In our culture, here in the Philippines, religion is a big part of our daily lives. Most of us, if not all of us, grew up hearing about Jesus and what he did on the cross from our schools, families, and churches. We have grown so accustomed to hearing it, that we often take it for granted. I guess the best way to really appreciate what Jesus did for us on the cross is to know why he had to do it. We call him our Savior, but we don’t really know or fully understand why we needed to saved.
Jesus came here to save us from sin. Yes, I know we are all familiar with it. We’ve heard about it over and over again. But do we really understand the magnitude of sin? Let’s discuss it.
“…For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” –Romans 3:23
First of all, everybody sins. No one is exempt from it. Prisoners, priests, pastors, students, teachers, parents, children, everyone will fall short. As Romans 3 says, all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Next, now that we know that all of have sinned, what are its effects? What does it do to us? How does it affect our relationship with God?
1. Sin separates us from God
“ 1Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save,
or his ear dull, that it cannot hear;
2 but your iniquities have made a separation
between you and your God,
and your sins have hidden his face from you
so that he does not hear.” – Isaiah 59: 1,2
One thing that we have to understand is that God and Sin cannot connect. God hates sin. God is holy and righteous, God himself cannot sin. And because of this, our sinfulness separate us from God. Sin breaks our relationship with God. Sin hinders us from having a relationship with God.
2. Children of Wrath
“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath,” –Ephesians 2:1-3
Sin does not only separate us from God, but because of it we were children of wrath. We were his enemies ( Romans 5:10). Because of His righteousness, He justly looked at us as children of wrath.
3. Sin deserves death
“For the wages of sin is death…” Romans 6:23 (Remember this verse, I’ll be continuing it later)
Lastly, sin deserves death. We, being sinners, deserve death. As the verse says, we have earned ourselves death and eternal separation from God. The truth is because of sin, we were not just sick, we were dead.
But gladly, the gospel doesn’t end there.
Salvation Through Christ
Now that we know that because of sin we were separated from God, children of wrath, and deserving of death, the question is: What now?
God is both loving and just. He wants us to have a relationship with Him, but at the same time, He cannot leave sin unpunished. That’s why He made a way for us. He gave His only Son, Jesus, to take our place. Jesus died a death that we deserved. He lived a perfect and sinless life, and at the cross, put our sin upon Himself.
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” -2 Corinthians 5:21
“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree’—“ –Galatians 3:13
Through Jesus we can have salvation. Through Jesus we can have a relationship with the Father. Through Jesus we can have a new identity.
1. No longer enemies but friends. No longer children of wrath but children of God.
“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,” –John 1:12
When we were dead to sin, we were called children of wrath. But now because of what Jesus did for us on the cross, and if we receive Him and believe in Him, we were given the right to become children of God. We were given the right to have a relationship with Him. Not just as a Lord and his servant, but as a Father and his child.
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you.” -John 15: 13-14
We were once his enemies, but now He calls us His friends.
2. Only by Grace
Another thing that we must remember, just like what Roman 3 says, we all for short. There is nothing that we can do to deserve this. Our salvation is only by His grace.
Let me go back to Romans 6:23 and continue it:
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” –Romans 6:23 (Aren’t you relieved that it doesn’t end with just “for the wages of sin is death”?)
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” –Ephesians 2:8,9
Because of what Jesus did on the cross, we don’t have to strive anymore. All of this is available to you, if you believe in His name and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Salvation is a free gift, a give that we don’t deserve. That’s why we call His grace “amazing”.
Before I end, I would like to share two more verses:
“but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” –Romans 5:8
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” –John 3:16
After everything, after all the words and the long blog entry, if there is one thing I want you to remember, it’s this: Jesus died a death that we deserved so that through Him we could live.
But the good news doesn’t end with His death, because on the third day he rose again. Our Lord, Jesus Christ, is alive! That’s why you can be confident that through Him you can be victorious. That through His death and resurrection, we are indeed alive.
“20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.”– 1 Corinthians 15: 20-22