The Corner of 1st and 1st
Jesus’s death on the cross is the pivotal moment in history for us all. If the cross had a street address it would be the corner of 1st and 1st, the place Cosmo Kramer refers to as “the nexus of the universe.” Everything in history after Adam’s first sin pointed toward the cross. Everything since has looked back to the cross.
David was called “the man after God’s own heart” not because he was really good at keeping the law, but because he knew the true nature of God and looked forward to the cross.
Romans 4:6-8 “David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: ‘Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven, and whose sins have been covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account.’”
David’s law-breaking is well chronicled (see what I did there?), and his sin was taken into account by the Lord. He was not speaking here of his current situation, but of a future condition. See, under the law animal sacrifices were given each year on behalf of the people for their sins, but those sacrifices did not cleanse the people of their sin. It only postponed judgement another year until sacrifices could be made again. Like transferring debt from one credit card to another, the debtors avoided the penalty, but paid never paid down any debt.
Hebrews 10:1-4 “For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to comeand not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins? But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.”
The Last Sacrifice
Many believe the New Covenant began when Jesus was born. It’s obvious from scripture, however, that Jesus lived and ministered as a Jew under the Law, or the Old Covenant. The terms of the New Covenant are subject for another post, but it’s important to note that Christ’s death is what ushered it in. It wasn’t until he died on the cross, and rose again, that the curse of the law was broken, and sin was no longer imputed to men (Romans 7:4-6).
Jesus’s sacrifice was the last sacrifice because he did what lambs and goats could not do – take sin upon himself. Because of the sinless life he lived, Jesus was qualified to actually become sin by taking on the sins of the world, voluntarily. Every previously committed sin was forwarded, year after year, until finally reaching Jesus. The debt accrued from the charges of millions of people over thousands of years was finally put on Christ’s account. His sinlessness made him singularly qualified to pay the balance in full.
So everyone that came before Jesus was taken care of. What about all the sins we’ve committed 2,000 years later?
Love is Not a Verb, Neither is Sin
Your bumper sticker is wrong. Love is a motive, not a verb. Take it up with Mr. W. Smith. I digress.
Sin is a condition, noun. In the book of Romans the word “sin” is used 48 times. Forty-seven times it’s used as a noun, once as a verb. Sin is a condition of the flesh (n.) which causes us to sin (v.). Like righteousness, it’s a spiritual state of being, or location, for lack of a better word (Rom. 6:14). Sin and righteousness are prisons that your deeds cannot set you free from. No amount of good deeds can set you free from a prison of sin and no amount of evil deeds can set you free from the prison of righteousness.
The law was given so that the sin condition might fully surface. The law brings out the worst symptoms of man’s condition.
When Jesus took sin upon himself, or became sin for us, on the cross he took the condition. By taking the death penalty, he broke open the doors of the sin prison. If he took the penalty of the condition, he took the penalty for each individual act of sin – past, present, and future!
Back to the Future
Every sin anyone reading this ever committed was in the future when Jesus died. Jesus is not going to die again. Jesus death and payment for sin extends for as long as this world exists. Forgiveness was not initiated when you were born again, or when you were baptized, or when you repented. Forgiveness was extended 2,000 years ago on the cross. You accepted and received it when you first believed, but he gave it to you before you ever even desired to be forgiven.
Sin is no longer an issue between you and your Father. Jesus paid the price in full for the sin of every man woman and child, past, present, and future. Our Father is satisfied with his perfect sacrifice. We have a choice whether or not to accept the payment, but our debt has been paid.
“He Himself is the propitiation (or satisfaction) for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.” I John 2:2
“In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” I John 4:10
“…being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed…” (Romans 3:24-25)