Today’s Bible Reading
Christ himself suffered on account of sins, once for all, the righteous one on behalf of the unrighteous. He did this in order to bring you into the presence of God. Christ was put to death as a human, but made alive by the Spirit.—1 Peter 3:18
More thoughts for meditation
The reason that we have a gift of eternal life, and we no longer need to labor or work for it (in vain, I might add, since the wages of sin are death), is because of the final act of Jesus on the cross. Everything that needed to happen to heal the world, happened on that hill on that Friday. The Crucifixion of Christ is the most important event in history. There are many ways to describe what happened on that day, but generally, these ideas work together, offering us a kaleidoscopic vision of the Cross and Christ’s work on it. But they all start with this problem: something is wrong with the world. Looking around, it’s not hard to observe this. This pandemic has made it even clearer. And something must be done about that.
God grieves at the death in the world, and grieves at how humanity participates in that death and offends God. Something must be done about that. There must be a reparation. There must be restitution. There must be an act to defeat death and to restore things.
One atonement theory says that through his death, Jesus defeated death. That death tried to swallow him, but it spit him back up. Christ is the victor over death. Another one says that our sin, whose wages are paid in death, distanced us from God and dishonored God. In order that we might be restored to God, God needed a sacrifice as infinite as God is and vulnerable as a human is, so God needed a “god-man,” or the person of Jesus Christ.
Suggestions for action
If you are interested in exploring these atonement theories, visit our Way of Jesus website and pray through them. What I hope will encourage you today, and what I hope you will receive, is that the work is complete. No matter how we explain what happened on that Friday, it accomplished everything that needed to happen for us to have a restored relationship with God and the gift of eternal life. Indeed, the last enemy destroyed was death, the wages of sin. Rest today in that reassurance. Observe it this evening during our communion meal at the at-home Sunday meeting.