We have all sinned. Sin is breaking God’s laws (1 John 3:4). Therefore we must pay the penalty for breaking his laws, just like we pay a penalty for breaking a traffic law. However, the penalty for breaking God’s laws is death (Romans 6:23).
God does not want us to die for our sins. We see through the animal sacrifices he initiated in the Old Testament times that he accepts a substitute for sin. When a Hebrew sinned, he could bring a law-approved animal from his flock, such as a lamb, and give it to the priest. There he was to place his hand on the animal’s head and confess his sin. His sin was transferred to the animal. The man then took a knife and killed the lamb. The lamb died for the man’s sin.
God in love sent his son Jesus in the form of a man to die in our place. When Jesus was on the cross, God placed all the blame of the world upon him (Isaiah 53:5-10). Thus Jesus bore our penalty of death. He became the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). His death satisfied God’s sense of justice and showed us how much he loved us. Because of Jesus’ perfect sacrifice, all animal sacrifices are now obsolete.
Now, if we confess that we are sinners and trust Jesus, God will forgive our sins and grant us the righteousness we need for the kingdom of God (John 3:16).
What Do You Think?
a. If Jesus died in your place, then doesn’t that indicate that God has already found you worthy of death, and your good deeds won’t help you to heaven?
b. If Jesus’ death in your place was determined by God long ago, doesn’t that imply that God had already positioned a “lifesaver” within your reach?
c. If Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross was the only thing that an all-knowing God could figure out to save you and still keep justice, shouldn’t that be reason enough to accept his plan?