The concept of salvation can be very complicated and difficult to understand. Scholars and theologians have put forth all manner of theories as to what is really happening in our relationship with the crucified Christ.
Many of the New Testament writers, including Paul and the author of 1 John, had to deal with a variety of beliefs on the crucifixion. Some people believed that Jesus was “the Christ” – that is, God was in him – until the crucifixion. Then the Spirit or presence of God departed and left the human being hanging on the cross (see Matthew 27:46).
But Paul sums up the crucifixion and our salvation fairly easily in his letter to the Roman church. What type of sacrifice was Jesus? How do we gain that forgiveness? Why did God do this?
We cannot fully comprehend the omnipotent and all-knowing God. The completeness and fullness of the crucifixion and our salvation may never be totally understood. But Paul offers a very good explanation as to what is going on.
God loves us very much. His incredible love for us has compelled God to be willing to sacrifice Himself so that we might have a relationship and connection to Him. As evidence of this great love we have Paul’s speculation that God refused to punish anyone who has sinned before the arrival of Jesus so that all might have that opportunity for salvation.
God denied Himself by allowing Jesus, God in human form, to die on the cross. This sacrifice was the blood sacrifice required to make up for our sins and bring us into a restored relationship with God. We must have the faith, the belief, that Jesus died for us. Then we have our sins atoned for. They are erased and we are brought into the loving embrace of God.
This is the accomplishment of our faith – to know in our hearts that Jesus took away our sin and we are filled with the presence of God so that we can share His love in the world.
DAILY CHALLENGE: Can you pray to accept Christ as your Savior?