Think back to when Jesus said: “You’re all evil. There’s no hope. That’s it. Thank you.” Well of course you don’t remember Him saying that in the Bible, but if you watched the video above this article you heard “Him” say it. Isn’t it amazing how many Christians don’t spread the gospel? Not sharing is just saying, “You’re all evil and there is no hope for you.” Many believe that Jesus just lists off sins to condemn the world rather than giving His life to save the world. How deeply do we believe in the Father’s forgiveness through Christ’s sacrifice?
All throughout the Bible, there is a storyline told that drips with bloody deaths. After eating the fruit of the tree, God’s words pierce into Adam’s soul as He tells him, “You will surely die.” Also in Genesis, Able’s sacrifice of blood and death was accepted by God while Cain’s plant sacrifice was rejected. As soon as Noah steps off the ark, he sacrifices a life to God. Abraham believes and obeys God even to the point of being willing to sacrifice his son, his only son to God. Through the rest of the OT, God instructs Israel to make daily and annual animal sacrifices to Him as His treasured people. In the prophets, one writes of the Servant of God who was wounded and killed for the sin of humanity which He bore in Himself (Isaiah 53).
The Scriptures are constantly interwoven with stories of sacrifice because God is continuously pointing us to the need for the sacrifice of Jesus. When thinking on the sacrifice of Jesus, we must ask the question, “Why did God have Jesus die?” You may be amazed to know that there have been many different answers to this question throughout history. Some say that God sent Jesus to free sinners from Satan. Others hold that God sent Jesus to show sinners His love. God sent Jesus to show sinners how to love is the view of a few. Some others believe that God sent Jesus to show sinners His law. Many say that God sent Jesus to show sinners who He loves. And several believe that God sent Jesus to pay the penalty for sinners. Which statement out of the six would you say is the most true? In fact, if you take out the one, it makes all the rest false. The answer is the last one: “God sent Jesus to pay the penalty for sinner.” This is called the Penalty-Substitution View. The main purpose for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ was both for God and for man. The sacrifice of Jesus paid for the penalty of sin which satisfied the wrath of God over sinners. Therefore, Jesus died as a substitute (in the place of) for sinners. A sinner must believe in the penalty-substitution sacrifice of Jesus Christ in order to be saved. To reject the penalty would be denying sinfulness, and rejecting substitution would be denying His perfection. After centralizing the penalty-substitution death of Christ, there is truth in the others.
The next question that begs to be answered throughout history is, “For whom did Jesus die?” Those holding to “Universalism” would say that Jesus died for the whole world, the whole world is forgiven by His death, and the whole world WILL be saved in Him. Others holding to “Limited Atonement” would say that Jesus died only for the elect, only the elect will be forgiven by His death, and only the elect will be saved in Him. Those holding to “Unlimited Atonement” would say that Jesus died for the world, only those who believe will be forgiven, and only those who believe will be saved in Him. Personally, I hold to “Unlimited Atonement” since 1 John 2:2-3 says that Jesus died for the sins of the whole world, but only those who follow Him are saved. Therefore, Jesus died for everyone, but His death is only applied to genuine believers.
Lastly, how do we bring all of this into our daily lives now? First, make sure that you have placed your faith into the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and turn away from your sin to receive salvation. Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, and in Christ alone. As a Christian, keep believing that! Secondly, practice forgiveness based on the death of Christ. Forgiving someone isn’t saying, “That’s okay.” Forgiving someone is saying, “Your sin has been freed from the wrath of God by Christ’s sacrifice.” Therefore we should always say, “I forgive you.” Praise God for the hope we have in the sacrifice of Christ even when we’re evil!