In this second part of the article, I want us to look further into how God works and treats sinners.
So what really happened?
Once Adam sinned, mankind was deviate from God’s design, “dead in trespass and sin”, and in a terminal condition. If the Designer did not intervene, humankind would have died from sin. “Sin when full-grown brings forth death.” (James 1:15) Jesus, then, becomes our substitute by taking our sinful terminal condition upon Himself in order to heal and cure our condition. “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21) He destroyed the infection of fear and selfishness and established God’s perfect law of love within the humanity He assumed. In other words, He became sin, suffered the horrible pain and diseases from the human body that has degraded for thousands of years since creation, and yet through the ordeal He loved perfectly, thereby purifying and perfecting humanity. It is by His wounds, His sacrifice, that “we are healed”. (Isaiah 53:5) He did not have individual acts of sin placed upon Him that were then individually punished. It was that He took on our sinful nature you cannot transfer sin.
So what price did Christ pay?
Jesus experienced God’s wrath. God abandoned Jesus to experience what Jesus had chosen to do, to go through the cross and die as our substitute. In order to save us He had to gain the victory “as man” and suffer the consequence of life outside of God’s law of life. Yet, in His wrath, God never laid a hand upon His Son. His hands of protection were removed from Christ and Jesus was killed at the hands of man. Christ suffered God’s wrath when God “gave him up” or “delivered him up”. That is why He cried out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me”. (Matthew 27:46) Not, “Why are you torturing me? Or why are you executing me”. This was not an imposed penalty, a legal execution, or judicial penalty, but was the only means whereby God could destroy in humanity Satan’s principle of selfishness and restore the law of love, back into a human brain. “As a man” Christ achieved this wonderful victory by giving up His life.
The infinite price Christ paid to redeem us was His life it cost the Godhead more than we will ever know. It was not a legal price paid to the heavenly treasurer. The price was necessary by our condition to free us from Satan’s lies, the power of sin, and our own carnal nature. An analogy would be the high price someone pays when they donate a kidney to a loved one who is dying of kidney failure. Yes, the person who donates a kidney pays a price (his or her kidney), but it is not a legal price. Likewise, our situation, our sinful condition, required fixing. The only way to accomplish this was by the exercise of perfect character of love. Jesus became human to do this for us, and it cost Him beyond measure.
Understanding God’s natural law and what Christ did at the cross.
An infinite price
The movie John Q gives an imperfect analogy. A father had a son dying of heart failure and there was no matching donor. The father offered his own heart but no doctor would do the surgery. After being frustrated the father positioned to shoot himself in the ER so his son could have his heart. If such an event happened, would it be true that it would “cost” the father? Or the father “paid a high price” to save his son? Would that be the same as saying the father had to pay a “legal” price? Or that the price it would take to cure and heal the dying son is a new heart? Likewise, our condition could not be remedied without Christ’s sacrificial death, and that cost the Godhead infinitely, however, that is not the same as saying they paid a “judicial or legally imposed” penalty to Satan, law or God.
Christ as a Substitute
Just as the father in the analogy above would have died and his son lived with the donated heart. The son’s heart was bad his condition was terminal. The father would have taken the place of the son and died so that the son could live. Substitution does not automatically mean substitution to suffer a “legally imposed” penalty.
Christ paid it all
So in light of God’s natural law then we could say Christ paid it all by destroying the very source of sin in mankind, when through His death He destroyed Satan’s principle, which corrupted mankind when Adam sinned. Jesus had to go all the way to the cross because after living a perfect life to fulfil the law He had to die to save us. That is why it pleased the Lord to bruise him. Because there was no other way to save humankind without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin. “As man Christ had to suffer the consequences of man’s sin. As man He had to endure the wrath of God against transgression.” In order to become the source of salvation for all who obey him” (Hebrews 5:8). It is by this He is able to forgive. God’s forgiveness is not merely a judicial act by which He declares us righteous He actually forgives us. The outflow of God’s redeeming love that transforms our hearts.
Because of Adam’s disobedience, all men are destined to eternal death. However, when Jesus came He became the second Adam and through His obedience, death, crucification, and resurrection all man were crucified, rose and live in him. All humanity is identified with Jesus. He is now the standard of what humanity is and not Adam. Jesus set the record straight, revealed the truth about God, developed a perfect human character, fulfilled the purpose Adam was created to fulfil, and through Jesus the creation will be restored back in trusting relationship with God.
How do we experience this remedy?
I believe the Gospel has gone out into the world but it is not the Gospel of the good news. It is the Gospel, which misrepresents God and puts fear into our hearts. We must understand enough truth about God, as revealed by Jesus, to genuinely trust Him. When we trust Him and choose Him, we must open our hearts and invite Him in and the Holy Spirit dwells again in His Temple (our hearts and minds). The Holy Spirit takes all Christ achieved and actually reproduces it in us. The plan of salvation is about having a “new heart and right spirit”, having “the mind of Christ”, being “reborn”, being “recreated in the inner man”, having the law “written on the heart”, being “partakers of the divine nature, etc. Our thoughts, desires, and motives are brought into harmony with God’s will. With the apostle Paul then we can say, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians. 2:20).
We need to understand His character of love, realise God is the Creator, and His law is the protocols upon which life is built, an expression of His character of love, then we will come to understand that God is for us. He is out to heal us and reconcile us into a relationship with Him. He is not out there hurt and punish us.
Sin is a big problem it is not just an earthly problem it is a universal problem. Sin has not just affected us it has affected the whole of God’s creation. Therefore, when we make it as if it is just about my salvation and me then we trivialise sin. It is not just about debts and payment. If it is a debt issue then God needs to be paid back even though the Bible says God does not need anything. If you think sin is a court issue they you are guilty and need to be pardoned. Then God needs to declare you righteous even when you are not but because you are covered in somebodies righteous blood. If sin is a relational issue then we need reconciliation. God does not need a payment in order to forgive our sins. We do not need to be declared righteous when we are not we need healing, forgiveness we need salvation we need Jesus.