The Saving Work of Christ
Open Your Bible
John 19:17-18, John 19:28-30, John 20:1-2, John 20:15-16, John 20:19-21, 1 Corinthians 15:12-22, 1 Corinthians 15:50-58, Romans 5:6-21, 1 John 2:1-2, 1 John 4:10
The gospel story begins with our original glory and quickly proceeds to mankind’s original sin. But sin is not the whole story. When God created man, He was also creating the form He Himself would one day take on as Jesus. You see, God had a plan to make us new again—a plan that spanned life to death to eternal life.
That’s a pretty big concept, I know. Let’s unpack it together:
Man was dead in his sin. He sacrificed animals on altars and sought priests in temples, all in an effort to get to God. But the curse was too strong and the debt too great. A Greater Sacrifice would need to be made in order for God to reconcile us to Himself (2 Corinthians 5:17-19). Yet in His vast goodness and mercy, our God was seeking after us and had been at work all along.
God, the Creator of all things, became man: a God-Man. He walked and breathed and hungered and wept, and lived a humble, servant’s life—a sinless life. Mankind was in a debt so deep the only payment was death—His or ours. And when the God-appointed time came, He was betrayed by His own friend, put on trial, and crucified on a cross for a crime that was not His. It was mine. And it was yours.
Jesus was the perfect sacrifice, the spotless Lamb. The blood He shed eliminated the need for the blood of sheep and goats. Man no longer needed altars or priests to approach the Almighty, but could now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence (Ephesians 3:12).
His death on the Cross paid for Adam’s sin and every single sin that was or ever will be. While we were still slaves to our sin, Christ died our death sentence (Romans 5:8). He paid the debt we owed but could never pay, and bought us life, hope, and direct access to the Father. His agonizing death was our ransom.
Christ’s life and death ransomed us from the curse, but that’s not all! In order for any of this to matter—if any of this can truly save us—then what happens next is absolutely paramount.
Here is the cornerstone of the Gospel: Christ did not stay dead.
After three days in the grave, Christ rose from the dead, left the tomb and grave clothes behind, and appeared to many before ascending into Heaven where—even now—He sits at the right hand of God the Father (Mark 16:19).
Death has lost its power, swallowed up in the resurrection of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:55-56).
Sisters, wherever you are right now, whatever is distracting you or worrying you, whoever or whatever is vying for your attention, whether you feel needed or hurt or loved today—put it all aside for a moment and hear this loud and clear: Christ. Did. Not. Stay. Dead. He is alive!
This Gospel story may feel like a lot to wrap your mind around. Scripture gives us a word to describe it: propitiation, which means “to substitute or appease.” Jesus’ perfect life, death, and resurrection are a substitute for our sin. His sacrifice on the Cross is the only thing that makes us righteous before the Father. He is the “propitiation” for our sins (1 John 4:10).
Our sins were charged to Him. His righteousness was credited to us.
He takes our dirty sins and, in exchange, He credits us with His clean and perfect righteousness. (I know—it’s an incredible gift!) So, when God looks at me, my sins are covered by the pure white righteousness of Christ (Jude 1:24).
The God who created us came down and lived the sinless life you and I never could. Then He laid His spotless life down in place of yours and mine. And when Christ rose from the dead, He lifted the unbearable burden of our sin.
Because of this, you can stand blameless before Him, no longer His enemy but His beloved child.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
– Romans 6:23