To promote peace, forty world leaders recently joined together at an anti-terrorism rally in Paris. After the recent terror attack there, it was inspiring to see the collection of leaders standing together against evil, sin, and the deaths of the innocents. However, far better than the leaders of today showing solidarity against those things, it is far better for the one Man, the Lord Jesus Christ, who truly stands alone against evil, sin and death. Let us consider why Jesus alone is better than even 40 world leaders standing together. It’s based on what Jesus has done, what He is doing, and what He will do.
Better than the world showing solidarity, Jesus Christ defeated death. The greatest weapon terrorists have is the threat and fear of death because man has no answer for death. God does have the answer for death, however, and His answer was to send His Son at a point in time to live a perfect life and to die in the place of guilty sinners deserving of death. Though Jesus went to the cross, died, and was buried, He did not stay dead but defeated death when He rose again on the third day. Believers in Jesus benefit as a result of what He has done on the cross and defeating death, for Jesus told His followers “because I live you also will live.” The apostle John wrote, “Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power” (Revelation 20:6, English Standard Version). While you and I will most likely (unless we are alive when Jesus returns) experience the first death, which is the physical death of our bodies, you and I who are believers in Jesus Christ, do not need to worry about the second and eternal death that is to come for all that reject Him. God’s offer today is for all people to share in Christ’s resurrection through faith in Him and what He has done on the cross in taking away the threat and fear of death.
Better than the world showing solidarity, Jesus Christ saves sinners. While many in the world today reject Jesus and what He has done, the Bible says, “because (Jesus) continues forever…he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:24b-25, ESV). Is Jesus Christ able to save from condemnation and hell the terrorists who participated in the horrendous act earlier this month? Yes, Jesus is able, and we can know that because of what the previous verse tells us. If anyone, no matter how guilty and disgraceful a sinner he/she may be, would choose to draw near to God through a mustard seed of faith in Jesus, Jesus is able to save “to the uttermost.” We can also know it from the testimony of perhaps the most influential person ever for the gospel of Jesus Christ. In the person of the apostle Paul, Jesus saved a terrorist named Saul who persecuted Christians and threw them into prison. Jesus saved this “chief of sinners” and transformed him into the biggest advocate for Christianity the world has ever known. If Jesus was able to save Saul and make him into the apostle Paul, then Jesus can reach anyone and change them into a person set apart for God’s service. This truth transformed Paul’s life, and it should change all believers as well.
Better than the world showing solidarity, Jesus Christ will end evil. The world may make a show against evil, but it is impotent to really do anything about it. This is because evil comes from the deceitful heart of man, and no government on earth can do anything to control the depths of evil within your heart and mine. While people choose to do evil, they are also tempted by the father of lies, the devil. And though he was defeated at the cross of Jesus, he is still alive with some power today, as evidenced in the murderous acts in Paris. There will, however, come a day when the devil will end his work in the world. When Jesus returns, “the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Revelation 20:10, ESV). And not only that, anyone who rejects Jesus will be sufficiently dealt with, for anyone “not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:19). Then the Bible says there will be a new heaven and a new earth, God will dwell forever with His people and wipe every tear caused by death, sin, and evil from their eyes.
Because of what Jesus has done, is doing, and certainly will do, He does far more than promote peace; He produces peace. That peace is the peace with God as people personally accept what Jesus has done in their place. That peace is also a peace with each other, as people are enabled by Christ’s sacrifice to see each other as merely men and women in need of the life, forgiveness, and wholeness that has been made available alone through Him.