How can someone be made right with God?
The Bible says that every person has committed at least one moral wrong in his or her life. Therefore everyone is under God’s wrath and is destined to face judgment. Is there any hope? How can anyone be saved from this dreadful future? These are exactly the questions that Father Zakaria Botross struggled with in his early life as an Egyptian Coptic Priest. In his search for answers, Botross studied the teachings and sermons of the great Church Fathers. His biography explains what he found.
Eventually he happened upon a Good Friday sermon of the famous Cyril of Jerusalem delivered in the fourth century. It was based upon Jesus assuring a penitent criminal of salvation, as both died on their respective crosses (Luke 23:32-43).
The message of the great trustworthy Orthodox St Cyril of Jerusalem, spoke powerfully across the centuries to the diligently seeking Zakaria of Tanta in Egypt. When Zakaria for the first time fully realised the enormity of just what Jesus had done and achieved for him personally when he offered himself as a ransom for everyone’s sin on the cross, he fell to his knees amazed. At last he understood the stunning simplicity of God’s plan for salvation.
Through the sacrifice of the sinless Jesus, who willingly died in the place of all who would trust in what he had done, he, Zakaria could be freed of the awful guilt and burdensome anxiety which had bedevilled him all these years. Salvation was not something he could earn, no matter how hard he tried. It was something which God had freely offered, to any who confessed and turned away from their sin and believed on and trusted in Jesus. It was that simple.