Sunday, October 16, 2016

Difficult Queston #7

Question: Why did it have to be Jesus Christ who died for our sins? Why could it not have been John The Baptist, or Peter, or someone similar?

We know that we are sinners. We have lied, cheated, stolen, committed sexual sins of all sorts, broken the Sabbath, blasphemed GOD, worshipped people and things that are not The One True GOD (Hollywood and internet celebrities, jobs, vehicles, families, pastimes, or possessions), and because of that we need a Savior. We need a way to prevent our eternal soul/spirit from being eternally separated from GOD and being in eternal darkness and punishment. That’s the basic message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

One of the details of that basic message, though, is that we are not good enough to save ourselves. We have done the sinning, how can we atone for that ourselves? Even if we were the ones who tried to atone for our own sins how could we do so? We are too unclean to be able to make ourselves clean again.

Consider: If you have a white sheet that you drag through the mud again and again and again and you put oil, food and all kinds of other nasty stains on it, how do you clean it? You wash it in water and detergent, perhaps adding some bleach or an “oxy” product to make it as clean as possible. If you had a “twin” to that sheet, one that had never been dragged through the mud, had never been stained with anything, and had no spot to remove and you compared the two sheets, would the muddied, stained sheet be as clean as the one that had never been so much as taken out of the package? Of course not.

You will not be able to save yourself because that dinginess that results in dragging your soul through the mud is not clean enough to allow your soul into heaven. It’s not a matter of effort on your part, you can’t try hard enough, say enough of whatever people think would be the right words, etc. It’s a matter of simply accepting the gift of Christ’s blood to wash that sheet white again because that’s the only thing that can.

You see, it’s not just you who cannot clean your own sins. There’s no mere mortal man who can pay the price for another mere mortal man. The only truly sufficient sacrifice had to be Jesus Christ because He is part GOD part man. It’s the “part GOD” part that is the answer to our need for a Savior. It could not be John The Baptist, for instance because – although he does have a wonderful story of his conception and birth – he is still just a man; a man in need of a Savior himself. He had his own stains on his own sheet, so to speak.

Jesus, having lived a sinless life in which he has no muddiness, no stains or other marks on his soul (his sheet) was the only One who could have been clean enough to have paid the price. Most people who have accepted His gift of salvation – of covering our muddy sheets with His clean one – acknowledge that He is the only one who lived a sinless life.

The question is, was that enough? What if Jesus Christ had been only man? What if He had been a man who had been able to live a sinless life: no thoughts He should not have had, done nothing He should not have done, said nothing He should not have said, etc.? What if He was just a sinless human and not part GOD? Would that have sufficed for mankind to have been saved through His sacrifice?

In a word, No. In order for the sacrifice to have been enough the only way to accomplish that was to have Jesus be part GOD, as it says in the Bible. You see, the fact is that if Jesus had not been part GOD, He could not have known the truth of the separation portion of what hell is like. Jesus experienced that on the Cross when He cried, “My GOD, my GOD why have you forsaken me?” it was then that Jesus experienced for the first time in His eternal life separation from the Father that He’d been with since before time, before the earth was formed and before anything else was made (see John 1:1-3). It was separation. GOD, His Father, had to turn His back on Jesus Christ, The Son He loved so much because it was in that separation that Jesus took upon Himself all of our sins, all of our wrongs and disobediences, and because of that GOD could not look upon it. GOD had to put away His Son so that our sin did not contaminate, pollute, corrupt Himself. True separation was experienced for the first time by the two who did not deserve it in order to allow you and I to be able to experience an eternity in heaven in their presence.

It was in that timeframe, that separation, that Jesus Christ -- who had already been scourged, mocked, beaten, crowned with a crown of thorns, and was in such pain from all of that – that He paid the final bit of the price. He had gone through the physical part of the price, now this was the spiritual portion. If He’d gone through just the rest of it that would not have been enough. It had to be true separation for the price to have been paid for you and I. In that separation is when Jesus experienced what hell was like and what we would go through when we die without Him. That’s because hell is an eternity without GOD, love, peace, forgiveness, comfort, joy, laughter, acceptance, or any chance of escape. Jesus felt that separation and that’s when He paid the price in full. When He said, “It is finished!” and gave up His soul/spirit, the price was paid in full; it was “finished”.

That’s why neither John the Baptist, nor any other mere mortal, could have paid the price for our sins. John, having never experienced true union with GOD the Father, could never have known that separation. John may have understood intellectually what it meant, but his soul could never have experienced what it was like to have had his soul separated from GOD because as a human his soul was never there to start with. His body may have died and his soul/spirit may have separated from it, but since John never spent the part of his life prior to becoming human as – and this is the important thing – part of GOD, John could not have experience the separation as did Jesus Christ because of John 1:1-3:

“In the beginning was the Word [Jesus Christ], and the Word was with GOD, and the Word was GOD. The same was in the beginning with GOD. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”
Jesus Christ was “In the beginning…. With GOD”. That’s why John the Baptist could not have been enough. Jesus Christ was with GOD and was GOD. Part GOD, part man; without which we could never have been saved.

Won’t you accept that great gift today?


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