Debts are a big part of everyday life. Let’s face it, without payment plans there are some things in life we might never afford. Things like cars, though it takes five to six years to pay back the debt. Or college education, despite an average debt of $27,000 at graduation. Or houses, with a debt that is often spread over three decades.
A DEBT WE CAN NEVER REPAY!
No wonder people celebrate when such large debts are paid in full! Most of us eventually pay our debts, but it’s also possible to get so far into debt that there’s no way out. In fact, that has already happened…you and I owe a debt that we can never pay!
Our debt is the reason that God’s Son, Jesus Christ, came to earth 2000 years ago. Thankfully, He didn’t come to make us pay up! Just the opposite: the Bible explains that “God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:17).
Saved from what? The Bible says “as by one man [the first man, Adam] sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12). So, it’s not just criminals and evil leaders who are sinners. It’s also “normal” people who tell lies to hide the truth, cheat to gain an advantage, and fail to keep their promises. God calls such actions sins, and we’re all guilty of doing them.
His justice demands payment for our offenses against each other and God himself. The Bible warns, “as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). The bad news is there’s nothing we could bring to that heavenly “courtroom” that would be nearly enough to “pay for” the debt of sins we’ve accumulated during our lifetimes.
BUT WAIT...THERE'S GOOD NEWS!
Jesus Christ “also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust [us!], that He might bring us to God" (1 Peter 3:18). He paid the debt of sin we couldn’t pay…a debt he didn’t owe! Did you get that? The Son of God willingly took the judgment of your sins and mine to save us from suffering our sins’ consequences for eternity in hell!
When God “laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6), Jesus cried out in anguish, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34). The answer is simple—because Jesus was taking our place. “For [God] hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
OUR DEBT HAS BEEN PAID IN FULL!
Imagine that! We—sinners by nature and choice—can be declared “righteous” before God because Jesus paid our debt completely! Just before Jesus breathed His last breath on the cross, He gathered His strength and cried out for all to hear, “It…is…finished!" (John 19:30).
“It is finished” was an accounting term in that day, meaning a debt was paid in full. When Jesus used those words, He meant there was absolutely nothing left to be paid on the debt of our sin. As a result, though we’re all guilty sinners, God can now forgive us when we trust in Christ to be our substitute!
“HE HAS RISEN”
When a couple of Jesus’ followers came to His tomb the Sunday morning after His crucifixion, they were startled to find one of God’s angels there! He said, “Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus which was crucified. He is not here: for He is risen, as He said” (Matthew 28:5-6). Not only had Christ risen from the grave, before He returned to heaven He was seen by hundreds of people (1 Corinthians 15:3-8).
No religion of the world has such a substitution plan for the forgiveness of sin! No religion has a resurrected Savior! “It is finished” and “He has risen” sets Christianity far apart from all “religions.” There is nothing we could add to make our salvation possible. God simply requires that we place our absolute trust in Him and accept His offer of salvation! “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son [to die for us], that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life....For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (John 3:16, Romans 6:23).
How can you experience the benefits of Jesus’ sacrificial act? By accepting His payment that is ready to be credited to your account! Admit your guilt as a sinner and turn from believing that you’re good enough to believing that Jesus is the only way to receive God’s forgiveness. The One who died for you and rose again said, “No man cometh unto the Father, but by me….and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 14:6, 6:37).
Will you accept Christ’s substitution for you and trust God to apply Christ’s righteousness to pay your sin’s debt? If that’s your sincere desire, you can tell Him in words like these,
“Dear Jesus, I’m sorry for all that I’ve done wrong. I believe You died to pay the debt of my sins. I admit my sinfulness and accept Your offer of forgiveness and eternal life as the only way I can ever be forgiven. Thank you for making it possible for me to be right with God and have the gift of eternal life!”
Having that debt paid is really something to celebrate…now, and for eternity!