ODJ: Undoing Death

December 16, 2017 

READ: John 1:29-31 

The next day John saw Jesus coming towards him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (v.29).

I once heard an amazing true story of how one man’s conversion affected untold numbers of people. When the man—who lived in a South American village—heard the good news of the gospel and decided to follow Jesus, his life radically changed. First, he stopped being abusive towards his wife. Then he began selflessly acting on her behalf. After a while, his wife started her own business and hired other villagers. As a result, the village prospered financially. In turn, many children could spend their days learning at school instead of toiling all day in the fields.

This story is just one of countless examples showing that John the Baptist was right. Jesus really does cleanse us from our sins. He really does take away the sin of the world (John 1:29; 1 John 1:9).

Romans 6:23 says, “The wages of sin is death.” The payoff or result of sin is death. Sin devours and destroys our bodies, minds, souls, the earth, our economies, communities, social and religious structures—everything. But in and through Jesus we counteract spiritual and physical death. Although we will all die physically unless Jesus returns in our lifetime, for those who follow Jesus, sin and death don’t have the last word. Jesus tells us, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying” (John 11:25).

And not only will we live after death—but, when we follow Jesus, we begin to live fully now. Jesus came to bring us abundant life (see John 10:10). Little by little, He overcomes and takes away sin and its death-dealing effects. He is making all things new (Revelation 21:5). That’s what God’s life does. It brings new life—resurrection!—to all it touches.

—Marlena Graves

365-day plan: Hebrews 10:19-39

Reflect on Deut. 30:19. How can you choose life each day so that you might truly live? 
When you choose to sin, how are you bringing death and destruction into your own life and the world? What happens when you choose to live in obedience to God in what you say and do?