Dear Members and Friends of IBCZ,
When we lived in Malaysia (immediately prior to coming to Switzerland), we would sometimes get invited out to eat with friends from our church. On occasion they would take us to restaurants we could never enter on our own. These were private clubs, often including immaculate golf courses, beautiful swimming pools, first-rate tennis courts, and of course, fine restaurants serving delicious meals.
Because these were private clubs, at the entrance you had to identify yourself to the security guards. Only those who were members, who had paid a hefty membership fee in addition to their annual membership dues, and were voted in as members by rest of the members, could enter. However, members could invite friends to join them.
When Daniela and I would drive up to the entrance, I did not try to convince the guards to let us in because we somehow deserved it. The truth is, we did not deserve it, for we were not members and had not paid the dues. I would simply tell them our names and that we were with our friends who invited us. The guard would then check the guest list and find the note that we had been invited by members.
Last Sunday’s message from Heb. 2:5-18 included this statement in vs. 9: “But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because He suffered death, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.”
What a beautiful statement of the Gospel! In the wonderful yet mysterious love of God, He came to us in Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, to “taste death for everyone.” Our sin not only separates us from God but it actually leads to death, eternal death. But Jesus came to us, suffered for us, and even died in our place. He died the death we deserve as He bore our sin. When we place our trust in Jesus, His death counts for us so we don’t have to taste it ourselves.
Thus, on the day when we approach God and stand before the heavenly gates, we do not do so on the basis of our own merit or goodness, for that is much too insufficient to allow us entry. However, Jesus paid the price for us. In essence we say, “I am with Jesus.” As I Peter 3:18 promises us, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.” Through faith in Christ, we are His invited guests. Praise be to God for His wonderful gift!
Grace and peace,