“What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked.
They all answered, “Crucify him!”
-Matthew 27:22, NIV
Sin is serious stuff!
It is not the sort of thing that God sweeps under the rug.
God does not turn a blind-eye to sin. His character requires justice is done. The debt must be paid….
Oddly, I find this truth from Good Friday comforting. It is comforting to know that God is at least as personally invested in seeing justice done as I am. In fact, He is more.
While it is true that my sin put Jesus on that Cross, it is equally true that His sacrifice is meaningless to me–or anyone else for that matter–unless I decide to humble myself and receive the gift as needed. Sadly, this world holds some people who will always choose their pride over humility and acceptance of this generous gift from God (e.g. Acts 5:27-33).
Often faithful spouses hear this story of Christ’s atoning death used to bludgeon them emotionally into “forgiving” their unrepentant (ex) spouses who cheated. They are reminded that Jesus died brutally on the Cross for their sin. That is true.
However, as I wrote earlier, this gift is no good to anyone unless it is received.
That takes humility. It means the person receiving the gift of forgiveness acknowledges both that he/she is not God. They cannot save themselves. It means admitting being imperfect and sinful. This means fessing up and owning one’s sins.
What good is forgiveness if you are not confessing and admitting your sin or only part of it? A partial sin is still sin. Denial puts one back in the place of pride and rejection of God’s offer of forgiveness.
Partial or full denial of one’s sinful actions and decisions empties Christ’s sacrifice of its exculpatory power for that individual as the denier is not in a place to receive God’s mercy.
Sin is serious.
It will kill your soul. That is what the Bible says (see James 1:15). Sin demands blood.
God does not take it lightly.
Good Friday tells us that. He gave His own blood to pay a way back into His family.
God bled for you!
But this sacrifice does you no good unless you receive it.
Here’s a prayer to humbly receive:
“Yes, Lord, I am a sinner who cannot save myself. I ask that you forgive me for my sins and help me to live in a way that brings honor to you, my God and Lord. You made a way through your death on the Cross for me to be with you forever. Thank you for bleeding for me! And I praise you for you came back to life proving that death and sin do not win. Amen.”
I have peace because of the Cross.
Peace that my sins will not separate me from my God and Lord.
Peace that I serve a God who does not waste suffering but redeems it.
And, finally, peace that those sins committed against me are taken seriously by God.
This last part is what God is speaking into my heart this Good Friday. We can let go of these wrongs and rest in peace as God takes those sins personally and will deal with them–either with His own “blood” or with theirs. That is the truth of the Cross.
A blood debt is outstanding for each sinner…
And Jesus has already paid this blood debt.
However, not all will avail themselves of His generous and precious gift.