I just want to share something with you, because I don’t plan to blog till after Christmas…

We all know what sin is. Even in this “whats-true-for-you-isn’t-true-for-me” world of moral relativism, we still have a conception that there are things you absolutely shouldn’t do. (i.e. push old ladies in front of 10-wheeler trucks, rape your mother, etc.)

God has declared that the wage of sin is death. Put it simply: if you sin, you die. Not just physically; there is a spiritual death as well. In the Old Testament, God made provision for this by instituting a rather gory system of sacrifices, which would symbolize a washing by blood for the sins of Israel: the life of an animal to pay for the sins of many.

One thing you notice in the Old Testament (in the book of Leviticus) about these animal sacrifices is that God always demanded sacrifice of an animal “without defect.” (a phrase that constantly pops up in Leviticus) He was telling the people by symbolic example: “This is what you need to earn my redemption; not just little sin, but a spirit free of any stain, without defect.” And since no person can live up to that standard, they instead were granted the concession of offering up spotless animals in their stead. And whenever someone tried to get away with sacrificing a defective animal (say, a blind one, or one with a broken leg), God would get pretty mad.

It doesn’t really work, does it? The blood of spotless animals can’t compensate for a spotted soul, except as a symbol.

Then God sends Jesus — literally a part of Himself, God become human. And being God, he didn’t sin. He lived a completely sinless life. And for it he was killed by capital punishment. Executed by standard Roman crucifixion for a sin he didn’t commit.

Sort of like a lamb on an altar, being killed to pay for evils done by someone else, evils the lamb knows nothing about. Except that Jesus knew. He knew that people didn’t have the power to save themselves from their own sin; God knew that his children needed something to save them from this pattern of blood and death. So he came down and endured the blood and death himself.

So that you don’t have to.

He made the ultimate sacrifice; sacrificed himself, GOD, in your behalf, carrying the sins of all people up onto the cross, and dying for them.

At any time, he had the power to strike Pontius Pilate and the jeering Roman guards with fire from heaven. He could have floated off the cross, could have seized power by force. But he chose not to, because he was carrying the burden of our sins, and he knew that if he didn’t die to pay for them, no one could. He endured that pain, and that death, for every person, because he loved them.

And he loved you.

Sin has been paid for, and salvation has been granted. Jesus paid the bill. He grappled with death to cancel the blood-debt, and then he laughed in its face by rising from the dead. And his promise to you is that if you accept his gift to you — his death for your sin — you will join him also, in that return to life.

You’ve already been saved by his love. All you need to do is accept his love, gain eternal life, and he will touch you in ways never imagined.

Merry Christmas!