands from a stranger. A lot of people know a lot about Jesus Christ, but they don’t know Him. They know His address, so to speak, but they’ve never personally come into contact with Him.
So come to Jesus Christ. He’s not a huge statue on a mountaintop or in a church. He’s the Son of God, who can take away the mud and debris in your life, your sin. Let Him be your Redeemer.
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