Unlike the legal system, there is no specific punishment depending on the sin you have committed in God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 6:23 that ‘the wages of sin is death’. God is holy and we have ALL fall short from His holiness and perfection. God is loving, but He is also JUST. The Bible says in Romans 3:23 that ‘all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’. Because God is so holy, no matter what sin you have committed, it is a crime against Him. Whether you have lied, stolen, used bad language, looked at another person with lustful thoughts or committed murder – you’re sentenced to death.
Unfortunately, this was the case of humanity. Without God’s intercession, we would all end up in hell. But thank God that He has stepped in. Romans 5:8 says ‘But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us’. What does this really mean? How does God exercise His perfect love and perfect justice at the same time?
Just imagine that you’ve committed a crime and you’re standing before a judge. The law is set out and you’ve broken it without a doubt – you’re guilty. The punishment for your crime is a death penalty. You cannot tell the judge of all the good things you have done in the past in hopes that he will realise that you are in some ways a good person! The crime has been committed and the punishment is set.
Let’s say that the judge is your own father – who loves you but must do his job in defending justice. Because he loves you so much, he decides to take your place. Instead of you receiving the punishment of death, he will now be the one to die and you’re free to go.
Now, this can only paint a picture of what God has done for us. Unlike a human judge, God is a PERFECT and holy judge. He has done nothing wrong and in Him there is no sin. He leaves the glorious perfection of heaven, comes down to earth and lives a perfect and holy life. He takes all our sins and puts them on Himself. He dies on a cross so that the wages of our sin (death) is paid for, and is raised again on the third day. Jesus was raised from the dead because He had not committed any sin himself – it was only our sin He put to death. We could not balance the good with the bad – the crime has been committed and justice must be satisfied.
Today I want to tell you that the guilt, shame and regret you are feeling cannot compare to His innocence which was crucified. My friend, He died so that you wouldn’t have to. All those around you have accused you, abandoned you and told you that you will never be loved and accepted anymore – you’re so ashamed that you can’t even talk to God because you fear that you are not worthy. The truth is, no one is worthy.
But because of what Christ has done, no one can point a finger at your sins and tell you that you’re not loved or tell you that your sins are too big for God to forgive. My friend, whatever it is from your past that is haunting you, there is good news for you today: God loves you, accepts you just as you are and is ready to forgive you because of what Jesus Christ did on the cross. Whoever tells you that you’re not good enough does not at all understand the power of God.
In John 8, the religious men bring a woman to Jesus and claim that they caught her in the very act of adultery. The law said that any woman who is caught in this act must be stoned to death. Jesus tells them ‘Let anyone of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her’ (V7). He didn’t say ‘Let he who has not committed the SAME sin be the first to throw a stone at her’, but He sets the standard by regarding all sin to be the same.
Your sin is not greater than mine, or anyone else’ sin. Your sin is not too big for God to forgive – because Jesus paid it all. No man has the right to tell you that your sin is too big, no man has the right to tell you that your value or worth lays in what you have done in the past. No matter what it is you have done – my friend, your identity is in Christ- all you need to do is put your faith in what Christ did on the cross, ask for forgiveness and repent (turn away from those sins). God loves you so much that He has given you this gift for free – You only need to accept it. John 3:16 ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life’.
If you haven’t prayed before, you can pray this prayer today:
Thank you for Your love for me. I know that I am a sinner and that I cannot earn forgiveness, nor do I deserve it. I believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross to save me from my sin. Please forgive me for my sins – I ask you to come into my heart and renew me. I put my faith in You and from now onward, I am a child of God. Thank you for this amazing sacrifice. Please help me to live for You.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
If you have a Bible at home, I would encourage you to start by reading the book of John. May God bless you and I pray that you would receive this wonderful gift today.