I want to tell you the story that’s changed the lives of millions around the world. Some of this story will be familiar; some of it will be unfamiliar. But the good thing about this story is that it really happened. I didn’t make this up. It’s the story of the Most High God. He is more powerful than governments, economies, philosophies and natural forces. He made everything we see and everything we don’t see.
He made everything we don’t see like angels, demons and spirits. He made everything we see like the sky, the sea, trees, animals, the earth and all that is in it. Finally He made man and woman and put them in a beautiful garden.
He told the man and woman, “You can eat of any fruit of any tree in this garden, except for this one tree. If you eat from that tree, you will die.” And they continued in friendship.
But remember I told you that God created angels? Well there was this one angel who was very beautiful and powerful. He became proud and wanted to be the Most High God. But God said, “There can only be one Most High God, and that’s Me.” So God took this angel and threw him out of heaven, along with one-third of the angels who were with him. This beautiful angel is now known as the Devil and the angels with him are known as demons.
The Devil went to the woman and tempted her to eat of the tree. The woman took some of the fruit and ate. She gave some to her husband, and he ate too.
They disobeyed God’s command; they sinned. There were major consequences to this.
1. God cast the man and the woman out of the garden, and
their relationship with God was cut.
2. Man could no longer live forever. Everyone would die once, and
then the eternal punishment for sin.
They offended the infinite justice and holiness of God.
But God loved them anyway, so He was making a way for them to get infinite forgiveness.
Time passed and the people multiplied. Then God told His people, “I want you to get infinite forgiveness, so here are ten rules for you to follow. If you obey these rules, you will get infinite forgiveness.” The rules included things like do not take the name of the Lord in vain, honor your father and mother, do not bear false witness against others and more. But even though there were only ten rules, the people could not do them. They still sinned.
But God loved them anyway.
So He said, “Here’s something you can do. Take the blood of a perfect animal and spill it. If you spill the blood of a perfect animal, you will be forgiven. Because without the shedding of blood there can be no forgiveness of sin.”
So the people agreed and they did that. But over time, it became an empty ritual or repetitive religion to them. So God was angry and said, “Do you think that religion can get you infinite forgiveness? I’ve had enough of your sacrifices!”
But God loved them anyway.
So at just the right time, God sent His Son, Jesus. Jesus was a great man. Everybody loved Jesus. He was very wise. He taught the people exactly how to get infinite forgiveness. No one ever taught like Jesus.
He was also very powerful. He did countless miracles. It was especially powerful when He gave infinite forgiveness to people. One time, a large crowd gathered around Him. There was a certain politician who wanted to see Jesus. Let me ask you, do you like corrupt politicians? Of course not! Well, the people hated this certain politician because he was corrupt. Also, he was very short, so he could not look over the crowd to see Jesus. So this man ran ahead of the crowd and climbed up a tree. Jesus saw the man and said, “You there, in the tree! Come down. Let’s eat together; I want to be your friend.” The man couldn’t believe it. He hurried down and prepared a meal for Jesus.
During the meal, the man stood up and said, “I can’t believe that You and I are friends now. I am so happy! Look, I give half of my goods to the poor, and if I have cheated anyone, I will return it fourfold.” Jesus said, “Infinite forgiveness is in you, My friend.”
One time, some men brought a paralytic on a bed to Jesus. But the crowd was so large that they could not enter the house that Jesus was teaching in. So they got up on the roof and removed the tiles. The men lowered their paralytic friend down to Jesus. When Jesus saw this, He looked at the man and said, “Your sins are forgiven, now and forever.” The people were shocked and asked Jesus, “Can You really forgive sins?” Jesus answered, “Yes I can. I have the right to give infinite forgiveness. Let me show you.” Then He told the paralytic, “Get up, pick up your bed and go home.” The paralytic stood up, took his bed and went home. Everybody was amazed by what they saw.
There was another time that one of Jesus’ friends died. This made Jesus very sad. He went to his friend’s tomb and the people were mourning. Jesus said to the family, “I can give infinite forgiveness, so that you don’t have to die anymore.” He had the tomb opened and said, “Friend! Come out!” Then the man who had been dead, came out alive!
So everybody loved Jesus. But some people were jealous of Jesus. These were the religious leaders. They hatched a plan to arrest Jesus and crucify Him. They succeeded. So they arrested Him, beat Him and then crucified Him: which is when you take two planks of wood and nail a man to it.
Jesus is the only man who doesn’t deserve to die, because He never sinned. But there on the cross, His perfect blood was spilled. And when God saw that, He said, “That is the sacrifice. That is what will get infinite forgiveness.”
And this infinite forgiveness is very effective. In fact, there were two robbers crucified alongside Jesus. One of them told Him, “If You’re the great Hero, then save Yourself.” But the other robber said, “What are you saying? We are here because we have sinned, but this Man has done nothing wrong. Jesus, remember me when you enter into Your kingdom.” Jesus answered, “Your sins are forgiven, now and forever. Today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
They all died. Jesus’ friends buried Him in a tomb. Then after three days, something amazing happened. Jesus rose from the dead! Proving that everything He said was true. Proving that He really could give infinite forgiveness.
Do you want infinite forgiveness? How do you get it? Well, the Bible says that it is simple. Infinite forgiveness is a gift.
Here, I have a gift for you. What do you do? You take it right? How much effort did you place into receiving that gift? Ok, now is it yours? Can you enjoy it? Use it? Play with it? Yes, right?
Ok, let’s do it this way. Here, I have a gift for you, but you don’t take it. For whatever reason, you’re shy, you can buy it on your own, I don’t know it was a free gift.
For whatever reason, you don’t take it. Would this be yours?
It’s the same with infinite forgiveness.
Want something infinite? How about infinite forgiveness?