This past week, on Upwards with Max Lucado, Max touched on God's grace, second chances and forgiveness. Max describes an incident where he was stopped for speeding. The state trooper recognized Max and asked him, “Are you going to a funeral? Is there an emergency?” Max humbly answers, “No, ” and acknowledges the fact that he was going faster than he should have been. The officer was kind and let Max off with a warning. Max thanked him for the second chance and for a lesson in forgiveness.
Those kinds of lessons make us stop and think. How many times a day do we make a mistake? How many times a day do the the people around you make a mistake? The answer is simple. ” For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23 (NIV). We're constantly making mistakes. There is only one who is blameless and perfect and He alone is without sin.
What would life be like if Adam and Eve never sinned? Consider what the world might look like today if there had never been a Noah's ark or Tower of Babel. Sin, man's selfish desires and conflict have a way of changing things, don't they? When teaching children about what God did for us through the birth, death and resurrection of Christ–as serious as the lesson is–I throw a little humor into it, by explaining all sin has consequences. Back before Christ, every time someone sinned, they had to perform a sacrifice and kill a dove or a bull or a lamb, each and every time to honor God and receive his forgiveness. Can you imagine what life would be like if we were still doing that today? There would be no animals left! We'd all be vegetarians. There is so much sin in the world, even when we try so hard not to, we all are going to make mistakes, even when we try not to. That's just us. We're human.
God knows this and He loves us so much.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17 (NIV)
The world could not continue on with the old testament way of doing things. There had to be a way to be forgiven once and for all sins past, present and future. Without the shedding of blood there could be no restitution between man and God.
“In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.' Hebrews 9:22 (NIV)
So God made the ultimate sacrifice. He sacrificed His one and only Son, and by the shedding of His blood and His blood alone, those who choose to believe are saved from their sins now and forever more. Believing in and accepting who Jesus is and what He has done for us is the only way to God and heaven.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 (NIV)
“Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses.” Acts 13:38-39 (NIV).
“Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.” Romans 4:7 (NIV)