Jesus was the Son of Man and the Son of God. He was here before the foundation of the world and was involved from Creation onward. He came on a mission “to give his life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28 ESV). One might consider this an admirable goal. It might even be compared to persons of valor who in war or other dire circumstances are willing to give up their lives to save others. But there are some major differences!
First, Jesus was not just an average human being. He gave up equality with God and took on human form (Philippians 2:5-9). But there was something else that must happen before he could accomplish his goal: he had to live a sinless life.
God’s righteousness and justice had to meet. Man had sinned and separated himself from God. This became true with the first couple in the Garden of Eden and remained true throughout history. The Bible says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). The Bible also says, “Your [God’s] eyes are too pure to look on evil, and you cannot tolerate wrongdoing” (Habakkuk 1:13). The Scripture says, “Your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you” (Isaiah 59:2 ESV). And another Scripture says, “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23 ESV). Each person’s sins create a barrier between God and man that leaves each of us in a state of hopelessness and helplessness. If God’s righteousness and justice were to be satisfied there had to be a perfect, sinless sacrifice to pay the price. Since no human being could do that, the Son of God had to be the one!
Thankfully, the Scriptures affirm Jesus “in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15 ESV). Peter says, “He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.” (1 Peter 2:22 ESV). The writer of Hebrews further explains concerning Jesus, “He entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption” (Hebrews 9:12 ESV).
God’s righteousness and justice could only meet in one place: the cross of Jesus Christ! The Scriptures exclaim, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV). The Bible says concerning Jesus, “Whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:25–26 ESV). Propitiation means to satisfy or appease. In this case it was the sinless Son of God who satisfied the God’s righteousness and justice becoming a sacrifice for us all.
What a wonderful picture of God’s righteousness, justice and grace come together at the cross where the only sinless being, known as the Son of Man and the Son of God gave up his life for you and me!
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