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Unjust Justice

1 Peter 3:18
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. (NIVUK)

The one thing that God the Son did not deserve, was to die for our sins.  The sins were ours: the punishment should have been ours too.  He had no sins, and therefore there should have been no punishment for Him. You might say, "It wasn't right!"  But it is not us who determines what is right; that is God's job.  And He says that the only way that human beings could ever be in the right with Him, was for God to charge all our sins to His own account, and for Jesus to pay for them - with His life (see more at www.crosscheck.org.uk).
When Jesus Christ died, it was not a sample or example of sacrifice, but a once-for-all action to fully satisfy the righteous anger of God against our sins.  Nothing more is needed to atone for past sins (or indeed future sins!).  The Bible says that the death of Christ was a perfect and complete sacrifice: nothing can be added to gain God's love ... except to accept it - by admitting our sinfulness and trusting Him to be our Saviour.  When we do, we are 'brought to God' and we can approach the Almighty with bold confidence (Hebrews 10:19-22).

The principle of substitutionary sacrifice is written throughout Scripture.  The ram instead of Isaac’s sacrifice (Genesis 22:1-13) and the blood of the lamb instead of the firstborn child in Egypt (Exodus 12:21-23) are graphic examples.  The substitutionary sacrifice of the Lord Jesus was prophesied in Isaiah 53:4-6, “Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.   But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.  We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
Jesus Christ has been the substitute sacrifice for our sins; through faith in Him we have been brought to Father God as His children.  So, why are so many Christians uncertain whether God loves and accepts them?  Why do so many God-fearing people feel that they have to earn their salvation, when God says we cannot (Ephesians 2:8-9)?  Why do some church-goers always feel condemned, and unable to even come to God in prayer?  There is one main reason: they do not believe that what the Bible says is true!  They do not believe that Jesus Christ died for all of their sins and that they are fully accepted by Father God (Ephesians 1:6-7).  So, if your assurance of salvation has slipped away, tell the Lord about it; and then take this verse as God's promise to you, and come back to the Saviour who loves you.

Dear Lord Jesus. I want to thank You for agreeing to die for my sins on the cross. Please forgive me when I drift from holding tightly onto the salvation You have won for me. Help me to come to You with boldness, and help me to trust Your Word that I am acceptable to You - only through what You have done for me. In Your great Name I pray. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams