God has two sides to his character that recur again and again throughout Scripture. Holiness and Love. Holiness demands from us, and Love gives to us. When Holiness confronts sin, it turns to wrath, when love confronts sin it turns to grace. God has to be true to both sides of his nature, he cannot be indifferent to either. So, there is a tension that exists in the nature of God when it comes to creation, how are these two reconciled?
There are two ways to get into heaven (most believers think there is only one); keep the law perfectly, or pay the price. The price for breaking the law is eternal separation from God, which is what hell is; God leaves us to our own devices. What can we do to fulfil these conditions and remain with God?
Only one person has the answer and that is Jesus Christ. As God, only Jesus could pay the price for us, and as man, only he could meet Gods demand that a man keep the law. This is the mystery of God, Jesus as both God and man and one which is difficult to grasp, but it is the only one that makes sense and is true to Scripture. One day, we will understand.
In the book of 1 Peter, we see that when Jesus died on the cross, he descended into hell and was separated from God before he was raised from the dead. For the only time in eternity God was separated from his Son, and it was agony for both.
As a consequence of Good Friday, God now sees you as having the righteousness of Christ about you. For all who believe, God has taken the righteousness of Christ and credited that to your account. Does that mean God sees us as never having sinned? That seems far fetched as God knows exactly how I have sinned, no the answer would seem that God sees us as having been to hell and paid the price. When we stand before God, each of us, our Lord will be next to us as one who has paid the price on our behalf. Hence the Scripture says, “you have been bought with a price.” I am completely clothed in he righteousness of Christ.
It is said then, that Holiness and Love kissed at the cross of Christ. It is one of the few theologies that is really important to the believer. Hopefully you can see then, that there was no other way, what happened had to happen. Jesus is the only way back to God.
There is one more thing though; most of the people reading this today will accept this as something that will happen when they finally make it to the gates of heaven, but that is not what the Bible teaches. In Colossians 1:21-22 we are told this:
“This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result he has brought you into his own presence and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.”
Friends, this Easter, the Lord Jesus wants you to understand the freedom that happens in him today. Today, because of his death, God sets you free. Yes you may still sin, but because of what he has done, God sees you as blameless and holy. Only God is holy, yet here it says he sees you as holy, because of Jesus’ death. With that acceptance by you comes incredible freedom, which in turn is what causes us to stop sinning and live according to his way.
Easter is solemn and sober, no doubt; but it is about freedom, the turning away of Gods wrath because of him who loves us more than we can comprehend.