Written by Sean Jones
Why did there have to be a sacrifice?
When our kids were young, I remember a day that I gave them a pep talk before going into the grocery store. Among other things, I made it clear that they weren’t to touch anything. I also shared what the consequence would be if they didn’t obey. As we were getting ready to check out, I watched one of my daughters eye the candy and look at me, again and again. I reminded her not to touch, but a few minutes later I saw her little hand touch a candy bar out of the corner of my eye. When she realized that I saw her, her eyes filled with tears. Every part of me wanted to forego the consequence, and yet I knew I had to keep my word.
It’s the same with God.
In the beginning, when God created man and woman, He gave them instructions about how to live. He also gave them free will to make their own choices. He created them, and all of mankind, for relationship. Knowing that love isn’t something that can be demanded, He set it up that they could choose to follow Him by keeping His instructions or not follow by going their own way.
The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” Genesis 2:15-17 (NIV)
God doesn’t go back on His word. Man and woman chose to not obey, and the result was death. The consequence was clear, and from that moment of disobedience sin entered the picture and death was set in motion. The weight of sin is death, which is separation from God caused by our wrongdoing.
“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not so short that it cannot save; nor is His ear so dull that it cannot hear. But your wrongdoings have caused a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.” Isaiah 59:1-2 (NASB)
Because of God’s unfathomable love for us, He sent Jesus to step into His creation and die for all of mankind’s disobedience. This sacrifice demonstrates the great lengths He was willing to go to in making a way for us.
“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way, death came to all people, because all sinned—” Romans 5:12 (NIV)
“But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:20-21 (NIV)
Jesus came to earth to do many things, but the most important thing He did was to take our place and die on the cross. He bridged the gap of separation for all of mankind so that anyone who believes in Him can have eternal life and be connected to Him the way He intended from the beginning.
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18 (NIV)
How amazing is it that Jesus made it possible for us to have a path back to intimacy with God when we sin?