Week Three – Why Did Jesus Die?
1 John 2:2 (ESV)
2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
Why Did Jesus Die? – Nicky Gumbel
Week One is here for you to catch up with the alpha conversation (Week Two is coming, it made more sense to post one then three.) The past weeks have been setting the scene leading up to why Jesus died. They have been very informative and have opened my eyes to things that I hadn’t thought about before. They have also challenged my thinking about the topics that are covered. They’re helping to mellow my heart and mind about my walk with God.
Galatians 2:20 (NIVUK)
20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Week Three: Why Did Jesus Die?
This was my favourite week so far. Going into it I assumed that the conversation would mainly be about Jesus dying for our sins; the reconciliation between us and God etc. But the discussion brought up forgiveness. For most of us Christian and non Christian alike we hear Jesus died for our sins but nothing more is said about this gift that we have been freely given so when the conversation was centred around forgiveness I found that to be a breath of fresh air.
Like most people I hadn’t really thought too much about the fact that Jesus gave his life for us because he loved us -in a long long time.
Someone in the group said something along these lines of “imagine loving your friends so much that you give your life for them?” This is a powerful thought because we will never understand what it’s like to lay down our lives for the people that we love. “The closest that we will ever get to it is donating an organ,” another person added.
It’s amazing how easy it is for us to forget the magnitude of what Jesus gave us. We feel indebted to people when they freely give us small things in comparison to what God gave us but when it comes to Jesus we tend to ignore or forget what he actually did for us. We were in the wrong but He gave himself for us to be right in His fathers eyes.
As the session was drawing to a close someone in the group asked these two questions; Can you truly forgive and forget? and How do you forgive people who continue to hurt you? I tried to answer the questions but my fumbly brain went into dyslexia mode and may have got my words out wrong and ended up not answering the question at hand.
My response to one of the questions was along the lines of you have to work out if you have forgiven someone or you’re holding onto a grudge and soon after saying that I realised that I was holding onto a grudge towards family members. I had forgiven them but I was holding onto a grudge towards their “repeated negative behaviour…” which leads to forgetting. This then made me examine this forgiveness that I thought I had given out and I realised that I had forgiven but when I was confronted with the same issues that led to offence I automatically snapped into grudge holding land when I should have forgiven and moved on.
Forgiveness is one of the biggest battle grounds we face when it comes to Christianity because we have been given an example of forgiveness but we still struggle with living it. It can take us a long time to move on from an offence and in that time we are living in unforgiveness knowingly or unknowingly. This part of the Lord’s prayer highlights that really well.
Matthew 6:12,14-15 (NIVUK)
12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors…14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
The manner in which we forgive others is how He will forgive us. I realised that I had forgiven my family but then I held a grudge and this is a part of the unforgiveness.
Immediately after realising what had been going on with me, I confessed and repented and I asked for forgiveness from God for myself and my family members but I also asked for forgiveness from my family members through prayer. And the cloud that had been covering my heart and mind lifted.
We sinned and continue to sin against God but Jesus laid down his life for us to be forgiven. This can either convict you or condemn you. I choose conviction over condemnation. I can show my gratitude for God’s forgiveness by forgiving others simply because I am not offence free.
I am really thankful for this session because it confronted my unforgiveness and it reminded me that God loves me. That God gave His son for me. That Jesus loves me so much He died for my sins and for me to be reconciled with God.
In my week one post I wrote these words “Yes, I am still trying to fill a hole in my life. But what I didn’t quite know was what that hole was. Week 3 Alpha has answered that.” I had forgotten that God loves me and this lead me to trying to fill the gap that I could feel but couldn’t explain. Week three reminded me that God loves me and I have felt a complete difference in myself since this sessions.
The devil is a big liar and he was feeding me a lie for so long but I am thankful that God told me the truth and now I am getting back to my journey with him.
Joel Osteen – Knowing You Are Loved