Since we all live in a world dominated by sin, we have become so accustomed to it that it seems acceptable to many. However, God lives in a perfect place where there is no sin, and He will never allow sin into heaven (Revelation 21:27).
This is a problem for every person because we are all born in sin. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, sin entered them and the world, and then passed on to all men, as Romans 5:12 states. Just as a certain disease can pass down in the family line, sin passed on to men. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death.”
God Is A Just God
There is a wage, or penalty to be paid for breaking God’s law, just like there are penalties for breaking man’s laws. If a person kills someone, it would be deserving of a severe punishment. If a judge just let the murderer go free, there would be no justice. In the same way, our sin is deserving of death. Since God is just, we also must be punished for our sins. But because God is also Love. He sent Jesus who knew no sin as our substitute. Jesus took the penalty we deserve for our sins, died, and then rose from the dead.
Our sin is such an abomination to a Holy, perfect God that it deserves the severest punishment, which is separation from Him in an eternal hell. This is why the Cross was chosen. It is part of the severity of the suffering. In addition to the pains of being crucified on a cross, Jesus was also beaten beyond recognition as a man, and took on all the effects of sin, which entails sickness, disease, shame, abandonment, and separation from God.
Think about this: Jesus is God almighty. He leaves a perfect world with His Father. He humbles and limits Himself in such an extreme manner by being born a human infant in a sin-filled world. He was born to die in our place. He also died and suffered for people who hated him. Jesus didn’t let himself off easily with a quick and painless death. That kind of death would never suffice. The severity of sin and its effects demanded the Cross.
Jesus Died For Our Sins
Isn’t it amazing that God would decree the worst punishment for our sins, knowing He would be the One to endure it? The Cross demonstrates 100% justice, and 100% love. No other religion deals with our sin issue. No one else died for our sins, and then rose from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). This makes Christianity unique.
There is a day coming where everyone who does not have a relationship with Jesus Christ will have to give account for their actions, motives, and even the intents of the heart. It is called The Great White Throne Judgment in Revelation 20:11-15. God’s justice and punishment will come upon each person whose sins have not been dealt with because they have rejected the only provision for their sin, which is Jesus Christ. This is what sends a person to hell. This is why we need a Savior. This is the reason for the Cross.
If Jesus hadn’t shed His blood, there would be no hope for mankind (Romans 5:8-9; Hebrews 9:22).
Being Good Does Not Get Us Into Heaven
What many do not realize is that our “good works” do not grant us entrance into heaven (Ephesians 2:8-9). God’s standard is perfect and we are all guilty. That guilt drives people to try to atone for their sins with good works or performance, or causes people to fill the void in their soul with drugs, alcohol, fame, power, money, sex, and other worldly pursuits. If you and I don’t ask forgiveness for our sin, and receive God’s free gift of salvation, Jesus Christ, then we will have to take the punishment for our sins in an eternal hell.
A person’s free will to reject Jesus does not negate God’s love for that person. Because God loves us, he gives us the right to choose. Jesus said he was the only way to heaven in John 14:6. Jesus suffering on the cross is the greatest display of God’s love for the world.
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By Bill Wiese, author of 23 Minutes in Hell