The atoning sacrifice

“In this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son as the atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

The cross of Christ is the epitome of the love of God, the only true and reliable love and will last and bring us safely to eternity. It is eternal love, everlasting love that God has for His people. We do not have that love.

Our human nature and behaviour is set against the Lord. Our whole psyche and being is dead set against the Lord and we do not seek Him or love Him.

“For the mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace; because the mind of the flesh is hostile toward God, for it is not subject to God’s law, neither indeed can it be. Those who are in the flesh can’t please God.”

Romans 8:6-8

Our natural condition in terms of our eternal state could not be worse. In our non-repentant mindset we stand before the Lord already condemned. We live our life in this world, blind and lame and with souls dead to God. We are duped into thinking we are ok, and in this world we seem satisfied with all that we can get from it, for we have no appetite for God or the truths of God. This is spiritual death and the absence of love.

God is not like us. Even when we were His sworn enemies, He has provided a way of escape from the spiritual death which keeps us away from Him and will one day separate us from Him and all that is good, forever. We don’t need to live under condemnation, for God offers us His mercy if we will trust His love, repent and believe.

Christ has died. This is the greatest triumph. The atoning death of Jesus was able to pay for our sin, so that God’s righteous justice is satisfied and the guilty can go free. Jesus, the not guilty one has stood in our place and paid the price of our sin on our behalf. He is the only one who is worthy to do this, as He alone is the spotless lamb of God, slain on our behalf before the foundation of the world. Jesus the Son of God has been set apart to bear our guilt and buy us back from the certain condemnation of our sin. Those who put their hope in what He did on the cross, and in Him as the only Saviour, are set free from the sin and the condemnation that binds us.

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who don’t walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”

Romans 8:1

Those who are set free from the shackles of sin are free from the attendant punishment, and become people who live according to the Spirit and not the flesh. The atonement of Jesus Christ for our sin is the only way we can be forgiven and enter into the love of God. His sacrifice is the only way to spiritual life and to know God. The atonement was the crux of all human history. All events and truth circle around that point in time in space when God punished His Son on our behalf. It is the only way of salvation and is free to all who will humble themselves and accept the work of grace that they could not do for themselves.

“But God commends his own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 5:8

The atoning sacrifice

“And he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the whole world.”

What a comfort it is to know we are not left alone, and do not have to work for our salvation from our own sin. If we did have to work for redemption, we are already condemned. We all stand guilty before a holy God, and there is nothing we can do to pay for our forgiveness because we are already spiritually bankrupt. We have no funds that can make compensation to God for the breaking of His holy commandments, and yet we can be forgiven and be set free from them. God has already provided restitution for us, through the death of His only Son, our Saviour, Jesus. He has made a full atonement for us, that means the price of forgiveness has been paid by Him, so that we can be free from the guilt and punishment for our sin. Jesus has died, so we get to go free. His death on the cross is sufficient to save us and there is no excuse why everyone does not come for this free gift of His grace.

Jesus died to buy good things for us all. He died that we might have peace with God and know the love of God in our minds and souls. We do not need to be at enmity with the Lord, for peace is offered to us as a free gift through the sacrifice of Jesus. Because of what the Lord Jesus has done, there is no need to suffer for our sin, but to find our peace and full forgiveness in Him.

This verse does not mean that every person in the world will be saved, but that God has included Jew and Gentile in His plan of salvation. The whole world is represented by the members in the church of Christ, and there will be believers from every tribe and tongue in the kingdom of God. The death of Christ has paid the terrible price of sin for all those who trust in Him. His death is able to cover the sin of the least and lowest and He calls us to come to Him and find our soul’s life and comfort.

We take great comfort in the power of our Saviour to come and suffer for us in this way. We give Him all the glory and honour Him with lives given for His service and praise. We do not serve ourselves, but the living God, who alone can justify the guilty through the sacrifice of Himself.