The bottom line is that what today traditionally represents, the sacrifice of Jesus, is massively important.
Everything hinges on who Jesus is and what he came to do. There is much confusion – some say Jesus was a good teacher, a kind man, even a “perfect man” – and the usual answer to the question of what he came to do was “die on the cross for our sins.” Why did he have to do that?
I’m thinking of (at least) our reasons why this day is massively important:
- Jesus’ sacrifice saved me from God. Ephesians 2 tells us that we were all at one time, objects of God’s wrath because of sin. God is justifiably angry with us because of our willful rejection of Him. The amazing thing is that God makes the first move to reconcile us to Him by Jesus. We were saved from God by God. As Propaganda says, “let that one bake your noodle.”
- Jesus’ sacrifice satisfies all of God’s wrath for my sin. Jesus’ sinless life and sacrifice in my place, satisfies ALL of the wrath of God against me – IF I have understood this by faith and live a life of worship and submission to God. That’s a big IF…because until you turn from your sin and to Jesus, your sins are not forgiven. As John 3:36 says, “His wrath is still on you…”
- Jesus sacrifice took my sin AND my shame. With sin comes shame, sometimes huge shame, guilt, grief, pain. Isaiah 53 says that the Messiah will bear it all. Jesus is both fully man and fully God, therefore he understands all of the hurt and he bore it on the cross, and has the power to atone for it.
- Jesus sacrifice paves the way for life. Without His sacrifice, there is no payment for sin, if there is no payment for sin, then there is no way to be forgiven. But God just doesn’t merely forgive our sin – he takes our sin and in exchange gives us new life. As Christ rose from the dead, we too – by faith – obtain a new life. This is tremendous HOPE that goes beyond any seemingly hopeless situation – nothing can take that new life away.
Maybe this is the season when you make the most important decision you can ever make, one with eternal significance. Turn from your sin and embrace what God has already done in Jesus by His sacrifice. If you have already done so then dwell. Consider. Soak in the depth of this amazing, loving plan of God.
“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:1–4 ESV)