I recently heard a talk about how much Jesus did for us by paying the price for our sin and got to thinking, what would your average person in the street think about sin? Their initial response might be something like; Who said there was a cost! And if I can't see it or agree with it, why should I care!
On the face of it, sin doesn't count for much. If we do something that someone else says is wrong, so what! If it was theft and we've got away with it, again so what. Arguments with family, any kind of violence, abuse, murder, they’re all activities that society and the media look down upon, but if you can get away with it, well, so what!
One of the big problems with society is accountability. If we can get away with it, what a great result! If you get caught, do your time, you can start again, assuming that the politically correct police didn't let you get off because of some obscure or bizarre excuse! (That’s for another blog). No one wants to be accountable and therefore everyone wants to blame all relinquish responsibility to someone else.
If we take things back to the beginning, all was good in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were getting along fine, until Satan, in the form of the serpent turned up and questioned what God had said, thereby persuading Eve to eat of the fruit, and then Adam.
This act of defiance meant that Adam had handed Satan his authority over the Earth. Adam went against the word of God, he did what all kids do – he rebelled. This allowed “bad stuff” into the earth via Satan. By the “bad stuff” I mean everything from earthquakes and so-called natural disasters, to physical abnormalities which include any illness or deformity that can happen to a human body. This also includes any inter- relational problems, anything we determine as something bad against another human being; from what we say, to what we do to them (including violence, abuse, theft and so on).
We humans became an abomination and disgusted God. In a nutshell, life on earth went pear shaped and hit rock bottom. God got the needle and sent a flood to wipe out the misbehaving humans. He killed them all except Noah and his family. We were like an experiment that went wrong and God needed to rectify the problem. Although this extreme course of action was never to happen again.
But things didn’t get better - then came Moses, whom God gave the law to about how we should behave. This was in the form of the 10 Commandments which were to help us keep on the straight and narrow. Did it work, no! We kept on sinning and kept on missing the mark that God had set.
Sin is specified in the bible, but your conscience already knows what sin is! And don’t get me wrong, every single one of us sins, agreed, we might think that there are varying levels, but sin, is sin, is sin. God does not and never has given sin a hierarchy. There are no big ones and little ones. They’re all the same – they’re all sin.
If what you have done is considered a crime, then you will be subject to the laws of the world, but it is written that you are forgiven in the eyes of God if you repent and mean it.
In the centuries leading up to Jesus being born, there were numerous prophets of varying descriptions who kept telling us to repent, that means to do a 180° about-face and start behaving ourselves because we had the law but were failing miserably and weren’t following it. So in real terms we turned our backs on God.
Jesus was put on this earth to deal with sin once and for all by taking it away completely, but how? He was also going to bring us back in to a proper relationship with God, but for all this to happen, it was going to take a dramatic event.
One thing you have to realise is that we are living a spiritual life in a physical world, strange thought I know, but it's been like this since the beginning, so you need to get your head around it. There are things we can't see or fully understand. But, as we begin to understand, more awareness and insight is given to us.
Regarding Satan, it is important to understand that every bad thing comes from him, every sickness, every war, every argument and every travesty. All poverty, lack, business failures, staff problem and financial problems can all be laid squarely at the feet of Satan.
I mentioned earlier that Adam handed authority to Satan and therefore he became ruler of the earth, the world was his domain. This is acknowledged by Jesus when he was tempted during his forty days in the desert. Satan said that the world was his to give away and Jesus did not disagree!
However, Jesus was sent to take away the sins of the world, and to take back the authority Adam had given to Satan. Most people have heard this line, but how can it be illustrated?
I recently read Messiah: First Judgement, by Wendy Alec, and in this book is the most graphic illustration of Jesus being crucified and taking on the sins of the world. The scene depicted every sin, illness, disease and action as caged demons in hell that were released when Jesus was nailed to the Cross. These demons flew up from hell and through Jesus, slicing into him both physically and spiritually. It was incredibly graphic!
Now, because Jesus was born of an Immaculate Conception, he was able to sack hell (long story, get the book ) but once he went to the place of death i.e. hell, Jesus took the keys to the gates of hell and ransacked the place with an army of angels (in the book it shows that Satan and his cohorts thought that they had Jesus licked when he died on the Cross, but it was a ruse!) and as we know, Jesus was victorious.
In order to pay the price for our sins, Jesus had to die. Historically, as stated in the Law, when we had sinned we had to pay the price for our sins by a blood sacrifice, an animal. They were differing sizes of animals for different sins. This time Jesus paid the price with his blood but also, in the process, Jesus took back the authority that Adam had handed to Satan in the Garden of Eden (which was somewhere in Iraq!)
The most amazing part of this story is that Jesus handed the authority back to us and gave us eternal life with him, to those who believe in him.
There was, and is, a priced to be paid for sin, and that is death (Romans 6:23 you better believe it!) Jesus took all the sin of the world on himself, to put an end to Satan’s rule over God's chosen, his children.
As born-again Christians, we have been given the power and authority to do what Jesus did on this earth, trouble is, Satan and his followers are still hanging around - spiritually you understand, whispering lies to all of us all the time and telling us we can’t do it, we can’t make it, we can’t achieve it. Before we had very little power over this, however, the new rules and balance of power has changed. The boot’s on the other foot so to speak!
By faith we can achieve anything, as long as it is in line with Gods will for us. We no longer have to listen to Satan as we have the most powerful weapon ever created, the word of God, and in the hands of a faith filled, believing Christians, we are unstoppable. It is written that:
I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. (Luke 10:19)
The power we have been given is to be wielded in areas relating to our health, finances, family, relationships and most importantly, we have the power to kick out Satan and pursue our relationship with Jesus, with God at the centre.
So the next time you hear someone trying to make out that life is like a box of chocolates, think about the serious pain and death experienced by Jesus as he went through being nailed to the cross on our behalf so that you and me, could be offered eternal life and not simply “bomb out” after threescore and ten (70 years old), dying, and thinking to ourselves, well that was a crap life, I got the coffee creme!
God wants us to live the most amazing lives imaginable, we're not an experiment gone wrong, we are his children, He wants the best for us all the time. Bad stuff will still happen, but he has put in place an answer to deal with Satan - The Cross. As long as we keep coming back to it we will be on the right track. None of us get it right every time, but at least we keep trying.
When it comes to the price of sin, Jesus paid the ultimate price with his life and rose again after three days. And with that demonstration of love for us, gifted us not only a life worth living on this earth but a life in eternity with him.
I cannot think of anything worse and more futile and scratching around on this earth for a few quid and when time is up thinking, what was that all about. What was my purpose?
Sin is the general name for missing the mark with God and doing things our own way, it’s also called rebellion. But whether it is passed down through generations (iniquity), something we have done by ourselves (sin) or something done to others (transgressions) sin has a price in this life and impacts on the next.
The only way to be forgiven is to tell him what you did was wrong, that you won’t do it again and that you thank him for his forgiveness. That’s it. He knows your heart, so you can’t fool him!
If you have read this far and thought that this article was about Star Trek, well, what can I say - I got distracted and kept focusing on God, hope you don't mind :) but if you know someone who might benefit from a reading this article, please share this by using the links below. The first step is to acknowledge is that Jesus is Lord over your life and not Satan. There is no middle ground, no third choice! It’s one or the other!
We must make sure that our friends, family and work colleagues understand these truths and are not swayed by the enemy to brush aside the sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf so that they end up refusing to know Jesus thinking that it’s for people who are weak or soft. Don’t let them be influenced by the enemy to disregard this message, it’s too important.
God bless you