Most will acknowledge that they have offended a holy and righteous God.
Many realize that they haven’t lived a perfect life.
And hordes will admit that they displeased their Creator.
But here’s a question many ask:
Can God not just grant divine amnesty and declare,
“By My authority, I now give you divine pardon!”
Did Jesus really have to come, become like one of us and die a torturous death on the cross?
Some of you might remember, there was a time when the people of God were held in captivity under the rulership of the Egyptians. God always wanted a people of His own but because they were under slavery, they weren’t their own nation.
God was calling them out through Moses but Pharaoh didn’t want to let His people go. To convince Pharaoh that it was He who was calling them out, He had to send 10 plagues to communicate to Pharaoh that Yahweh is the Lord. The last plague was the plague of the first born where all the first born was going to be visited by the angel of death.
But God’s instruction to His people was to get a lamb, cook it as their meal.
However, they are to take the blood and wipe it on the doorposts of their homes so that when the angel of death comes, it will recognize the blood of the lamb on the doorposts. As a result, the angel of death will “passover” their home.
It was the last straw that caused Pharaoh to release God’s people from the clutches of the Egyptian hands. From that time on, it became an annual celebration meal of God’s redemption. You could just imagine the first born during that very first Passover meal thinking,
“The only reason I’m alive is because that thing on the table (the lamb) isn’t.”
Fast forward about 1500 years later, Jesus was having a Passover meal with His disciples. He took the bread and the cup, gave thanks and distributed them to His disciples. The meal was complete except for one thing – the lamb. They were probably thinking, “we have the bread and the wine, but where’s the lamb?”
And here’s the clincher:
“The lamb was not on the table for The Lamb was at the table.”
It was the night before Jesus was going to be crucified.
Why did Jesus have to die?
1. Sin’s payment was death. Sin is a capital offense. For the wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23). Jesus paid for our death so we can live.
2. Only a perfect sacrifice can pay the penalty. Only Jesus could fulfill this since He was both fully human yet fully God. The sacrifice had to be a perfect, unblemished, sinless sacrifice.
God made Him (Christ), who knew no sin, to be sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
3. A Holy God cannot allow sin go unpunished.
Jesus paid a debt He didn’t owe to save a people who owed a debt they couldn’t pay.
That’s why when John the Baptist saw Jesus, he declared, “Behold, the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” This sacrifice no longer just covers our sins, He is able to completely wash it away.
All we need to do is to trust His atoning work in Calvary.
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)
This is a reason to rejoice!
This propels us to worship!
This truth will result in a life of gratitude!