Why did Jesus have to die?

Why did Jesus have to die for our sins?  Because of the Holiness of God.  Death is God’s ultimate condemnation of sin; His pronouncement that sin cannot be allowed to continue.  This is made self-evident by the fact that the individual who has died ceases to sin.  But God did not create man to exist but for a fleeting moment, only to fade from memory upon death.  No, He desires for us to live forever; to be with Him for all eternity.  Yet if our Lord had not willingly sacrificed himself, the resurrection of man would have been rendered impossible because then the penalty for sin would not have been fully paid.  A sacrifice that costs little or nothing cannot truly be regarded as a sacrifice.  If an individual’s death was only temporary, and all men were to be eventually resurrected with no other sacrifice required, God would be merely winking at sin.  Death would be a token punishment — like giving a time-out to a murderer.  The fact that God’s only begotten Son had to die illustrates how seriously God condemns sin, and highlights His holy character.


By virtue of his sinless life, Jesus was without guilt.  Consider the offering he made by his willingness to die.  To offer means to present for acceptance or rejection.  When he offered himself unblemished to God and died upon the cross, our Lord was requesting that all guilt for sin be transferred onto himself, and petitioning that God would accept his death on our behalf as full payment for sin.  His sacrifice was and is the only perfect offering that exists; the only one God could accept — all others would, of necessity, be rejected.  If it were not so, the judgement against sin would be incomplete, imperfect and inconsistent with God’s character.  When He resurrected His Son, the Father showed that Jesus’s sacrifice was pleasing and acceptable to Him.  Because of this, men and women everywhere can have complete confidence that the way to eternal life now stands open for all who desire to be a part of God’s family.


Let all God’s children praise His Wisdom and Holiness; comprehend the full magnitude of what our Messiah did for us; and give thanks to the Father and His Son forever and ever!



Make America great again

The election year

always makes it clear

what it is we hold most dear.


In 2016, the plea of all men

— well, at least the Republican —

is to Make America Great Again!


Proceed then, O Nation,

engage every generation

— sans pause or hesitation —


to commence the debate:

How best to return to our previous state?

The days when our country truly was great!


In our present condition

Should hope lie with the politician?

Keep dreamin’ friends — yer wishin’!


Nay, let us no longer stumble and falter,

merely to halter

at that crumbling altar;


since from the past we can learn

that true blessings abound when for God we do yearn.

Instead, therefore, pray that all hearts to Him turn!





A picture may indeed be worth a thousand words, but the poet seeks to paint those pictures using words as succinctly as possible. There is an elegance in concision. Its application allows the reader to revisit the writer’s work and continually explore fresh, uncharted meaning, and to discover virgin gems of wisdom; just like the majesty of the oak is revealed through the gradual unfurling of the acorn.

Open study discussion

Hi all,

During his time on earth, Jesus had much to say about the cost of being his disciple and the responsibilities inherent to being a Christian.  For this study we’ll be exploring some of the passages relevant to these themes.  The first three relate to the cost of following Jesus.  They are:

Luke 9:57-62

1.  Why do you think these short snippets of conversation are included in the gospel account?

2.  What connection does the Lord’s response in verse 58 have to the statement which prompted it?  What is the take-away of the entire passage for would-be Christians today?

Luke 14:15-35

1.  Why do you think Jesus chose to answer the statement made in verse 15 with the parable in verses 16-24?

2.  Think of the responses given by those who were invited to the banquet, and then read Matt. 9:37.  Do you think there is a connection?

3.  In verse 27, Jesus states, “And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”  This is a hard statement, isn’t it?  What does “carry his cross and follow him” mean to you?

4.  Pair verse 27 with John 12:25-26.  Compare the standard outlined in these two short scriptures with the modern view of what being a Christian means.  In your opinion, are the standards consistent?  Why or why not?

5.  What is the point Jesus is making by following the pronouncement in verse 27 with what he says from verses 28-35?

and Matt. 10: 34-39

1.  Jesus is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), so why would he ever make the statement found in verses 34-36, and how can it be reconciled with what he says at the end of Mark 9:50?  How should we properly understand this passage?

2.  Based on this passage, should a Christian be at peace with the world?  Why or why not?

Let’s conclude with two passages that address the responsibilities inherent to the Christian calling:  Matt. 5:13-16 and Mark 4:13-29.

1.  List as many qualities and attributes of salt and light as you can.  How do these qualities correlate to the attributes the Lord expects his followers to possess?

2.  In the context of Mark 4:21-23, and also in the larger context of this study, what do you think verse 22 refers to?

3.  When you combine Mark 4:13-19 with another parable Jesus gave regarding a wedding banquet, found in Matt. 22:1-14, what is the message you come up with?

Law and grace

The law of God is the embodiment of the knowledge and truth which defines how to love both God and our fellow man, but that definition of love is incomplete when grace is excluded from it, because grace informs us that God still loves us perfectly, even when we fall short of the standards set by the law.  Conversely, however, grace becomes superfluous apart from the law, since no pardon is required where no transgression exists.

The law is exemplified in the Old Testament; grace is revealed in the New.  Both are essential and requisite in order to understand the mind of God accurately.  Jesus, the Christ, embodied the law and fulfilled its requirements in his life; then gave the fullest expression to grace through his death, by paying the penalty the law demands, on our behalf.  Having paid that penalty, once, for all, death itself ultimately died along with him — but the law itself did not pass away.