This is the fourth in a series of posts that proposes to answer the following question.
Can you name a single thing Jesus said which was genuinely new, original, or useful?
We had The Presentation Of The Question in part 1. If you wish to understand why we are considering this question and how we intend to answer it, please visit part 1.
With respect to the question above, here we will examine the following.
What Was The Result?
To some extent, the last post in this series, that one that answered the question Why did He do it?, also spoke to the result. However, that post focused on motive; this one will focus on the result.
What was the result? Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf involved two things: redemption from death and the forgiveness of sins. Why do we need redemption from death and the forgiveness of sins. Genesis 3 explains the necessity, the disobedience of Adam that brought God’s wrath upon us and the sentence of death.
Genesis 3:17-19 New King James Version (NKJV)
17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’:
“Cursed is the ground for your sake;
In toil you shall eat of it
All the days of your life.
18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you,
And you shall eat the herb of the field.
19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread
Till you return to the ground,
For out of it you were taken;
For dust you are,
And to dust you shall return.”
The theme of redemption runs throughout the Bible. Some form of the word occurs about a 150 times. Even Job, as he sat scrapping his boil-blistered skin on a smoking garbage heap, yearned for his redeemer.
Job 19:25-27 New King James Version (NKJV)
25 For I know that my Redeemer lives,
And He shall stand at last on the earth;
26 And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That in my flesh I shall see God,
27 Whom I shall see for myself,
And my eyes shall behold, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!
With Jesus’ death upon a cross, we finally have our redeemer.
However, the Bible teaches that God Himself has provided the only means through which His wrath can be appeased and sinful man can be reconciled to Him. In the New Testament, the act of propitiation always refers to the work of God and not the sacrifices or gifts offered by man. The reason for this is that man is totally incapable of satisfying God’s justice except by spending eternity in hell. There is no service, sacrifice or gift that man can offer that will appease the holy wrath of God or satisfy His perfect justice. The only satisfaction, or propitiation, that could be acceptable to God and that could reconcile man to Him, had to be made by God. For this reason God the Son, Jesus Christ, came into the world in human flesh to be the perfect sacrifice for sin and make atonement or “propitiation for the sins of the people” (Hebrews 2:17). (from here)
Jesus’ death appeased the wrath of God. Only Jesus’ willing sacrifice could appease the wrath of God. Only Jesus could pay our debt for sin. Only He could reconcile us with God. Because Jesus sacrificed His own life for our sake, in God’s eyes we are now forgiven.
What does it mean to be forgiven?
Have you ever lived with dread, knowing that you have wronged someone severely and there was nothing you could do to “take it back” or “undo it”? Do you avoid the person you have wronged, knowing every time you see them you are reminded, and guilt stricken, at what you have done? Do you ever wish you could start all over and be freed from this burden of guilt and shame? Thanks to a small, eleven letter word we can begin again, freed from the awesome weight of our guilt.
That word is “forgiveness”. Although a small word, “forgiveness” has a very huge meaning…. “to release, to let go, to send away.” Forgiveness is saying that we no longer hold the offense against the offender, instead it will be put away; we no longer desire retribution for the offender’s actions, but now seek a restored relationship with them. (from here)
Some form of the word forgive occurs about a 100 times in the Bible. Since we need God to forgive us of our sins, it seems like that word should occur more often. Why doesn’t it? If we want to understand what Jesus accomplished with His death and resurrection, then then we need to read the Book of Hebrews.
Hebrews 10:5-10 New King James Version (NKJV)
5 Therefore, when He came into the world, He said:
“Sacrifice and offering You did not desire,
But a body You have prepared for Me.
6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin
You had no pleasure.
7 Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come—
In the volume of the book it is written of Me—
To do Your will, O God.’”
8 Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the law), 9 then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second. 10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Once and for all. Because of Jesus, we can have forgiveness from God and for all eternity. We never have to ask to be redeemed or forgiven again. We have the forgiveness told of in the The Parable of the Lost Son.
Luke 15:32 New King James Version (NKJV)
32 It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.
Willing Slave To A New Master
We have a habit of complicating things. Some people have this idea. With Jesus’ sacrifice, we can sin all we want, and there is no price to pay. Wrong! Romans 6 explains the conundrum, but the gist of it is that we have chosen a new master, one who loves us.
Romans 6:20-23 English Standard Version (ESV)
20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Back To That Question
Was Jesus trying to do anything new, original, or useful? Imagine you were on a rescue mission. An evil man has kidnapped a child. He intends to confine and abuse that child for as long as he can, and you have the opportunity to stop him. How are you going to react if someone asks whether you are doing something new, original, or useful? Well, I suppose you might consider freeing that child from the clutches of an evil man useful. Nevertheless, I suspect you are also going to wonder why anyone would ask that question.
- Original sin (en.wikipedia.org)
- What is the relationship between salvation and forgiveness?, What is the meaning of Christian redemption?, and Do Christians have to keep asking for forgiveness for their sins? (altruistico.wordpress.com)
- Please Forgive Me and Bonus Post: The Forgiveness Secret (lifereference.wordpress.com)
- Our Redemption Was Purposed By God and Accomplished Thru The Work Of Christ (settledinheaven.wordpress.com)
- Question: “What is the meaning of Christian redemption?” (www.gotquestions.org)
- The Main Thing (10/28/13) and Guilty As Sin (12/24/13) (tworiversblog.com)
- Why did Jesus have to die for our sins? (carm.org)