A Matter of Life or Death

Life or DeathHave you ever had to make a decision with huge consequences? It’s not easy figuring out the right choice because there are so many factors to consider. Risks. Pros and cons. The effects on us and others. Long-term repercussions we can’t fully grasp.

We have no idea how things will turn out so we have to come to a conclusion based on our assumptions.

What if we make the wrong decision? Can we go back and change it later? Will we be able to unwind the consequences and go a different direction? If the answer is “no” then we better weigh our options carefully and understand the choice we’re making.

Golgotha–The Place of the Skull

Golgotha–The Place of the Skull

While in Jerusalem, we visited Golgotha which means The Place of the Skull. This is believed to be the site where Jesus was crucified. The natural rock formations look like the face of a skull and it was the site of Roman executions and stonings. Adjacent to the skull cliff is a large garden with a burial tomb, just like John reported (John 19:41).

We sat in the garden facing Golgotha and reviewed events that unfolded 2,000 years ago.

Luke tells us that there were two other men, both criminals, who were crucified with Jesus that day (Luke 23:32-43). One on the right, one on the left, and Jesus in the middle. Golgotha is not on a hill in the outskirts of Jerusalem as some people imagine. It’s right by the intersection of the two main roads that led in and out of the city. And it’s at ground level. This is how the Romans did it––maximum exposure, shame and insult. Everyone coming in and out of the city would see the men hanging there and would be able to add to their humiliation.

People stood watching as Jesus hung under a sign that said, “This is the King of the Jews”. Rulers sneered. Soldiers mocked. Women wept.

One of the criminals on the cross next to Jesus hurled insults at Him too and said, “So You’re the Messiah? Prove it by saving Yourself and us!” But the second criminal rebuked that man and said, “Don’t you fear God? You’re going to die…” And then he turned to Jesus and said, “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your Kingdom.”

As I stared at Golgotha, the reality hit home. Just like the criminals hanging next to Jesus, we have a choice to make. We can either accept Him or reject Him. We can believe that Jesus died for our sins and was raised for our salvation, or we can mock Him and believe that His death was the end of the story.

If we truly believe that Jesus is who He said He was, then we owe Him our life.

He is the Messiah. He has the power to transform our life now. He offers us eternal life with Him in His heavenly kingdom. He will be waiting for us when we breathe our last breath.

If you know that Jesus is your Savior, let your choices and your life reflect it.

If you aren’t sure that Jesus is who He said He was, I encourage you to read John 6:25-51 today and study what it says. Think about it. Pray and ask Jesus to reveal Himself to you. And begin to consider the consequences of the decision to accept or reject Him.

It’s a matter of life or death. And there’s no middle ground.

Regardless of what has happened in your life up until now, it’s not too late to accept Jesus. The criminal who asked to be remembered was given eternal life that day.

“Jesus answered him, ‘I tell you the truth, today you will be with Me in paradise.’” Luke 23:43

May I pray?

Lord Jesus, we don’t like thinking about death. It’s hard to visualize what happened in Your last hours on the cross, and we certainly don’t want to think about our final moments. But the truth is that we have a choice to make with eternal consequences. And that choice is to accept You as our Savior or to reject You. Open our eyes and ears so we’ll learn the truth about You. Open our hearts to embrace You. May our lives from this day forward be living sacrifices that reflect our trust in You. Amen.

Q4U: Do your life choices show that you’ve accepted Jesus?

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2 thoughts on “A Matter of Life or Death

  1. God has really convicted me through this blog. I accepted Christ a long time ago as a child, but I can’t say that my life has always reflected that, especially at this time in my life. I realize that I do need to be careful about what I do and what I say so that people can truly see that Christ is in me and is working through me.

    • Thanks for your openness and honesty. It’s a good reminder for all of us to live in the strength of the freedom Christ offers. No shame. No regret. No what if’s. No bondage. God paid our debt and set us free. Now it’s our turn to give back. Our life for His glory. Our best for Him.

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