Matthew 19:25-26: “The disciples were astounded. “Then who in the world can be saved?” they asked. Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.”

The age-old question: “who can be saved” was answered with great confidence. Jesus made a statement to His followers that with God everything is possible. On the other hand, an anonymous writer of a letter addressed to the Hebrews uses quite the opposite language (Hebrew 6:4+6):

“For it is impossible to bring back to repentance those who were once enlightened – those who have experienced the good things of heaven and shared in the Holy Spirit (…) and who then turn away from God. It is impossible to bring such people back to repentance;”

How is convicting a person to turn around impossible to God? It must be impossible because God has decided a long time ago to refrain from interfering with human decision making. I believe God definitely has the power to coerce His creatures into submission, but it’s His ethical choice not to use manipulation; instead God humbly accepts whichever rejection comes His way, and He lets go of everyone insisting on having his or her own way.

If you are a parent dealing with a son or daughter going down the slippery road of self-destruction, then you know to an extent how God feels. He is the parent of creation. He feels very strongly about us. And yet He respects our decision and lets us be if we so insist, even if it destroys us. This is who God is.

In the end, all our wrong has been made right. It’s hard to take in this astonishing truth that has been preached about for centuries. Most of the time people tend to either beat themselves up over their failures or defiantly dig in their heels. Prophet Isaiah proclaims in the 44th chapter of his book (Isaiah 44:22):

“I have swept away your sins like a cloud. I have scattered your offenses like the morning mist. Oh, return to me, for I have paid the price to set you free.”

God has done all His legwork. He has swept away our failures so we can start over with a clean slate. This actually puts the ball into our court. From God’s point of view we’re worth every penny He paid when He sacrificed His Son on Mount Calvary. The question, however, remains: Is God worth everything we’ve got? That’s for us to decide. And whenever we go for it, accept His gift and return to Him, nothing, absolutely nothing will be impossible to God. No despair will be too deep, no fall too steep, and no storm waves too high that He can’t rescue us. Generations have come and gone, and this still holds true: our God is faithful. Our God saves – if we let Him.

1 Corinthians 1:18: “[Christ Crucified Is God’s Power and Wisdom] For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

Saved is a state of being, not an end result. The fact that it is so hard to discuss the message of the cross intelligibly has everything to do with disclosure. The message of the cross has to be revealed by God’s Spirit. God Himself endorses this message and gives it its seal of authenticity.

The idea of God dying on the cross for us is just as mind-blowing as the idea of God becoming a human being – for real – not just for a week or so, no, the entire human experience. Jesus was born like any human baby; he grew up, went through puberty, became a man and ran his own business before He went into public ministry. All of that is part of the story of the cross. He didn’t just fall from Heaven and got martyred. The Son of God was a citizen, had a nationality and belonged to a family tribe.

Jesus didn’t fall from Heaven because there was more to conquer than death. He also came to redeem our lives by living the full cycle of the human experience. God got His hands dirty; He cried; He laughed; He got tired; He got sweaty; He got hungry; He got refreshed; He cracked jokes; He had parents; He built friendships; He was loved and He was despised. He was revered and he was ignored.

And Jesus prayed. I bet praying was a different experience for Him as a human being. Praying on Earth has its challenges. You have to really want it! Distractions are everywhere. I imagine if we pray in Heaven where God lives that’s a whole different story.

Then Jesus died publicly in front of everybody a very cruel death. Dying in itself is tough. Why He had to be humiliated and murdered that way is incomprehensible, but so is human brutality that happens on a daily basis. The point being Jesus came to redeem us from all of that. He came to save us from ourselves.

For some reason the message of the cross got some of us twisted into thinking that we’re to blame for Jesus’s death. It’s our entire fault that this glorious Son of God had to suffer so badly. This is only half the truth. The other part of the truth is that Jesus chose to bail us out because He thinks we’re worth it.

Let this message of the cross sink in as we go through another Easter season. Jesus’s greatest joy is to see our healing process as a result of His sacrifice. We accept the truth God whispers into our ear, and we shed off all the things that tie us down and hold us back. Being saved simply means we get to be real. Turning to God and allowing Him to heal us turns us into the person we’re designed to be.

Discover God and you’ll discover who you really are.