The entire Bible centres upon the person and work of Jesus Christ. The ‘gospel’ or ‘good news’ is told in a variety of literary ‘genres’ and provides a multi-faceted opportunity for serious ‘seekers’ to find the God who has been seeking them.
In I Peter 3:18 Peter reminds his readers in one sentence of the purpose of the death of Jesus Christ. On more than a few occasions I have sought to preach this text as it clearly and concisely gets to the heart of the message to be believed.
“For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.”
Christ died – His death occurred on what our calendar notes as “Good Friday.” As a new believer noted to me just a few months back when she celebrated Christ’s death, ‘Good Friday wasn’t easy for Jesus but it is certainly good for us.’ Jesus Christ was paying the penalty for sin.
Christ died for sins – not his own, for he had none, but for the SINS of sinners. How many sins have you committed? How many times have I offended God and fallen far short of His glory? The wages of sin, the Bible reminds us, is death – separation from God. Sin has consequences despite the denial of such by those who are blind to spiritual realities.
Christ died for sins once for all – Unlike the Old Testament sacrifices which had to be offered repeatedly and never provide a permanent answer for our guilt and rebellion, Christ’s once-for-all sacrifice satisfied the wrath of God. As the hymnwriter notes, “I need no other argument. I need no other plea. It is ENOUGH that JESUS DIED and that HE DIED for me.
Who is Jesus Christ? He is the RIGHTEOUS One, the HOLY One, the One in whom the Father was ‘well pleased.’
Who are we? The UNRIGHTEOUS Ones, the UNHOLY Ones, the Ones who rightly deserve the Father’s wrath.
What did Christ accomplish by His death? He brings us to God. He is THE WAY, THE TRUTH, THE LIFE. Noone comes to the Father except through HIM.
Has He brought you to God? Then you are forgiven. You are a child of God. You are now clothed with the righteousness of Jesus Christ .
If you are not, then I pose to you the question of another hymn writer – “Would you be free from your burden of sin? There’s power in the blood, power in the blood.” May you this day allow Jesus Christ to bring you to God! “Only trust HIM, only trust HIM….”