THE WEEKEND THAT CHANGED THE WORLD
When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. But Jesus was saying, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing. Luke 23:33-34a
The weekend of March 14-16, 1986 will always be special to my wife and me. It was on that weekend we were married. Friday night was the wedding rehearsal, Saturday night was the main event, and Sunday kicked off our first day as husband and wife. The course of our lives was changed as God brought us together to be one until death.
That weekend in March is special to us… but there was a weekend in early April, nearly 2000 years ago, that is special to all of humanity.
It was the weekend of brutality and bloodshed as the righteous died for the unrighteous.
It was the weekend that began with tremendous agony, but ended with tremendous victory.
It was the weekend when Jesus Christ gave Himself up for sinful man.
It was the weekend when Jesus Christ conquered sin, death, hell, and the grave.
It was the weekend that changed the world for all history and eternity.
PERSONALLY ENCOUNTERING THAT WEEKEND
From the time I was little, my parents taught me about that weekend when Jesus died and rose again. I believed the report. I believed He died on the cross and rose from the grave. The only problem I had was that I believed it as facts on a printed page. I believed in Jesus in the same way I believed in George Washington. I had a mental assent to the truths of history. But those truths didn’t make one bit of difference in my daily life. In short, I was like the vast majority of those who call themselves Christians—I had head knowledge of Jesus, but no heart knowledge of Him. I believed on paper, but not in practice. I didn’t really know Him, I just simply knew about Him.
I was 17 years-old when the good news of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection made a connection from my head to my heart. The Lord revealed to me that I was a sinner, totally deserving of death and hell—with no way out, in and of myself. It was at that moment that the cross and the empty tomb took on real meaning as I cried out to Jesus for salvation. Alone in my bedroom on a Monday night in early 1980, I got down on my knees, and with all my heart prayed this simple prayer, “Save me, Jesus.”
And you know what? He did!
That night, I put my faith and trust in Jesus and Jesus alone for my salvation. In that split second of time, I passed from death to life (John 5:24). I went from being a child of wrath to a child of God (Ephesians 2:3, John 1:12). I was spiritually transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of His Son (Colossians 1:13). I was born again and changed forever. The Lord had come into my life to live in me and through me. I certainly didn’t understand it all at the time, but I knew within a couple of weeks that my life could never be the same.
IT MUST BE PERSONAL TO BE EFFECTUAL
Has the message of Jesus death, burial, and resurrection made it from your head to your heart? Jesus didn’t die for a faceless humanity, He died for you (Galatians 2:20). He rose again for you. He wants you to know Him, not just know about Him. You see, it must be personal in order for His death and resurrection to be effectual in your life.
Let me encourage you this Easter weekend to make sure you don’t just simply go through the motions. The worst thing that could ever happen to anyone is to know the plan of salvation and not the Man of salvation… to know the way to heaven and yet fail to go that way.
Jesus is indeed the One and only Savior. He will save anyone who will cry out to Him in repentance and faith. His cross and empty tomb changed the world as they made it possible for sinful man to have a personal relationship with Holy God. Receive Christ into your heart. Don’t just tip your hat to Him, bow your knee. The surrender of your heart makes it personal, and that makes all the difference in the world.
Pastor Jeff Schreve,
From His Heart Ministries
Dr. Jeff Schreve believes that no matter how badly you may have messed up in life, God still loves you and has a wonderful plan just for you. From His Heart provides real truth, love and hope on over 700 radio stations each day, in 182 countries each week on TV, and is always available online. Pastor Jeff takes no income from this ministry. All donations go to furthering the broadcast outreach. As a listener/viewer supported ministry, we thank you for joining with us to help speak the truth in love to a lost and hurting world. Go to www.fromhisheart.org for more information.