This is the free student devotion for the Special Focus, Easter: “But Now…Victory.”
To begin your time with God, ponder this quote from “Let’s Go!” in The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd Jones: “To rescue God’s children, Jesus would have to die. There was no other way. It was the reason He had come.”
In Jesus, God the Deliverer rescued us from the captivity of sin and its consequences.
Read Galatians 1:3-5 in your Bible.
Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins to rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father. —Galatians 1:3-4
“gave Himself”—Jesus’ death wasn’t an accident God decided to use to His advantage. It was the reason Jesus came, and He willingly gave up His life for us. Why is it vital that we understand that?
“For our sins”—Sin is so serious to God that the breach it created between us and Him could only be bridged by Jesus’ sacrificial death. Do you regard sin with the same level of seriousness or are you flippant about it? Explain.
“will of our God and Father”—God doesn’t love us because Jesus died for us. It is because of God’s enormous, overwhelming, unconquerable love for us that Jesus died. Are you overwhelmed by that statement? Why or why not? What kind of response does it call for?
Behind the Story
In his Letter to the Galatians, Paul was refuting Judaizers at work in the church. The Judaizers taught that in order to be saved, you had to observe the Jewish law. Paul wrote to remind the new believers that salvation is God’s free gift, not something earned from following rules.
If Jesus had not sacrificed His life, we would still be dead in our sins. There would be no way for us to have a personal relationship with a holy God. Jesus took our punishment so that sin would no longer rule over our lives, and we could truly know God and His love for us.
• If you are a Christian, take a moment to dwell on what Jesus did for you. Don’t let it just become a story or a historical event. Because He loves you, Jesus laid down His life to rescue you. He endured pain, rejection, and mockery for you. Meditate on that and respond in heartfelt prayer.
• If you have never understood why Jesus died or what it means to you personally, don’t miss this moment to respond to the gospel.
Memorizing is very difficult if you never apply the verse to your life. Incorporate Psalm 91:14-15 into your prayers and recite it when you face tough situations throughout the week.