Why do YOU want to go to heaven? I’m pretty sure that Christians have a couple of different reasons for desiring Heaven. For some, it’s a fear of hell. For others, an excitement to spend eternity with Christ.
I’m pretty sure almost all of those reading this post know the Sunday School answer from above. Number two, right? But how many of us really, down in our hearts, are running towards Heaven because we’re excited to be with Christ eternally, and not for fear of Hell? I mean seriously… I’m terrified of the description of hell that we hear about in the Bible… And in all honesty, that’s probably the motivation for the majority of us when we got saved. Think about it… When the speaker at camp or the pastor at church started describing hell… it freaked you out pretty badly. It scared me enough to make me question my salvation for at least a year. To beg Jesus to come into my heart again and again and again. And I wouldn’t be surprised if it was the same for many of you. But now, I believe we it’s time we shift our motivation from running from Hell to running towards Christ. How do I propose we do this? I think we need to realize the depth of Christ’s unfailing love. Only then can we love him with the kind of love he desires from us. Even once we realize the depth of God’s love though, we still need his help in order to truly love him.
“The fact is, I need God to help me love God. And if I need His help to love Him, a perfect being, I definitely need His help to love other, fault-filled humans.”
― Francis Chan, Crazy Love
So although I can’t really help you with the second, I hope I’m able to remind you of our Savior’s unfailing love for you, and to excite you about being in his presence one day.
In Psalm 22, David writes about the extent of Christ’s suffering for us a thousand years before Christ’s death would even take place!
“I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted within me. My mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death. Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet. All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.” – Psalm 22:14-18
The cross was the most shameful way possible to die in Roman culture. It was meant for only the worst criminals.
And yet, God (Lord of Heaven and Earth, Creator of all) was willing to send his only son (Also God) to suffer in the most humiliating way possible. I don’t know about you, but to go from being up in Heaven, Lord of all, to Earth as one of the things that I had created… It’s pretty crazy. And don’t forget that Christ is all-knowing; he knew exactly what he’d have to go through. But he came anyway…
So my question for you, and for myself, is how once we realize Christ’s love for us… Can we not be excited to see him for ourselves? To see the one that willingly went through all the suffering that we read about in Psalm 22 just a moment ago. He left Heaven and God the father’s presence to come down to earth, and not to impress mankind. Jesus Christ came down from Heaven to die by the hands of the very things he created… That kind of love is too great for us to even begin to comprehend.
I think another part of the problem for me is that I cannot in my wildest dreams imagine living forever and ever, nor can I imagine meeting David, Paul, James, Joseph, and so many other heroes of the faith that I’ve only read about. No matter what I do, I can’t imagine it. So I’m really excited to read the rest of the posts this month and hope that by the end of it, we’ll all be able to envision Heaven a little bit more clearly. To be more excited about the big picture. To be ecstatic about seeing our Savior. The man who died on the cross so that we might spend eternity with him.