My dear bride Patty celebrated her birthday this week (I won't say how old she is, but she is one month younger than me, so now we are the same age again!). She recently posted this on her FB page, and I was quite impressed with it. Patty is a woman of deep faith and deep thoughts, and she occasionally shares these in the form of online devotions like this. So I figured I would share it with all of you. Read on and enjoy!
ONE WAY OR MANY?
I have had several instances recently where people say things like it would be unfair of God to only accept those who believe in Jesus. Or that all the ways and religions lead to God. I thought I would explain in my limited view why I believe it is both right and fair that Jesus is the only path to God.
It all begins with the love of God for his creation. God, who knows the heart of man, looked at his creation, who was created to have fellowship with God, in His very image... and eternal, and saw great wickedness. In his love for His creation God mourned. God did not seek revenge, did not seek to punish. He just deeply mourned the loss of His creation that had removed themselves from God's presence by pursuing wickedness.
A system of sacrifices did not suffice to permanently restore a relationship with God. It could not depend on what men do, since they do not have the ability to stay pure 100% of their lives. There would be moments of weakness and moments of doubt. Man contemplates temptation and thinks on wickedness even if he might not show it. Man's salvation could clearly not come from man.
Therefore God himself, emptied himself of his "Godness" came to earth and was born to grow up a human in a modest and humble home. GOD, called Jesus, did live a life without wickedness. There were no moments of weakness in faith or doubts. He did not contemplate sin. In other words, Jesus did something man cannot. He lived a perfect and righteous life if God's eyes. JESUS, in full knowledge of what the price would be (His death in a very brutal way) offered himself, our very creator, as a sacrifice for our wickedness to forgive all past and future sins and to once and for all restore a relationship with Himself that is eternal for all who choose.
THIS IS AN ACT THAT DEMANDS A RESPONSE. This is God, who died for you and for me. Not a surrogate, not a prophet, but God. He did not send a messenger, he did not remove our free will and force a response. He died, to offer us a way, demanding nothing from us except that we believe and honor His sacrifice on our behalf.
Jesus is the only way, because it was God who came down and allowed Himself to be tortured and murdered for each and every individual on Earth. I don't know of another path or religion that has God personally act to save every person. Jesus is the only way, because all other ways pale in comparison, and pale in forgiveness' power. No other way i am familiar with has a single act forgive past present and future sins for believers. None other require nothing from man outside of belief . If man could not save himself, forcing God to take on the entire burden of out salvation, then man can't do it today either. It is not unfair for God to make this single event the way He chooses to judge. After all, He died for you, what more do you want. It is fair, because God did all the work and requires nothing other than for us to acknowledge what God has done for us.