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At one time or another, everybody wonders, “What does God
really think of me?” Even if you never ask that question out loud,
you probably think it—and others like it. Questions like, Does
God love me? Does he even like me? Is he mad at me? Do my
problems matter to him? Does he care about my life?
One of the most amazing teachings of the Bible is that Jesus
came into the world, in part, to answer all those questions because
he came to show us what God is like (John 1:18). Jesus even said
once that seeing him is the same as seeing God (John 14:9).
Putting this together means that if you want to know how
God feels about you, you just have to look at how Jesus treated
people like you.
So how did Jesus treat people?
He felt deep compassion for people who were suffering
(Mark 1:41; Luke 7:13).
He wept with those who were grieving (John 11:1-44).
He offered forgiveness (not condemnation) to sinners
He was drawn to all the groups that “proper” religious
people normally avoided—for example, people with the
terrible disease of leprosy, shady tax collectors, immoral
women, irreligious people, and people from different
ethnic backgrounds (Mark 2:15-16; Luke 5:30; John 4).
He showed great affection for children and welcomed
them—in a culture where little kids were expected to be
quiet and stay out of the way (Matthew 19:13-15).
He accepted invitations to fun parties and was the guest of
honor at social celebrations because he really enjoyed being
with people, and people really liked being with him (Luke
5:29; John 2:1-11).
He never gave anyone a lot
of religious rules to follow.
Instead, he graciously called
people to trust him and to
W hat does Jesusp’le
treatment of peoG od
reveal about how ?
feels about you
JESUS’ DEATH & RESURRECTION
Here’s what the Gospels reveal about why Jesus went to
the cross and what his death and resurrection mean:
the Son of God
HOW JESUS TREATED PEOPLE
Jesus came to die. Jesus made clear that his purpose on earth
was to seek and save those who are spiritually lost (Luke 19:10).
Elsewhere he said salvation would only be possible through him
giving up his life (Mark 10:45; John 12:27).
Jesus had to die
(Matthew 16:21; Mark 8:31; Luke 9:22). Jesus
didn’t say, “I probably ought to die” or “Dying might be noble.” He
said, “I must die.”
Jesus was willing to die (Luke 22:42). As the time of his
crucifixion drew near, Jesus naturally felt afraid. Yet he humbly,
willingly surrendered himself to God’s salvation plan.
Jesus’ death was for our sin.
The night before he was
nailed to the cross, Jesus ate the Jewish Passover meal with his
disciples. At the end he used the wine and bread from that ancient
celebration to institute a new memorial meal. (We call this the
Lord’s Supper, the Eucharist, or Communion.) In doing this, Jesus
was saying, “I am the new Passover Lamb. Through my death your
sins are taken away” (see John 1:29). Jesus’ sacrifice marked the
start of the new covenant (that is, a brand-new agreement between
God and humankind). Anyone who trusts in Christ’s broken body
(represented by the bread) and his shed blood (represented by the
wine) will be forgiven. This trust in Christ is how we are saved.
Jesus had to rise from the dead
(Luke 24:7; John 20:9).
Jesus said he “must” rise. Jesus’ resurrection proved once and for all
that he holds authority over life and death. In the resurrection, Jesus
conquered death so that we would not have to fear it. He lives so
that we can too!
Do you believe that Jesus’ death paid for your sins? Do you believe
that his resurrection provided you with new life?