Isaiah 53:5-6 (NIV)
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Did Jesus really pay the penalty that should have been ours? Did his death once and for all satisfy the justice of God so that we will never fear the judgment that our sins deserve? How could God be loving if he treated his son in such a wrathful way to punish him for our sins when he had done nothing wrong?
All of these are great questions so for the next several days as we prepare for our Cross Walk in Chicago I want to contemplate just what Jesus did for those who will trust him?
Suppose I go to a good friend and ask him to loan me several thousand dollars to help me out of a financial difficulty and he loans me the money. I leave his house with he money and go to the riverboat and there gamble all of his money away.
On the way home I get into an accident on the highway that leaves me permanently crippled from the neck down. I will never be able to repay the loan form y friend due to my careless and sinful activities.
One day my friend comes to see me at the rehabilitation center and we enjoy a conversation of sorts. At the end of our conversation, I confess to my friend that I have sinned against him and will never be able ot repay the loan he gave me and then I ask for his forgiveness.
My friend is known as a gracious and loving friend to many so he extends his forgiveness to me and leaves. Is everything now ok with my friend and me? Or is there something else that is needed to bring complete resotration of our relationship?
The answer to that question is there still is something that needs to be done. Somehow the loan that he gave me has to be repaid. If I get off without having to pay back what I borrowed then the world for my friend is no longer just or fair.
What has to happen is someone has ot repay the debt I owe my friend.
When we sinned against God we incurred a debt that we coujld never repay. We committed sin against an infinitely holy God so the payment woudl have to be something that was infinitely holy. There was no way we could ever live enough lives to erase the debt of our sin against our thrice holy God.
All the good works that we could muster would not be enough to pay off even the least amount for we have incured an infinite debt.
There is no religious leader or prophet of any other religion that has the infinite capacity to pay for all the sins of all those who will ever live and trust in Christ. There is only one who has ever lived who was at the same time God and Man who was capable to take all of our sins on himself and make the payment that would once and for all satisfy the wrath of God that we incurred because of our sin.
O, dear child of God, know this from now on, your sins have been fully paid for in Jesus. Every last debt you have incurred has been erased from the ledger of heaven.
Because of what Christ has done all reason for fear and judgment has been eradicated from our future. We have only hope and peace and joy to look forward to when Jesus returns.
But there is great fear on those who have not yet trusted in Christ and his sacrifice for us. If they refuse to trust in Christ they will only have an eternity of punsihement to bear for their sins.
O, but cheer up dear one, this is not your case if you are trusting in Christ as your payment.
Perfect love casts out all fear,