Summary: This is a brief sermon accompanying a choral cantata by the same title
A. W. Tozer said, “Our Lord died an apparent failure, discredited by the leaders of established religion, rejected by society, and forsaken by his friends. It took the resurrection to demonstrate how gloriously Christ had triumphed and how tragically the world had failed. The resurrection demonstrated once and for all who won and who lost.”
The world has failed and continues to fail, but God still stands offering something to heal our failure, and the offer still stands.
What is the offer? Jesus is not simply offering us a better life. He is not offering an easy way. He is not offering us a new religion or philosophy of life. It is deeper and more profound. What is his offer? The Bible says, “Such a high priest meets our need — one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself” (Hebrews 7:26-27). The offer is the offer of a Savior. It is the offer of salvation that leads to eternal life. The offer still stands, because the offer is Jesus himself. He does not offer merely to be for us or with us, he offers to live in us. The offer is life in Jesus Christ.
The world took what it wanted from Christ and ultimately rejected him. They listened to his teaching and continued to do what they wanted to do. The world took the loaves and it took the fish, but they discarded the One who fed them. They took the healing and walked away from the Healer. The world was willing to take a political or military messiah, but they wanted the real Messiah crucified. But in spite of it all, the offer still stands.
Jesus gave himself for us in spite of our rejection of him. The Bible says, “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen” (Galatians 1:3-5). That is the offer. It is the offer of a God who loves you and went to the cross that your sins might be forgiven. He offers to rescue you from this evil age and deliver you from the things that have you in bondage and darkness. That’s the offer, and the offer still stands.
In the days before his resurrection they mocked him, beat him and hung him on a tree, but the offer was still there. In fact, it was the crucifixion that made the offer possible. They, like we, spit on him and called him names, but the offer still stands.
Today you might say, “But you don’t understand. I am not worthy to receive the offer of Jesus and eternal life. I have done things that are too bad to be forgiven. I’m going to hell anyway, so why bother?” But Jesus says to you, “The offer still stands.”
Some of you here might think that God is not interested in you. Other people are more important to God. The truth is that there is no one more important to God than you. He has created you, and he created you for a purpose. He left his throne in glory and came to earth to die for you. If you were the only person in the world, he still would have come. No, there is no one more important to God than you. The offer still stands.
You might say that you don’t understand the Bible or all the things about the Christian faith. Good news! You don’t have to understand everything. You don’t have to have all your doubts and questions resolved. The offer is for you, and the offer still stands.
Maybe you are mad at life and mad at God. Things have happened. The cruelty and unfairness of life have made you bitter. You are keeping your distance from God because you are angry and hurt. You don’t understand why these things have happened to you. You have a decision to make, because the offer still stands, and it stands for you.
Perhaps you have not rejected the offer, but you have never accepted it either. You have done nothing about it. Not to decide is to decide. You will never receive the offer if you do nothing with it. What will you do? The offer still stands, but if you do nothing with the offer it will never be yours.
Some here might say, “But I might have to give up something. I might have to give up other offers to take this one.” You are right. You will. That’s a decision you have to make. I can only assure you that once you take what is real, the others will like cheap knockoffs. Sometimes you have to lay something down to pick something else up. Sometimes you have to give up something in order to get something. But we are talking about the difference between rocks and gold. We are talking about a treasure hidden in a field. Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it” (Matthew 13:44-46). An offer of a treasure is at stake, and the offer still stands.