“Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God” 1 Peter 3:18
Jesus didn’t come into this world for a change of scenery, for fresh air, for a vacation, or for any other trivial reason you might imagine. He came for a purpose. He came to save you. As He looked down from heaven His heart went out to you. He loved you and wanted you to know Him as Lord and Saviour. So He left heaven and came to dwell among us.
It wasn’t a walk in the park. He endured all manner of opposition. It was a long, hard, humiliating road that led to death on a cross. And on the cross of Calvary He gave His life away so that you could have eternal life.
In the winter months on the Highveld in South Africa there’s no rain. The long grass becomes tinder dry and often catches on fire. All it takes is a cigarette butt carelessly tossed aside and a roaring inferno quickly follows. The fires are so great and the winds so strong I’ve seen flames shooting up more than twenty meters in the air. Everything is destroyed. After a fire has swept across the veld, the charred remains of reptiles and other small animals are grim testimony to the fire’s ferocity. It’s not just small creatures that can be destroyed by a fire. Livestock and large game animals, even elephant, have died in veld fires. People have died too.
When I was twenty, I nearly died in a veld fire. I was helping fight a fire near Pelindaba, north of Johannesburg and was part of a skirmish line with a number of other men when we realized that the fire had somehow got in behind us and cut off our line of escape. It was a sticky wicket. We needed to act fast or face certain death. Fortunately we had an experienced fire fighter with us. He wasted no time in grouping us together and lighting the grass around us. The new fire burnt out and away from us and left us standing in the centre of a burned over section. As the flames from the rogue fire roared toward us, they encountered the flames from the fire that we’d set and in no time at all, with no fuel available, the one fire cancelled out the other.
Similarly, as the fires of hell and judgment burn toward us we’ll only be safe if we find a place of safety. Christ has prepared the spot. There’s one place where the fires have already burnt out. One spot where the danger has already passed. It’s called Calvary. For at Calvary Christ paid the penalty for our sin. He bore our guilt and transgressions. As it says in 1 Peter 3:18, “Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.” And if we go to that spot, if we go to Calvary, we’ll be safe from the fires of judgment and hell.
That’s why Jesus came into the world. He came to take in His own body the fires of hell and judgment and to save us from them. For He doesn’t want us to be fuel for the eternal fire. He doesn’t want anyone to burn. He wants to save us from “the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15) into which those whose names are not found written in the book of life will be thrown. But He can only save us if we come to Him. The only place that’s safe is at the foot of the cross.
So if you haven’t come, will you come? He’s waiting to receive you. He’s prepared a safe place. A place that will save you from being burnt alive. Will you come?