Day 5 – The Price is Paid
Jesus spread the love and mercy of God wherever He went. He was followed regularly by thousands of people (without Twitter or Facebook). All He did was good. He never hurt anyone, and never used His power or authority for His own gain – only to help others.
And yet when He was only 33 years old, some of the religious leaders had had enough. They framed Him, arranged for a mock trial with fake witnesses, and got Him condemned to death. It shows you a nasty side of human nature. One day the crowd was singing, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord” (Matt 21:9), and a few days later, they are screaming, “Crucify Him!” (Matt 27:22)
Crucifixion was a horrible form of execution. If you’ve ever seen “The Passion of the Christ,” you have an idea of what it’s like. And while that film portrayed well the physical suffering Jesus went through, what was far more important was what we could not see.
Remember that sin is what separated us from God. So for God to get us back in fellowship with Him, He needed to get sin out of the way. Could He have simply said, “Let’s pretend your sin never happened,” and gone on as if it hadn’t? While it’s a nice thought, it could not have happened that way. You see, God’s laws must be fulfilled, and one of His laws states that “the wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23).
And so the Roman leader, Pontius Pilate, sentenced this sinless, innocent, perfect man to die. But this was not really man’s doing – it was God’s plan all along. “The LORD decided his servant would suffer as a sacrifice to take away the sin and guilt of others…” (Isaiah 53:10 CEV). Jesus was God’s answer to the problem of sin. He was going to redeem man back to God.
Jesus was sinless, so His death on the cross was not to pay for His own sin; it was for yours and for mine. We were unable to pay the debt of sin, so Jesus paid it for us. He was the only one who could because He had no sin of His own to pay for.
While He hung on the cross that afternoon, God actually placed the sin of the entire world on Him. Isaiah 53:6 (NLT): “All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all.”
How do you feel when you consider that an innocent man was condemned to die?
Then how do you feel when you realise He died in your place even though you deserved to?