“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” -Romans 1:16
Here we are, dead in our sins and tresspasses. God gave us life and we’ve done nothing but stand on our hind legs and scream hate at Him. We do not want to know Him, so we suppress Him. We want to be our own gods.
Now that we understand the hopeless darkness, we can begin to look toward the light. Mankind is lost, with no way out. Moral uprightness can’t save us, social contributions can’t save us, and religious activity can’t save us. We are so far gone there is nothing we can do to right the wrong. We need a savior.
What is the solution?
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, sent His son. Jesus Christ, the eternal second person of the triune God became a human. God miraculously made a virgin woman pregnant with a God/human child. He came with a mission: to redeem a people.
Jesus lived a perfectly sinless life. He obeyed God’s law perfectly, and fulfilled all the scriptural prophecies of the promised suffering Messiah. When He began His ministry, He performed miraculous healings and signs. He taught about the mysteries of God and Heaven, and confronted the hypocrisy of the religious leadership.
Jesus also brought the law, that the Jews were to live by, to a whole new level. He taught that looking at a woman with lust was adultery, hating a man in your heart was murder, and he said that unless you were as perfect as God Himself, you could not enter Heaven (Matthew 5:48). Jesus did not make things easier to get to God. He drove the nails into our coffins, making sure we understood that we were doomed.
Jesus’ ultimate claim is that He was equal with God. This claim brought the religious leadership into a blind rage and they brought about a plan to kill Him.
Jesus was betrayed, arrested, illegally tried, and brutally beaten. No charges were brought against Him except that He taught false doctrine and that He claimed to be God. The Roman government found no guilt in Him, but were persuaded to kill him to appease the Jewish cries for His death. The legally, morally, and religiously innocent man was put to death by the most humiliating, prolonged, cruel death of the time. His body was nailed to wooden crossbeams and lifted up to be seen by the public.
After a dramatic three hours Jesus proclaimed, “It is finished!”, and died. His body was placed in a tomb, sealed, and guarded, so it would not be stolen by propagators of His movement. His body lay lifeless for nearly 3 full days.
Amazingly, on the third day he came back to life. He showed himself to His disciples and told them to spread the message of his death, burial, and resurrection to all the earth. He then lifted off the ground and ascended in to Heaven. He is now at the right hand of the Father God, in pierced human flesh, interceding for His people.
This is the solution God executed to solve our problem. Now how does it apply to us? What was Jesus doing on this planet? What was He doing on that cross? How can sinful men be saved through the death of God’s son?