Saturday, February 28, 2015


Life can be a very scary place for some people, so it's good to know that this life is not all there is. I can't tell you how grateful I am that Jesus is alive and well, roaring like a lion inside of me, assisting me, giving me hope, and interceding for me before the Father night and day.

But what if that weren't the case? 

 As we approach Easter, we've been considering this very simple question, "What if. . ."

  •    What if Jesus didn’t live a sinless life?

  •    What if Jesus didn’t die on a cross?

  •    What if Jesus didn’t rise again?

  •    What if Jesus didn’t ascend to heaven,     sitting at the right hand of the Father in a place of all  authority?

  •    What if Jesus didn’t promise to return?

 If. . . Then. . .

Then life here on planet Earth would be so dreadfully different.  Ponder this for a moment. 

If Jesus didn’t live, die, and rise again, you wouldn’t be reading this blog, because I wouldn't be writing it.  There would be no fellowship between you and I,  because we wouldn’t have anything in common.

There would be no such thing as grace, which at its very core is treating someone better than they deserve.  It is the completely unmerited favour and kindness of God.

And if there was no grace, there would be no forgiveness either,  for they go hand in hand.   Without forgiveness, the option for starting over, fixing something that broke, or erasing mistakes wouldn’t even exist.  What’s done is done. That’s it.  No erasers on the pencils; no backspace buttons on the keyboard.  No reverse gear for the car.  No such thing as the words, “I’m sorry.”   

 If Jesus didn’t live, die, and rise again, you wouldn’t have any friends, because the law of self would rule the day.  There would be no grace permeating throughout society, allowing humans the capacity to forgive and make accommodations for one another, because they wouldn’t have any example to follow.

If Jesus didn’t’ live, die and rise again, then there would be no one strong enough to save you from the devil who accuses you before God. Heaven wouldn’t be an option.  Hell would be the destiny for every human.


So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.(Romans 8:1)

10 Then I heard a loud voice shouting across the heavens,  “It has come at last—    salvation and power and the Kingdom of our God,  and the authority of his Christ.[a] For the accuser of our brothers and sisters[b]  has been thrown down to earth— the one who accuses them  before our God day and night. (Revelation 12:10)

If Jesus didn’t live, die, and rise again, then you and I would still be dead in our sins. The ache of guilt that you feel over bad choices you’ve made would gnaw at your soul night and day, with no relief in sight.


He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit. (Romans 8:3-4)

If Jesus didn’t live, die, and rise again, then I wouldn’t be here in New Zealand, because I wouldn’t be a Christian. And if I wasn’t a Christian, I wouldn’t have been called by God to be a missionary. And if I wasn’t a missionary, then I’d have no reason to have moved 10,000 miles away from home to a foreign place with foreign people who live a foreign way of life.  I wouldn’t have a message to share.  And I surely wouldn’t have met many of you and been blessed by you. 

If Jesus didn’t live, die, and rise again, then what you see now here on earth is all you’re going to get.  So if your current experience here on this little blue dot in the Milky Way isn't so pleasant. . . Well, poor you.

If Jesus didn’t live, die and rise again, then the suffering you and your loved ones have faced would be wasted, of no purpose, and utterly cruel.


 18 Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. 19 For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. 20 Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, 21 the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. 22 For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children,[j] including the new bodies he has promised us. 24 We were given this hope when we were saved. (Romans 8:18-24)

If Jesus didn’t live, die, and rise again, then you would be powerless to ever overcome that secret addiction that so enslaves you.

If Jesus didn’t live, die, and rise again,  then that relationship you’re trying to mend would never come right, because there would be no power stronger than your own selfishness to break the cycle of un-grace. A pure example of what self-sacrifice wouldn't exist. 

If Jesus didn’t live, die, and rise again, then you would still be captive to your old way of life.


17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! ( 1 Corinthians 5:17)

If Jesus didn’t live, die, and rise again, then you would be hopeless.


26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers[l] in harmony with God’s own will. 28 And we know that God causes everything to work together[m] for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. (Romans 8: 26-28)

If Jesus didn’t live, die, and rise again, then you would be in charge of your own destiny.  Now that's a frightening thought.  You would be completely incapable to battle the devil who is out to wreck your life, because there would be no one more powerful to overcome him.  The irony is, then, that you really wouldn’t have any control over your life at all.  

If Jesus didn’t live, die, and rise again, then you’d have no hope of ever again seeing loved ones who have died. 

If Jesus didn’t live, die, and rise again, then most of us would be blind and mute because we’d all still be living eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth.  By now we’d have plucked out each others' eyes and knocked out each others' teeth to even the score after every offense.   


“You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’[o] 39 But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also.  . . . 44 But I say, love your enemies![r] Pray for those who persecute you!

(Matthew 5:38)

If Jesus didn’t live a sinless life, then there would be no one qualified to atone for our sins, because he would be no better than you or me.

If Jesus didn’t live a sinless life, then we’d surely have no hope of resisting temptation, because well, “If Jesus couldn’t do it. . .then how can you expect me to?”


21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin,[a] so that we could be made right with God through Christ. (1 Corinthians 5:21)

If Jesus didn’t’ rise again and then ascend to sit at the right hand of the Father in heaven, then there would be no power in the name of Jesus.  When you’re tormented by fear in the midnight hours, there would  be no one to save you.


12 There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

 The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe. (Proverbs 18:10)

If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, then what makes you think there could be anything beyond the grave left for us?

If Jesus hadn’t made the promise to return and set up his Kingdom, then why would we be so urgent about sharing the gospel and introducing people to Jesus?


Matthew 28:18-20 (NLT)
18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.
19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
What if Jesus wasn't who he said he was and didn't do what he said he did?

Simply put, you’d have no life.

Don’t you see?  Every part of living is wrapped up in Jesus! Jesus is life!

Now what if you lived like you believed this?  What if you prayed like you meant it?  

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