JESUS IS | Our Rescue
August 21, 2016
What did Jesus accomplish?
Have you ever wondered why Jesus had to come to earth and die in the brutal fashion that He did? We can all sympathize with Jesus when we see re-enactments of the cross, in the movies, or passion plays. The question though is why would God do this to Himself? What was gained from the torturous death of Christ?
Leviticus 16 holds some answers. It describes the sacrifices that were made on “yom kippur,” or as we know it, the “day of atonement.” The word atonement means “to be at one with,” or “to be reconciled.” God had delivered His people from Egypt, yet Egypt was still within His people (Numbers 11:5). God can have no fellowship with darkness so He needed a way to maintain His justice. At the same time, God loves His people and wanted to show mercy and grace to them (atonement). He provides sacrifices in the Old Testament to explain His ways. Sin costs life (Romans 6:23). Life is shown through blood, the great symbol of life (Hebrews 9:22). When we sin, blood has to be spilled to cover it’s cost.
Scripture teaches that “all we like sheep, have gone astray. We have turned, every one of us, to our own way” (Isaiah 53:6). Since sin separates us from God, what is a Just and Holy God to do to “be at one” with His sinful creation? Isaiah goes on to say that, “the Lord has laid upon Him (Jesus) the iniquities of us all.” God places our sin upon Jesus. Look at the following verses…
Isaiah 53:12 – He poured out His soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet He bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.
Romans 4:25 – (Jesus) was delivered up for our trespasses.
Romans 5:8 – But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
I Corinthians 15:3 – Christ died for our sins
I Peter 3:18 – For Christ also suffered once for sins, and the righteous for the unrighteousness, that He might bring us to God.
I John 2:2 – He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
Galatians 3:13 – Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us.
The Scripture is clear that Jesus, the perfect man, substituted Himself and died in our place for our sins. The Old Testament sacrifices of Leviticus 16 were a shadow of this reality (Hebrews 9:23-10:10). Now, the fullness has come. What did Jesus accomplish? Our salvation! He exchanged His perfection for our sin. He stood in our place and died for our sin. Jesus brings us back into relationship with the Father. This way the righteousness and justice of God is upheld as well as God showing Himself merciful and willing to save sinners. What a good God we serve!
Why must sin be punished and never swept under the rug?
How did God solve the problem of maintaining His holiness and reaching out to sinful humanity at the same time?
Whenever someone declares that “sin is not a problem,” how can you reprove them by pointing them to the cross of Jesus?