The wealthy young man we have been considering over the last few days wanted eternal life but wanted to live life his way until the time came for him to die. Today’s passage records his response to Jesus’ call for a fresh start.
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Over the last few days, we have been following a man who was concerned about his soul. He was young and wealthy and claimed he had kept all the commandments since he was a boy. Now, Jesus calls his bluff.
What do you have to do to become a Christian? What do you have to do to stay a Christian? Will God’s love still be there if you don’t clean up your act? Is a relationship with God on-again-off-again depending on your behavior?
For the next few days, let’s consider the story of a man who needs no introduction. Well, at least not in the time and town where he lived. Our story is about a young man with a lot of money. But this rich young man was contemplating mortality. Makes you wonder why. Maybe a young friend had died, and he had come face to face with death. Maybe he had had a near-death experience. For whatever reason, the man ran up to Jesus and fell on his knees before the Lord. The man wanted a fresh start.
In the Old Testament, those who worshiped God participated in animal sacrifice. The believer took their sacrifice to the temple, put the animal to death, and placed its body on the altar to be consumed in the fire. Because of their sin, the worshiper should have been the one who died. But God, in his great mercy, allowed the animal to die in place of the believer. culminated
So, you want a fresh start but don’t think you deserve one? You feel unworthy to be a follower of Jesus. You wonder why he would want you on his team. You are ashamed of your past. You have a history of messes. You feel the heavy weight of guilt for the hurt you have caused. Well, let me introduce you to the apostle Paul and offer you a fresh start.