Our devotions continue today as we look at the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross – The Message of the Cross.
Through Christ’s death God demonstrated the depth of His love for us and the hideous nature of sin. To have dealt with humanity’s sins in a casual manner would have been cheap forgiveness and would have sent the message to humanity that rebellion and the rejection of God’s laws were not that serious of matters. By sending His Son to be beaten and crucified, the price of our forgiveness became very costly for God, powerfully demonstrating to us that evil does matter.
As stated in John 3:16,
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
John further wrote in 1 John 4:9-10,
“In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation [atoning sacrifice] for our sins.”
Jesus Christ was totally committed to being this sacrifice to show His love for us as well. As He taught on the night of the last Passover that He kept with His disciples before offering Himself as that perfect Passover lamb—the perfect sacrifice for sin:
“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13).
John also wrote of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ in 1 John 3:16, “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us.”
Christ’s suffering is also a reminder of the terrible suffering that sin produces. Our just God will not minimize how horrible sin is.
Part of what should sober us is the realization that God has not simply wiped the slate clean; Someone else has paid our richly deserved penalty. God cannot overlook sin and be just. He is the One who declared that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). If there is no death, the wages have not been paid.
Why is it so important for us that God is just? Because our faith is based upon the character of God. If God were arbitrary, it would be impossible for us to have faith in Him. We would never know when He was going to demand justice and when He would simply overlook unrighteousness. We can be thankful God’s character is both just and loving.
Let’s give praise today for God is just and loving – He is our perfect heavenly Father.