Today is Yom Kippur – the Day of Atonement – surely the most solemn day in the calendar of the Jewish people. It is also a day that we remember the perfect atonement that took place. Jesus/Yeshua died on a Roman cross so that through His blood our sins could be atoned for and we could stand righteous in the sight of God.
The cross is perhaps as foundational as you can get in terms of the Gospel. In the death and resurrection of Jesus we see the cosmic plan of redemption and the way of redemption for each individual collide in the bloody murder of the Son of God. Yeshua’s incarnation was good news of the highest order. God had become man and not only that but he had blended the expectation for a Messianic, son of David with the God/Man identity. That was certainly good news – the solution had arrived and was evidence that the Kingdom of Heaven was at hand. This was the gospel that Jesus preached around Galilee. But the coming was only the beginning of the Good News, for without the fullness of the plan (coming to seek and save the lost), I as a heathen gentile would still be dead and lost in my sins. I am not dead.
Justification is not the fullness of the Gospel, it does not factor in the Good News that the Son of God will come to rule and reign upon the earth, making all things new where there will be no more tears, sickness or sin. But justification is one of the best pieces of news you can ever hear in this life. The fact that Jesus died on a cross for your sinful condition AND for your sinful actions means that we can come to him in repentance and faith and have our old life washed away. The amazing exchange we have been given is that we can give Jesus our life of sinful mistakes and religious striving and be given in exchange a life of perfect obedience and perfect sacrifice. He took our life and gave us His. This exchange, if we understand its implications must have world shattering consequences for us as believers.
And that is why on this day I want to remember again and let the fact that “Jesus died for my sins” not become a trite cliché. But rather the start of another conversation of thankfulness to the one who still dwells with me through His Spirit.
Thank you Jesus