With the arrival of Good Friday and Easter this year, many people turn their thoughts to the Bible and seek to understand what these days really mean.
One of the most difficult concepts to understand from the Bible, is the idea that Jesus was crucified for the sins of the world. Many people have a problem with God because they believe He is condemning them for sins they never personally committed.
The idea of original sin, the idea that we are born with a sin nature and are therefore condemned for our very nature, is not taught by the Bible. We have inherited a sin nature from the first man whom God created, but our guilt before God resides in our own sins.
Each one of us have comitted sin, imperfection in our moral nature, and for this reason we all reside under the judgement of God.
Why Are We Guilty?
Consider that God is perfect in every regard. It is impossible that He could commit any wrong. If this were possible, He would not be God. In order for any Being to retain the title of “God,” He must be free of moral defect. If God were ever found to lie or commit any other defect of moral character, He would simply be one of many other gods who are seen in the world.
When God created man upon the earth, he was also perfect. In fact, there is a tradition amongst the ancient Jews that when God created man, the angels referred to him as “Elohim,” the same name that they used for God. Not that man was equal to God, but his very nature of moral perfection and his qualities of existence, were nearly identical to God Himself.
As in all things meaningful, the truest test of love is what we do with our choices. When God made man, He desired that we have the same capacity as Himself in that we could choose our destiny. Without a choice their could be no way for man to decide whether or not he would love and trust God, or go off on his own and live according to the dictates of his own heart.
The fruit in the garden is simply an illustration for choice. Eat from the fruit, you are signifying that your choice is to live without God and make your own rules. Obey God and refuse to eat from the tree, and you prove your desire to obey and love God.
All of us insist upon the same choice for those who claim to love us. “If you love me, then be faithful to me.” We choose to live with those who make choices of love and faithfulness, no different from the choice that God makes, depending on what we do with our life.
Of course, we all know the story. Adam chose to live independent of God and go his own way. One of the first things we learn about God is that He does not force Himself upon people. He gives us the information and then allows us to make our own choice. He does seek to influence our decision by pouring out His love upon our lives, but in the end, the choice is ours. God honors our choice and then allows us to experience the consequences of our action or inaction.
God does not send people to hell for rejecting Him, people send themselves there, knowing full well that they have a choice, and what the consequences of their actions are. No one blames a person who warns another of the danger involved in a choice they might make. It is the responsibility of each one of us to make the right choice and trust God. This is not a hard choice to make because God is so magnificent and gracious, merciful and kind. If we choose to live our lives without Him, we will have exactly what we want.
For those who want redemption in their life; who choose to love God and live with Him, the problem of our moral imperfection must be solved. Because God made us perfect and we have chosen to disobey His laws of moral perfection, there is a penalty for our errors. Just as in human life, we might feel sorrow for something we say or do, and find forgiveness, there still may be consequences for our mistakes that we will have to pay for at some point.
All Debts Paid
The debt of sin that we owe must be paid. We have the choice of either paying the debt ourselves by eternal separation from God, or to let Jesus pay the debt for us. When Jesus died, our sins were removed as though they never existed and we are left as a perfect being once again.
In order to dwell with god and live with Him forever, we must be perfect as He is perfect. By Jesus death for our sins in taking the penalty that we owed, we are set free and can now live in heaven.
The purpose of Good Friday was that God was taking the sins of the world and placing them upon His Son. Jesus died and paid the debt we owe. When anyone places their trust in Jesus as He died for us, God accounts to us, perfect righteousness. This is a free gift and no one can do anything to earn the gift of forgiveness, only to accept this gift from God.
On Good Friday, Jesus was crucified and paid our debt. On Easter Sunday, Jesus rose from the dead, according to the predictions of the Old Testament, proving that He is the One True Messiah, and only Savior of the World.
We celebrate Easter, or Resurrection day, because Jesus came to life once again after paying for our sins. Jesus’ resurrection means that God accepted the payment He made for our sins, and we can have confidence that we now have eternal life.
What Jesus endured during His crucifixion, is one of the most important events in the history of the world to understand. I have written a detailed description of precisely what happened to Jesus in an article called: “The Crucifixion of Jesus.“
In this blow by blow description of what Jesus endured, we discover the incredible plan of God which existed before the universe was created. We find out that each and every event of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, were precisely planned by God.
I wrote this article this morning as an introduction to the Crucifixion story. I hope that you will take the time to read what Jesus endured on Good Friday when He was crucified, so that you might understand the great love God has for you.
Categories: Empirical Evidence for the Resurrection, Forgiveness of Sin, How Salvation Occurs, Jesus, Jesus born to die, Justification, Not understanding salvation, Prophecies Fulfilled by Jesus, Resurrection Proven by Secular Sources, Robert Clifton Robinson, Salvation is a free gift, Salvation through Jesus, Sin and death, The Crucifixion of Jesus, The Historical Crucifixion of Jesus, The Resurrection of Jesus, The Suffering of Jesus, To die for the world's sins, We must repent, We must see our need, What happens after death?, Why Jesus had to die