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Sunday Bible Study: 9:15 a.m.

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“You are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." (Matthew 1:21)

Many people have many different about who Jesus is. Just a good man who lived and died? A charismatic man whose followers stretched the truth? A holy man with some connection to the divine? A prophet?

The real Jesus of the Bible is something far different. God himself. Born of a virgin. Raised from the dead. Returning to judge the living and the dead. Savior.

Here’s why. A very important truth that God makes clear for us in his word is that he does not want us to have any sin. In fact, he says that if we do sin, we cannot live with him because he is a sinless, holy God. Sin is so serious to God that he pronounces the death penalty for anyone who sins. He says, “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23) and “The soul who sins is the one who will die” (Ezekiel 18:20). So who can ever hope to stand in God’s presence and enjoy his favor? For try as we do, we are not perfect. Sinful thoughts, words and acts clutter our lives.

That’s where Jesus came in, though. In love for us, God sent his Son, Jesus. Instead of holding us under his judgment for all our wrongdoing, he placed Jesus under judgment instead of us. The Bible is speaking about Jesus when it says, “He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.”

Jesus came and exchanged his life for ours. Our transgressions (times when we fail to live according to God’s holy will) were taken away when Jesus was pierced on the cross. Our iniquities (all the things we think or do that don’t measure up to God’s perfect will) were taken away when Jesus was crushed in death. Our punishment was paid for by Jesus.

Through Jesus you have peace with God. Through his wounds you are given life with God. Through Jesus you are forgiven and loved by God. Yes, you! That’s who Jesus is—your eternal rescuer.