The Cross: Symbol of Forgiveness

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In dying on the cross, Jesus took our place and paid the price we owed for sin.

Matthew 20:27-28 

Have you ever wondered why God didn’t decide to save us without having His only Son die the gruesome death of crucifixion? Surely, you think, the Lord could do anything, right? Yes, He can do anything, but He cannot violate His own character.

God is holy. We know that all people have disobeyed His law and fellowship with Him has been broken. Romans 3:23 tells us, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” From the beginning of time, He has required a penalty for disobedience to His commands. In fact, our sin actually deserves payment of our own life. (See Gen. 2:17; Ezek. 18:4; Rom. 6:23.)

However, because of our heavenly Father’s great love for us, He allowed another life to be offered as a substitutionary payment for our sin debt. In  Old Testament times, people would sacrifice animals to atone for wrongdoing.  However, this gracious provision was just a temporary solution. Jesus’ death was the final and permanent sacrifice for sin. Our loving Savior took that penalty upon Himself, dying in our place—the Son of God willingly became our sin and took the Father’s wrath upon Himself.

And then Jesus did something that we could not. Three days after dying, He rose from the grave. Jesus conquered death! We now have direct access to the heavenly Father through Christ’s death on the cross. Once we accept His free gift of full forgiveness, our entire sin debt is canceled.

There’s nothing you can do to make yourself right with God. But you can be forgiven of all your sin and receive eternal life by trusting in Christ’s death on your behalf.

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