I just didn’t get it. I didn’t understand. I had asked myself this question for nearly 30 years. You may have wondered the same thing. I even stated the question, out loud, to my pastor in a church meeting and he went on to the next question. I later decided he didn’t know the answer!
My question: How is it that Jesus’ death on the cross saved me from my sins? I knew He had done it. I was certain I had been redeemed. But, I wanted to know how. How did that work? What was it that took place that gave me Salvation?
I finally got my answer. My husband and I, with our two sons, eventually started attending a church strong in teaching biblical truths. I’ll call it a word church. [I don’t mean to say that the answer had never fallen on my ears before. Perhaps I just wasn’t listening.]
Somewhere along the way, through good teaching and personal Bible study I found my answer. I realized how Jesus’ death on the cross, coupled with my belief that it’s true and receiving Him into my heart, gave me the gift of salvation.
This is how it works:
God the Father—Creator of the universe—is holy. In other words, there is no evil—not even a smidgen—of evil or sinfulness in Him. And, He will not, in any way, tolerate sin.
Keep in mind that before Adam and Eve’s original sin, everything was perfect. The Garden of Eden was true paradise, in the fullest extent of the word. It will be so again in the future, after the return of Jesus.
When Adam and Eve sinned, God expelled them from the garden and from that point on mankind was bent toward sin. This first couple had, of their own free well, broken their relationship with God.
From that point on, sickness, hardship and death became part of the human condition. And for a limited time, Satan is allowed to have certain power and authority on the earth.
So, now man’s (men & women) relationship with God is severed and Satan continues to tempt every human to sin against God. God and Satan are cosmic enemies, each one desiring every person to be in his respective kingdom. In the end, we know God wins. God’s ultimate victory is prophesied throughout Scripture and is described in detail in the Book of Revelation.
Meanwhile, God still loved Adam and Eve, as well as all subsequent people born on the earth. (All people conceived, I should say, given that some people didn’t actually get born due to miscarriage or abortion.) God wants everyone to be in fellowship with Him and He desires that all live with Him in Paradise (Heaven) when their life on earth ends.
But God will not go against His nature. And an important characteristic of His nature is that He does not, and never will, tolerate sin. Given the fact that every human ever born sins, we have a serious dilemma.
AND—God wants a family. We were each created in the image of our Heavenly Father (Gen. 1:27) for the purpose of being in fellowship with him. He wants each of us in His eternal family.
So what was God to do? He loved everyone and wanted to have a relationship with each of His children.
Well, God had a plan all along, because He knows the end from the beginning (1 Pet. 1:18-20). His Son, Jesus, who was there all along in eternity past, was the answer to the cosmic dilemma.
Because of God’s love and mercy for mankind He decided to send Jesus to earth (John 3:16-17). This Messiah would be born of a virgin for the purpose of restoring mankind to a right relationship with God.
Justice had to be served. That’s why everyone who is born will eventually die. But if we die without having paid for the many sins we’ve committed in our entire lifetimes, we’ll receive the eternal punishment of Hell. We’re not capable of saving ourselves because we’re tainted with sin. But Jesus lived on earth as a man for 33 years and never sinned. He was pure and spotless in every way.
The requirement for justifying our debt of sin was the sacrificial death of a sinless, flawless, spotless man. Only one man ever walked on the earth who could meet this requirement. That one man was Jesus the Christ—Son of God—Son of man.
He is God and He was a man. His life and death perfectly encapsulates the justice and mercy of God. God’s justice and mercy merged at the cross of Christ.
Because Jesus became a man, he could die in our place. We each owe a debt we cannot pay and He paid a debt He did not owe. He took the punishment we deserved.
He is our Deliverer—our Savior—our Messiah! He took the punishment for all mankind, but only those who believe and receive Him will actually get His salvation and experience eternal life in Heaven with Him.
A lot more could be said to answer the question. God’s Word, the Bible, explains it thoroughly. I recommend that all read the Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John—to learn more about Jesus.
I’m grateful to finally come to some degree of understanding of how it is that Jesus’ death on the cross saved me from my sins. I know I, and we who are followers of Jesus, will have perfect understanding when we reach Heaven.
Meanwhile, with assurance and joy I am gratefully redeemed to full relationship with my Heavenly Father through the One who took my punishment, Jesus, God’s Son.
I hope you are too. And, if not, I invite you to believe and receive Jesus as your Savior too. Pray and tell God, your Creator, of your decision. May God richly bless you.
Your comments are welcome.
©Connie Wohlford 2016