Join me in welcoming Butterflies And Caterpillars for this week's Fellowship Sunday.
He is Risen!
(Okay, but why did He have to die?)
Today we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Many have questions surrounding His death and resurrection and the resultant salvation. Why did He die, and how did His death qualify as a sacrifice for sin?
Going all the way back to the beginning, God created the world perfect. The first man, Adam, rebelled against God in taking of the fruit that was forbidden, thereby bringing sin and death into the world. All after him would bear the same curse in their sin nature and would be subject to death. God established a pattern of a blood sacrifice for the covering of sin back in the Garden when an animal was killed to provide Adam and Eve with a covering.
Throughout the Old Testament, blood sacrifice for forgiveness of sin was enacted and carried out for generations in the nation of Israel as part of the Law of Moses. At the appointed time, “God was revealed in the flesh” (1 Timothy 3:16), “the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). Jesus Christ, God the Son (Titus 2:13, Isaiah 9:6), was revealed to the world when John the Baptist declared, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”
The death of Jesus Christ occurred as part of God’s plan to redeem man from sin. Jesus’ death was not a surprise to God. In fact, it was prophesied, predicted and described throughout the Old Testamant. Hundreds of years before Jesus died, Isaiah 53 gives an account of the Messiah’s death on the cross: “He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities… and He bore the sin of many…”
Our sins are offenses against a Holy, perfect God. We cannot hope to earn favor with Him, much less a place in Heaven with Him based on our good works or righteous acts. The Law and the Ten Commandments were given as God’s perfect standard, designed only to reveal our sinful state and show us how far we “come short of the glory of God”, not as a list of rules to follow to weigh against the bad things we do to earn a place in Heaven. As the God who is Just, He is bound to satisfy Justice (as is any earthly judge) and judge sin, or transgression of his Law. The significance of the sacrifice of Christ is that He bore the crushing punishment and judgment for sin. The salvation and forgiveness and pardon from sin can be applied to us as a legal transaction, since His sacrifice fully satisfied the justice and wrath of God toward sin. Through repentance (apologizing to God for our sin, with His help turning away from sin & developing a hatred toward our sin) and trust/belief in Christ (trusting in Him to save us as we would put on a parachute and trust it to save us after leaving a burning plane) we are saved from the judgment to come, and a place is reserved for us in Heaven. Christ’s resurrection from the dead signified victory over death and sin and demonstrated God’s saving power. For more, go to NeedGod.com
Rejoice today that Jesus Christ is Risen!