What is Christmas really all about? According to the Bible, man’s rebellion has created a wall of separation between God and us (see Isaiah 59:2). In the Scriptures, “separation” means spiritual death. And spiritual death means being completely separated from the light and life of God.
The Bible calls this disobedience sin, which means “missing the mark,” like an archer missing his intended target. Thus our sins have broken God’s intended relationship with us. Using the archer’s example, we have missed the mark when it comes to the purpose we were created for.
“But wait a minute,” you might say. “Didn’t God know all of that before He made us? Why didn’t He see that His plan was doomed for failure?” Of course, an all-knowing God would realize that we would rebel and sin. In fact, it is our failure that makes His plan so mind-blowing. This brings us to the reason that God came to Earth in human form. And even more incredible-—the remarkable reason for his death.
God made the universe with laws that govern everything in it. They are inviolable and unchangeable. When Einstein derived the formula E=MC2 he unlocked the mystery of nuclear energy. Put the right ingredients together under exacting conditions and enormous power is unleashed. The Scriptures tell us that God’s moral law is no less valid since it stems from His very character.
From the very first man and woman, we have disobeyed God’s laws, even though they are for our best. And we have failed to do what is right. We have inherited this condition from the first man, Adam.
Sin causes the severing of all relationships: the human race severed from its environment (alienation), individuals severed from themselves (guilt and shame), people severed from other people (war, murder), and people severed from God (spiritual death). Like links on a chain, once the first link between God and humanity was broken, all contingent links became uncoupled.
And we are broken. As Kayne West raps, “And I don’t think there’s nothing I can do to right my wrongs…I wanna talk to God but I’m afraid cause we ain’t spoke in so long … ” West’s lyrics speak of the separation that sin brings to our lives. And according to the Bible, this separation is more than just lyrics in a rap song. It has deadly consequences.
During his three years of public ministry, Jesus taught us how to live and performed many miracles, even raising the dead. But he stated that his primary mission was to save us from our sins.
Jesus proclaimed that he was the promised Messiah who would take our iniquity upon himself. The prophet Isaiah had written about the Messiah 700 years earlier, giving us several clues regarding his identity. But the clue most difficult to grasp is that the Messiah would be both man and God!
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given. And his name shall be called…Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
Author Ray Stedman writes of God’s promised Messiah: “From the very beginning of the Old Testament, there is a sense of hope and expectation, like the sound of approaching footsteps: Someone is coming! … That hope increases throughout the prophetic record as prophet after prophet declares yet another tantalizing hint: Someone is coming!”¹
The ancient prophets had foretold that the Messiah would become God’s perfect sin offering, satisfying his justice. This perfect man would qualify to die for us. (Isaiah 53:6)
According to the New Testament authors, the only reason Jesus was qualified to die for the rest of us is because, as God, he lived a morally perfect life and wasn’t subject to sin’s judgment.
It’s difficult to understand how Jesus’ death paid for our sins. Perhaps a judicial analogy might clarify how Jesus solves the dilemma of God’s perfect love and justice.
Imagine entering a courtroom, guilty of murder (you have some serious issues). As you approach the bench, you realize that the judge is your father. Knowing that he loves you, you immediately begin to plead, “Dad, just let me go!”
To which he responds, “I love you, son, but I’m a judge. I can’t simply let you go.”
He is torn. Eventually he bangs the gavel down and declares you guilty. Justice cannot be compromised, at least not by a judge. But because he loves you, he steps down from the bench, takes off the robe, and offers to pay the penalty for you. And in fact, he takes your place in the electric chair. Read more from the source…