When I was in middle school, I was shy, really shy. I mean, if you caught me at an event with 5 or more people, you might have suspected I was practicing a vow of silence based on how quiet I was. But I was lucky in having my best friend. He was my polar opposite. He thrived around big groups, and with him, I could go anywhere with confidence, because he would do ALL the talking. BUT…
How many of you have that friend that can’t seem to stay out of trouble?… or maybe you are that friend? That was my best friend. He wasn’t an intentional trouble maker…trouble just seemed to find him. Like the time his dad told him to chase a cat off their front lawn; he got creative and threw a rock at it…well he missed the cat…and broke a car window.
Or another time, he was riding his bike home from school, and out of nowhere, a parked car hits his bike! Yes, a parked car.
In both instances, what do you think the consequence was for his mistake? Yes, he had to not only apologize to the person who owned these cars, but he had to PAY to fix his mistakes. To fix the damage he had done. But at the time, he couldn’t afford it!
Have you ever had to pay for something you couldn’t afford? Have you every needed help accomplishing something you couldn’t do on your own?
I believe all of us can relate in some way to my best friend. He did damage, and the right thing was to pay to fix the damage he had done. With the help of his parents, it took him months to earn the money to do so… But what if I told you we are all guilty of doing something that we can never pay off on our own?
Missing the Mark
We are all guilty of sinning in some way. Sin is a word that is found all throughout the Bible, but it really comes from the sport archery, and it means “missing the mark”.
The bible is clear in telling us that we all have missed the mark. And that there is a consequence for SIN; and that is separation from God, our creator, and death. Sin created this Gap between us and God.
And to make the problem worse, the price that must be paid to fix SIN is something we don’t have… it can’t be payed off with money or earned through good works… it can only be payed for by the death and sacrifice of someone who has never missed the mark. Someone who is perfect.
In John Chapter 3, we learn about this man named Nicodemus. He was an extremely intelligent man. He was a Pharisee, which were Teachers of the Jewish law, and most of them wanted to discredit Jesus. But Nicodemus, let’s call him Nic, was amazed by Jesus’ teaching and wanted to talk to Jesus face to face. But to save face, he found Jesus at night so none of the other Pharisees would know about it.
When Nic talks to Jesus, this really powerful conversation takes place. Nic asks this question “How can I be born again?” Which essentially translates into “What do I have to do to pay for the price of my sin”? “What do I need to do to be made right with God and close the gap between us?”
Let’s see what Jesus says…
…the Son of Man must be lifted up [onto the cross], that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him. 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 [New life]. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.John 3:14b-17
Jesus is this “Man” and God’s one and only Son. Jesus was perfect, and that means he was capable of paying for, for fixing, for forgiving our SIN.
Later in the book of John, we read how Jesus WAS lifted up on a cross and crucified. This is probably one of the worst ways to die. But why did God allow this to happen? Because Jesus loves us enough to pay for the mistake of our Sin. Jesus, the only person who never missed the mark, died for us, so we could live with Him. Jesus’ death on the cross was accepted as the price to FORGIVE our sins, to pay for our sins.
His death on the cross is the ONLY bridge to the gap, the separation, between us and God. It’s the only way we can get right with God. Crossing this gap is something we cannot do on our own. Because we have all sinned, we are disqualified.
But Jesus, through his death on the cross, made the way for us. All we have to do is believe. If we believe in Jesus, and put our trust in Him, we are reconciled back to God and have a new life today, have eternal life forever. We will be saved from the consequence of our Sins. We will be made right with God.
I would like to encourage you to consider this: What will your response be to Jesus? You are cannot pay for your sin, but Jesus paid for it on the cross…all you have to do is believe in Him, and Trust in Him. Will you? Or maybe you still have questions…Nic had questions, and he brought them to Jesus. Jesus isn’t afraid of your questions. Ask him.
Pray with me
Jesus, I thank you so much for paying for the penalty of our SIN. I know it can be hard to understand, but YOU loved each of us enough to send Jesus to die in our place, so we can be with you forever. If you are here today, and you are ready to believe in Jesus, and put your faith in him, pray along with Me. Jesus, I know I have missed the mark, but I also know you loved me enough to pay for my sin on the Cross. I choose to believe in you. I choose to trust in you. Amen!