By: Gary L. Hutchens
Jesus went to the cross to die to pay the price for the guilt of the sins of all humanity for all time (Heb. 9:27-28). For all humanity? Yes, for all humanity. For all time? Yes, for all time. But Jesus’ death on the cross holds its greatest meaning for you when you view it as having been done for you. You personally! You cannot make the death of Jesus have meaning for all humanity. You can only make His death have meaning based upon how you personally react to it. So, are you worth the death of Jesus?
It’s a soul-searching question that can make us feel pretty uncomfortable, huh? We don’t like such personal focus on ourselves. We don’t want the spotlight of personal responsibility to shine too brightly on us individually. Personal examination can be very painful.
Consider the question from a different perspective. Suppose a foreign army invaded our nation. Our military would instantly spring into action. They would almost certainly become engaged in a series of horrific battles, the aim being to protect our people and drive the enemy out. Assuming our armies succeeded and the enemy was defeated, a huge number of our military personnel would undoubtedly have been killed in the process. Reflecting on their sacrifice, could you consider yourself worthy of their giving their lives to keep you safe and free?
Only one reason necessitated Jesus going to that cross. The sinfulness of all humanity, and you and I are members of humanity. “…while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:8). Each one of us is responsible for Jesus sacrificing His life on the cross. Each one of us made His death necessary. Not the whole world, not all mankind. Such generalities are too impersonal. You, and me! You and I caused Jesus to go to the cross.
God’s love was the driving force behind sending Jesus to the cross. We were eternally condemned in our sin. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 6:23). The price for the guilt of our sin could only be paid on a divine scale. God loved us enough to do what only He could do. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (Jn. 3:16). That word “whoever” in that verse is you, and me.
For Jesus’ death on the cross to be effective for you requires your personal response. “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mk. 16:16). “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins...” (Acts 2:38). Jesus died to offer forgiveness and eternal life to all mankind, but each individual one of us is responsible to respond to that invitation in obedience (Matt. 11:28-30).
Jesus went to the cross for you. He was tortured for you. He was mocked by the crowd for you. He wore the crown of thorns for you. He died on that cross for you. The spear was rammed into His side so you could have the chance to be baptized and His blood shed on that cross could cleanse you of your sins. It was all for YOU!
So, are you worth the death of Jesus? How have you responded to what He did for you?…
Gary L. Hutchens