This Man Really is the Son of God
Translated by Allan Liang
“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him” (John 3:36). This is the gospel mystery that as Christians, we have received from God. This is also the area of the gospel that is considered most overbearing and is most hated by the world. To the world, even if the afterlife consists of heaven and hell, it ought to be that good people go to heaven and bad people go to hell. Only this way is it fair and convincing. How can Christianity decide one’s eternal fate based on whether they believe in Jesus and not their moral conduct? Is it really true that good people who don’t believe in Jesus will go to hell, and bad people who believe in Jesus will go to heaven? Where is the distinction between good and evil, how absurd!
Indeed, this viewpoint of the world completely conforms to man’s common sense. Yet this precisely exposes the greatest arrogance and ignorance of man after falling into sin: not being able to tell apart good and evil, and not knowing how man’s sin and man’s righteousness is decided in the eyes of God. In reality, the greatest good and righteousness that can be done by man before God, is to seek him and trust him. For unless one trusts in God, he can do nothing good. Man’s greatest sin is walking according to his own way. As written in the Scriptures: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless” (Romans 3:10-12). Man’s refusal to believe in the name of Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, is the greatest evidence of his fallen, sinful nature. For man’s refusal to believe in God and his trusting of himself in all things is to consider himself God, committing the death-warranting sin of blaspheming God (Leviticus 24:16). Yet why is it that should a person believe in Jesus Christ, he would no longer be condemned of sins but receive eternal life? That is because God, in order to save us, placed our sins on Jesus Christ, the Holy Son (Mark 14:62-63), letting him die for our sins. Consequently, all who believe that Jesus died on the cross for their sins will not die, but will be resurrected with the Lord and receive eternal life. Today’s devotion Scriptures (Mark 15:33-41) brings us to the scene where the Lord Jesus died on the cross. “At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour”, fulfilling the scene of the LORD’s end time judgments at the crucifixion of Jesus. “In that day...I will make the sun go down at noon and darken the earth in broad daylight” (Amos 8:9). When Jesus used Aramaic to cry out loudly, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Psalm 22:1), we then understand that Jesus did not only bear physical sufferings for our sins on the cross, what made Jesus suffer more greatly was the punishment of separation from God the Father which he endured for our sins. How terrifying was this to Jesus! Jesus’ mournful cry reflected the weeping and gnashing of teeth of perishing sinners in everlasting darkness. Usually, a person crucified on the cross would die from loss of consciousness due to blood loss. However, “Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.’ When he had said this, he breathed his last” (Luke 23:46). Consequently, the centurion who stood there in front of Jesus, hearing his cry and seeing how he died, said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!” Thanks be to God, letting this gentile centurion see the sole glory of the Son of God displayed in the death of Jesus, the Son of Man, on the cross. This mystery, “none of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Corinthians 2:8). Dear brothers and sisters, the mystery formerly hidden by God has been revealed to us who believe in Jesus: “Surely this man was the Son of God!” This is the greatest gospel for our salvation. We must know, the moment when Jesus gave up his spirit, an amazing thing happened in the temple. “The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” Why did this happen? This curtain torn in two represented Jesus’ body torn for us, his blood shed for us, laying down the path for us to enter the Most Holy Place (Hebrews 10:19-20). Because of the perfect sacrifice offered for us, once for all by Jesus the Son of God, we can, by the name of Jesus our Savior, enter before the throne of God the Father and become the children of God. What a wondrous salvation is this! Let us in prayer, meditate on the wonders of this wondrousness, and in Christ, offer up unceasing thanks and praise to God! Soli Deo Gloria!