This morning in church we sang an incredible song by Meredith Andrews-Not For a Moment (After All).
Not for a moment will You forsake me
This one line in particular stood out to me and really made me appreciate the great sacrifice Jesus made at the cross. The Bible gives us many promises of God, among which is the promise that, as believers, God will never leave us nor forsake us. This is only made possible because, while on the cross with the weight of the sins of all of created humanity from all time, past, present, and future, on His shoulders, He felt what it was like to be forsaken by God. He was forsaken so that we would not be. He took the punishment of the world upon himself in order that we could receive forgiveness for our sin.
This mercy on God’s part in orchestrating our redemption is completely undeserved by us. This is something that is difficult for many in our day and age to understand because of the prevalent attitude of entitlement that permeates our culture. But we are by no means entitled to God’s grace and mercy. What we deserve is to feel, ourselves, the full weight of God’s wrath for the sins we have committed, by means of death and eternal separation from His presence.
But God’s love for His creation prevented Him from leaving us in our sinful state. Jesus entered time and space and took on flesh to personally pay the penalty for our sin. Only a sinless human being, offering a willing sacrifice of His own life, could satisfy the demands of a just, holy, and righteous God. No one short of God himself is capable of such a sacrifice.
But that is precisely what was done. Jesus died in our place, making reconciliation possible between God and man. Because Jesus did everything necessary for reconciliation, God offers salvation as a free gift to mankind. But in order to take advantage of this gift, it must be personally accepted on an individual by individual basis.
In order to receive God’s free gift, one must personally recognize his or her sinful nature and inability to save themselves. That individual must confess and repent of sin in their lives and call on Jesus a Lord and Savior. Failure to personally accept God’s gift of salvation will result in eternal separation in Hell; an eternity of pain, suffering, darkness, torment, and separation from all that is light and good.
But thanks be to God, who has made a way for us to inherit an eternal dwelling place in heaven, along with its privileges and rewards, and to truly never be forsaken.