My eyes are fixed on the Messiah this week leading up to our celebration of the resurrection on Easter Sunday. I marvel at the rescue plan of God that reconciles sinful humans to holy God.
That rescue plan was this: God took on flesh to be at once fully man and fully God. As the perfect Man, Jesus died a human’s death, taking on the guilty verdict for sins He did not commit; as the perfect God, Jesus conquered sin’s death penalty by His sinless life.
The apostle Peter explained it like this:
For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God (1 Pet. 3:18).
Who but God could have developed such a rescue plan? Only at the cross of Jesus Christ do we find both the depth of our sin and height of God’s holiness given equal weight. God couldn’t overlook our sin; it needed to be paid in full. And God wouldn’t downplay His holiness; it is the essence of who He is, and He cannot go against Himself. No, sin’s debt needed to be paid if we were to ever be reconciled to God.
God’s holiness didn’t keep Him aloof from our plight. We had rebelled and embraced sin, yet God had a plan to rescue us from sin and self. Erwin Lutzer says it like this:
There are many “christs” today, but they lack nail prints. We have teachers and gurus who tell us how to live happier and more productive lives. We are told how we can get” in touch with the deepest part of ourselves” and how we can be spiritual without being religious. What millions do not have, however, is a God with wounds, a God who entered into our world and suffered on our behalf so that we might be reconciled to the Almighty.1
Rescue from sin is possible. It’s found in the wounded Savior, who drew near in flesh and blood to make us holy as He is holy.
1. Erwin Lutzer, Cries from the Cross: A Journey Into the Heart of Jesus (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2002).