Written by Joe Smith

    Jesus came to this earth and offered himself as a sacrifice for us and our sins. This is the foundation of the Christian faith. This is the Gospel. Our role in this story is simply to believe and confess in Jesus as Lord (Romans 10:9). In this acknowledgement of Jesus’ saving work in our lives, we are given access to a personal relationship with God through Jesus with the power of the Holy Spirit. If that isn’t awesome enough, we are promised to spend eternal life with Him in heaven.

    The Best Hockey Analogy Ever

    It can be hard sometimes to grasp the amazing fact that Jesus did come to die for us. It’s not something you can see or touch. For people who have never heard about this Jesus guy before, it’s like entering a whole new dimension. Fortunately, hockey players have an advantage in understanding Christ’s saving work on the cross. There is a great analogy hockey players can use to better understand what all of this means. Here is the analogy in a nutshell.

    1. A Goalie is having a rough day. As a means to let out his frustration, he decides to do something crazy like two hand chop an opposing player in front of the net. Or, yanking the feet out from under a guy parked in front
    2. The ref, not caring about our goalie’s bad day, gives him a penalty. Pretty simple really. The goalie breaks the rules, he deserves punishment.
    3. The goalie begins skating to the box….no wait, that never happens. I don’t ever remember seeing a goalie skate to the box. So what happens?
    4. A teammate from on the ice, someone who did NOTHING wrong, has to skate over and serve the full penalty in place of our goalie….who is now having a really bad day!

    Now, this is unfair any way you try to slice it. The goalie made the mistake. He should be the one to serve the penalty, but as we all know, this is not how it works. This is the analogy to what Jesus did for us on the cross.

    The Analogy in Real Life

    In Life, every human being “takes penalties”. The Bible calls this sin. As a result of this sin, we are separated from God because He is perfectly holy and can’t have anything to do with sin. We have driven a gigantic wedge between ourselves and God by our actions. The sin in our lives means that we cannot have a relationship with God or be allowed into heaven, but God sent His Son to die for the sin of the world. He became the once and for all sacrifice for everyone who believes. We were and are the guilty ones who deserved to be punished. But instead, Jesus served our penalty. Here is where the analogy doesn’t do justice to what Jesus did. Not only did he sacrifice Himself for “one penalty” but for every penalty we committed or ever will commit. We are imperfect people and we mess up daily, but that is why what Jesus did for us is such an amazing gift! Our penalty is paid in full and we are declared righteous in the eyes of God when we accept this gift.

    The One Logical Way to Heaven

    If you want to get technical there are actually two ways to get into heaven: 

    1. You can be perfect, going through life never ever thinking things you shouldn’t think, saying things you shouldn’t say, or doing things you shouldn’t do.
    2. Simply accepting this free gift from God and glorifying Him in our lives.

    Now, as I said earlier, we are imperfect people, but in case you think you have a shot at getting into heaven the first way the Bible explains that it is impossible to do: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). We are ALL sinners, but Jesus’ death has allowed us access to heaven. That is something we could never deserve and this shows us the power of God and the love of Jesus. Sin couldn’t trip him up, death couldn’t hold him down and “nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:39).

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