Last month, we looked at our need for salvation. Because of man’s sin in the Garden of Eden, all of his descendents were cursed with a sin nature. Romans 3:23 and 6:23 tell us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” and that the results or “wages of sin is death;” death of man’s spirit, eventual death of his body, and separation of his soul from God forever.
Can anything be done to save man from death? Fortunately for us, God had a plan.
Because the “wages of sin is death,” blood must be shed to pay for sin. And not just any blood, but the blood of an innocent. Man cannot pay for his own sin. He is born with a dead spirit. If his body dies, he is sent to Hell to be eternally separated from God. He must have a substitute to die in his place and incur the penalty for his sins.
From the Garden of Eden, God has instructed man to offer a living, blood sacrifice to atone for sin. In the book of Leviticus, He gave Moses and the Israelites specific laws regarding the performance of the sacrifices. Different sacrifices were offered for different situations, but each had to be offered time and time again. Hebrews 10:4 says that “it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins,” only cover them for a time. The sacrificial system pointed to a time when God Himself would provide the perfect atonement that would once and for all pay for the sin of mankind.
To completely pay for man’s sins, it is necessary that a man die. This man must be perfect, without sin of his own, in order that his death could pay for the sins of others. This man must also have the power of God to be able to overcome death and live again. His resurrection would declare his power over death and assure mankind’s hope of resurrection.
God provided this Man by sending His Son, the God-Man Jesus. He was fully God and fully man. Hebrews 2:17-18 explains that as a man, He was “made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people,” and because He “suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.” As part of the Godhead, He was able to live a sinless life, offer Himself as a sacrifice for mankind, and then rise from the dead. Hebrews 10:12 tells us “after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever,” He “sat down at the right hand of God.” The redemption of man was complete.
Salvation from sin wasn’t all God provided when He sent Jesus. Next month we’ll conclude with Salvation: The Fulfillment and look at some other benefits of God’s great plan.