Today's Devotion

From Mike MacIntosh

And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last. Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. So when the centurion, who stood opposite Him, saw that He cried out like this and breathed His last, he said, "Truly this Man was the Son of God!"
Mark 15:37-39

You will spend eternity somewhere... but where? Someday you will breathe one last breath and leave not only your earthly body, but also time and space as you know it. You will leave behind a lifetime of family, friends, and possessions -- and enter eternity carrying nothing from this world. With so much to lose, it's no wonder so many people fear death. But through Jesus Christ, death is not loss -- it is gain.

When Jesus "breathed His last" and died while hanging on a cross, many people thought He had been defeated. They mocked Him because after saving the lives of so many people, He couldn't save Himself. But He hadn't come to save Himself -- He came to save you. And when He took His final breath, your sin, like the veil of the temple, was torn "from top to bottom." You see, the crowds had no idea that Jesus' death would result in life -- eternal life -- for you, and millions of people around the world like you. They couldn't see the life brought forth by His death; they only saw His death. And in the same way, we only see this side of death; we have no idea the new life that death brings forth. We only tend to think of death as the end of a good thing, rather than the beginning of something much better. Through Jesus Christ, death is not the end at all -- it is a new beginning.

Paul says to those who put their faith in Jesus Christ that in dying, we will gain eternal life (Philippians 1:21). Today, if you've given your heart to Jesus, you have absolutely nothing to fear... and life, itself, to gain. No matter what you're going through, you can stand up and rejoice. This life is but a vapor compared to the glory that heaven will provide. If you've not given your heart to Jesus, though, now is the time to make it right with Him. Simply ask to be forgiven and He is willing and ready to forgive you. Revelation 3:20 says, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me." You have two choices in life: you can either spend your life angry and bitter at God, or you can see the love that He's lavished on you and ask for His forgiveness.

When you accept the Lord Jesus Christ into your heart, all of the sins, regrets, and pains that you had -- He rips them up and shreds them in pieces. All of the baggage from the past, all of the rules and regulations that you once tried to live by, are all now ripped up. Living for Jesus Christ means that you simply love Him for who He is and what He's done for you. He loved you so much to die on the cross, and through His death, He offers to rip up your past and give you a new life. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says that those who are in Christ are a new creation. New! Jesus breathed His last breath for you; how will you live with the breath that is in you?

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