Have you ever been in a hurry — driving down the street — when you see the traffic light turn yellow? Rushing ahead, you speed toward the intersection to make the light — but it turns red as you're going through. Realizing that you bent the law, a flush of guilt washes over your face as you look to see if anyone noticed your indiscretion. Seeing that the coast is clear, you breathe a sigh of relief and continue on your way.
But...a week later, an official letter arrives at your home. Inside is a citation for failure to stop at a red light and included with the citation is clear evidence through photos from red light cameras that you did indeed run the red light. There is a snapshot of you behind the wheel, and pictures of your car and license plate — traveling through the intersection at various points, all of which show you clearly passing beneath the red light. There's no denying it. They've got the evidence and it's in your face.
What do you do with a moment of truth like that? Most of us will stop when we're faced with the evidence, when we know that there's only one way to proceed responsibly and acceptably. And in this case, we must pay the fine.
In the same way, the bodily, physical resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day confronts every one of us with a moment of truth. His death and resurrection forces us to stop speeding along life's road to ask, "What am I going to do with this evidence?" And it's not just the next 10, 20, 30, or 40 years that is dependent upon your answer, it is your eternal life that's dependent upon you facing up to this moment of truth.
In facing this moment, there's a natural progression of thought: "If Jesus rose from the dead, then He must be God of Very God, and if He's God of Very God, then I had better take Him seriously. I better read His Word. I better find out what He's expecting of me. I better find out what He wants me to do."
In the case of confronting the reality of running the red light, you are expected to pay a fine. But in confronting the reality of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, He has already paid the fine for you. He's not asking you to pay for the wages due on all of your sin. Instead, He is asking for your life — for you to take Him at His Word and receive His gift of eternal life, and His payment for your sin. Ask anyone who has received the gift of salvation from the hand of God if they ever regretted making their decision. I promise you, no one ever regrets it.
Perhaps you faced your moment of truth many years ago now, but need to be reminded that every day has many moments of truth. Every day holds countless opportunities to choose God's road and to accept His grace when you do sin. How are you living your life today? Are you living for Christ? Are you daily studying His Word and spending time in prayer? Are you sharing your faith with others?
Remember the high price that Jesus paid for your sin, and find joy and gratitude in serving a living Savior.
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. With 25 reflections on these names of Christ from Isaiah 9, Dr. Youssef’s Jesus The Only Advent devotional booklet is designed to not only prepare your heart for the Christmas season, but also for Christ's coming reign. Get your copy today and grow in your knowledge of who God is and what that means—past, present, and future.