This past week, I met with a young Christian who asked why Jesus, innocent of any sin had to die on the cross. Here’s how our dialogue went:
Why would God kill his innocent son?
My answer surprised him. “Because Jesus wasn’t innocent.”
Wait Clare! I thought you said Jesus was sinless.
Jesus was born and lived a sinless life, right up to the moment of his crucifixion. But while on the cross and in the grave, Jesus was the most guilty person who ever lived. Every sin committed by every person, past, present and future who would ever be truly born-again was taken on by Jesus and forgiven by the Father. Therefore at that moment, from God’s perspective, Jesus deserved to die.
“All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all.” Isaiah 52:6
“For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past,” Romans 3:25
“But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.’” Galatians 3:13
However, on Easter morning Jesus was sinless once again, having paid the penalty required of the Father for our sin.
So, if one day after Easter, you’ve still not grasped what Jesus did on the cross for you, then it’s nearly impossible to understand the importance of the resurrection. There would have been no need for Easter, without Good Friday. Jesus made one of the most profound statements ever uttered when he said, “It is finished.” Jesus finished dying for you last Friday, 2000 years ago. Soak in that thought today and the next time you are tempted.
How following Jesus works in real life.
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