As we examine our relationship with Christ, and through Him our reconciliation to God a number of questions may come to mind. Among them: (1) Why does God wish to redeem fallen man? (2) Why send His Son to suffer on our behalf? And, (3) Why has blood always been such a key element, in fact the central element in God’s forgiveness of man, leading to his salvation?
In answering the first question there are two related problems we must resolve: (1) Why did God desire to create us in the first place? And, (2) Why did He create us knowing that we would turn away from Him (and in many cases turn against Him)? Many will say that God created man so that we would serve and worship Him (Deuteronomy 6:13; Psalm 86:9; 29:2; Romans 14:11). Some say man was made to fear and obey God (Deuteronomy 10:12-13; 13:4; Ecclesiastes 12:13-14). Others have said God created life to satisfy His creative impulse, with man being the height of His creativity— a being made with a higher purpose (Ephesians 2:10). Still others think that God created man in His own image in order to commune with Him. A lesser creature that nonetheless reflects his Creator— giving man dominion over the earth, as God has dominion over the whole of creation (Psalm 8:3-9).
All of these thoughts contain parts of the truth. However, there may be an overriding reason for man’s existence. Love. Not how much we the creature can love God, but how much love God has to give. God has an infinite measure of love to share, and He created man to bestow His love upon him. It is the cornerstone of our relationship to God (John 3:16; I Corinthians 13:2, 13; Matthew 22:37-39; John 14:23). God sent His Son to earth, and His Son came voluntarily, to redeem us, demonstrating His great love for us (John 15:12-13). Yes, God requires certain things from us, but that is His just due (Matthew 10:37); still God wishes all men to share in His salvation. However, He allows each of us to choose for ourselves whether we will accept His invitation or reject it (II Peter 3:9; Romans 1:21-32). God brought man into existence knowing many of us would reject Him because He believed we would be worth it. The chance to share His love with another being like Himself may well be the reason you and I exist. Moreover, God believes we are worth the effort to save even with all our faults.
As proof of that He sent His Son to rescue us from the eternal damnation that results from our sins. A rescue that could only be achieved by the death of His Son on the cross. Why did Jesus’ blood have to be shed? To answer that we have to understand that God’s plan of salvation is built around man for our benefit. Our lives were made forfeit, both physically and spiritually, through sin. So, how could those lost lives be redeemed? A life for a life might be a fair trade; and it is a sacrifice man universally understands. When someone gives his life to save another we call him a hero. But a life for all the lost souls of man? What ransom of life could be paid that was worthy of all those lost souls? God chose a ransom that was of infinite worth, of far greater value than all that was lost. He gave the life of His Son, the Son of perfection, for the souls of all mankind; all that would come to Him seeking salvation.
As a substitute for that ransom to be paid when the time was right God allowed the Israelites to sacrifice the life of an unblemished animal in their stead. In Leviticus 17:11 we read: “For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that makes atonement by reason of the life” (see also Exodus 24:8; 12:13). A life for a life. Something they knew the value of. Yet, they were given to understand that the animals they offered were not truly sufficient, that is why the sacrifices were required to be offered on a continuing basis. However, when Christ came He replaced their imperfect sacrifices with the perfect one, Himself (Hebrews 10:10; 9:12; 7:27). It is through His perfect sacrifice that our sins are remitted (Hebrews 9:22). As Paul told the Romans: “But God commendeth His own love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by His blood, shall we be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, shall we be saved by His life” (Romans 5:8-10).
Jesus gave His life for us. The perfect for the imperfect, the incorruptible for the corruptible. The nature of His sacrifice and its eternal value were made known when He rose from the grave, the final testament that He was the Chosen One of God— the promised, and long-awaited Messiah. His life, death, and resurrection are the guarantee that all that follow Him will receive salvation. God has given great promises made certain by the fact that He cannot lie (Titus 1:1-2), and those promises were fulfilled in the resurrection of Jesus Christ (Romans 1:4; I Corinthians 15:12; I Peter 1:3, 18-21). We are justified by God’s grace, Who showed Himself to be both just and the justifier of those who put their faith in Christ (Romans 3:24-26; Ephesians 1:7).
It is through the blood of Christ that we are able to have our sins and consciences washed clean. It is by His triumph over death that Christ has entered into the holy place in heaven, having obtained eternal redemption for mankind (Hebrews 9:11-14). There was a time when most of us were far from God. The Jews had His law and a covenant relationship with Him, but those of the Gentile world were all but cut off. However, just as Jesus was the awaited Jewish Messiah He was also the culmination of the promise that God made to Abraham through Whom all the nations of the world, both Jew and Gentile are blessed, and all people are brought near to God (Genesis 22:17-18; 26:4-5; Ephesians 2:11-16).
Today the only barrier between man and God is the heart of man. Anyone who is willing to walk away from the ways of the world and submit to God’s will becomes a recipient of His great promises. None of us have had a glimpse of heaven. None of us today ever had the opportunity to sit on a hillside in Galilee and listen to one of Jesus’ sermons. None of us witnessed Him restore sight to the blind man. But we have the testimony of eyewitnesses. We have the word that could not (and cannot) be quenched by persecution, false witnesses, or any of the other wiles of Satan. What do we see in the world that is better than God’s promises? What can we achieve or accumulate that is equal to the promise of heaven?
When he was the coach of the Green Bay Packers in the 1960’s Vince Lombardi had a player, who kept sneaking out at night during training camp. And he kept getting caught. So, Lombardi fined him— once, then twice… After the second time or so he told the player if he got caught again he was going to fine him $5,000, which was a lot of money for a player back in the 60’s. After he told the man what the next fine would be it is reported that he told the player “If there is anything out there worth $5,000 come and get me I want to see it too.” He didn’t think the player would ever come to get him because the penalty he imposed was so severe— he’d have to be crazy to risk that kind of punishment for something out in the night.
God has bid us to come in from the darkness into His marvelous light (I Peter 2:9). The penalty for refusing His offer of grace is severe— eternal separation from God. What is there in the darkness of the world that is worth the cost? The football player mentioned above eventually retained his position on the team (coming around to Lombardi’s way of thinking), which went on to win the Super Bowl that year. Whatever he was doing out in the night it wasn’t worth losing his place on one of the greatest football teams of all-time. Is there anything in the darkness of the world that is enticing you? Is it worth losing your soul over?
In his first letter John wrote that those who come into the light have fellowship with their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, and the blood of Jesus cleanses them from their sins making them worthy of a place in heaven (I John 1:7). When I was a young man I did about as many dumb things as a man could do it seems like. You might even say I am lucky to have survived. But eventually I made my way back to God. So, I have been out in the darkness, and I’ve been in the light. And let me tell you there is no comparison. The light is the only true path to understanding and wisdom, the only way to find joy and salvation. If you have never turned your life over to Christ I urge you to do so. If you have questions about the Bible and God’s plan of salvation feel free to drop me a note under the section More, then Contact.
Hi! I'm Roland. I began writing after retiring from the Navy in 2015. I believe that we each should strive to learn from one another, by sharing our thoughts and ideas. As a writer my goal is to help other seekers of truth to find and grow in Christ.