Why do I need to be
God leaves no doubt about our
condition. We set our standards of right and wrong by
society's values. God’s standard for us is His own
holiness. How do we measure up? "All have sinned and
come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). It’s only
fair that God demands holiness; that’s how he first
created mankind. We have rebelled against Him as a race
and as individuals.
Our pathway away from God has
brought its consequences. "The wages of sin is death"
(Romans 6:23a). The Bible compares sin to a cruel slave
master. There is no mercy in suffering, no freedom from
bondage, no lasting joy, no hope for the future. But
most frightening is the final consequence of sin. The
Bible warns that without God’s salvation, death is the
doorway to eternal punishment (Hebrews 9:27).
It is from this that we need
to be saved. From our own sin. From its bondage. From
its consequences. "How shall we escape if we neglect so
great salvation?" (Hebrews 2:3).
How does God say I can be
God is holy and God is love.
His holiness demands that our sin be punished
infinitely. His love provides a way for us to be saved
from this punishment. How is this possible? Another was
willing to suffer what we deserve. Our substitute had to
be a sinless man, able to suffer the infinite anger of
God against our sin. The only one able to take our place
was God’s only Son.
The greatest display of God’s
love unfolded as His Son left heaven to become a man.
Born of a virgin 2000 years ago, Jesus Christ lived with
His creation. Unable to sin Himself, yet He showed
compassion to sinners all around Him. However, men hated
Him because His holiness revealed their sinfulness. He
willingly allowed them to nail Him to a cross of wood
outside Jerusalem. They suspended Him so they could sit
and watch Him die. The climax of God’s plan of salvation
had arrived as God covered the earth with darkness. The
Bible tells us that for three hours He laid on His Son
the infinite punishment we deserve for our sin. The
darkness was broken when Jesus Christ called out with a
loud voice "It is finished". He had accomplished the
mighty work, God’s great plan of salvation.
After three days in death,
Christ Jesus rose from the dead. This is evidence to all
that saw him afterwards and to all who read God’s word
that Christ’s suffering completely satisfied His father.
He was victorious over death itself – the ultimate
consequence of our sin.
God’s plan of salvation
brings us into the good of Christ’s suffering, death,
and victory. "For when we were yet without strength, in
due time, Christ died for the ungodly" (Romans 5:6). "For God so loved the world, that He gave His
only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him
should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).