I’m not that bad, right? Compared to Hitler or Osama, I’m not a bad guy.
For sure, you and I can argue that point. And a thousand to one, we will win it.
However, that’s really not the point. We’re not as bad as those guys are. But we’re all as bad off as those guys.
Sin in its original meaning is ‘missing the mark.’ If hitting the bullseye was perfect obedience to God’s commands, then missing the target would be a transgression.
Now whether you miss it 5 millimeters or 5 meters, the fact is that you still missed it.
There’s no such thing as sort of bullseye. It’s either a bullseye or not a bullseye. Thus, there’s no such thing as “I sort of sinned.” It’s either I sinned or I didn’t.
So if I sinned and fell short, together with the rest of mankind (Romans 3:23), then there’s a debt I owe. Paying for that debt would be the logical thing to do.
However, the requirement God had for debt of sin to be paid was death. Not death by anyone, but death of an unblemished and perfect lamb. (Check out my last post here.)
This where the concept of substitutionary sacrifice comes in.
The penalty for my sin can be paid for by substitution. But it needed to be by a perfect sacrifice. Thus, being imperfect myself, I am unable to pay for my debt.
Someone perfect, without sin had to take my place.
In this case, Jesus did.
Jesus paid the debt He didn’t owe because I owed a debt I couldn’t pay.
This is an unfair deal. For sure. Yet it was the Great Exchange. My sin for His righteousness and His righteousness for my sin.
To this Paul makes a declaration,
“May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Galatians 6:14)
What a great salvation we have!