But, why did Jesus have to die?
|He died in my place.|
My grandson's friend played basketball well, but he couldn't keep from griping. He mouthed off to his coach, and for that he was sentenced to ten laps around the gym. His punishment was clear. It was deserved. It was fair.
After the first two laps, asthma all but closed his airways. He labored to breath, coughing and gasping. He paused to use his inhaler. A just punishment had been doled out, but the boy was unable to fulfill it.
Another boy solved the problem. He ran the other eight laps, thus satisfying the punishment. All the boys understood that talking back to a teacher would not be tolerated without a price. Yet, the guilty party was given life, and time to heal because of his friend's substitution.
God gave Adam and Eve a beautiful garden. Everything in it was for them except one tree.
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it, you shall surely die (Genesis 2:17).Because Adam and Eve surrendered to sin, death was the punishment given to mankind. God wanted a relationship with his creation, but man hid from God, due to guilt. They knew the punishment, but they were unable to bear it.
God promised a substitute to satisfy the punishment and provide eternal life for man. Jesus died on the cross to offer atonement for me.
What does atonement mean?
My thesaurus gives these synonyms: redemption, penance, amends, restitution, or compensation.
The definition I like best is at-one-ment - at one with God.
A holy God wanted a relationship with sinful man so badly, that He sent the only one who could bear the punishment for us. In our weak state, we could not endure the penalty. Jesus, the sinless Son of God, died in our place, as our substitute.
How does that make you feel?
It makes me want to fall on my knees.