On that stormy day when Jesus was hung dying on the cross, he gasped that, “It was finished.” But it was not His ministry that was finished. The Greek word and the Hebrew word from which the quote referred to both referred to the finishing of an accomplishment. The accomplishment of Christ on the cross was the satisfaction of God’s required debt for the sins of the world. The punishment of sin was laid on the infinite and eternal God on the cross of Calvary. And so for those of us who believe there is both infinite and eternal worth for the sacrifice that God took on the cross. While the Torah prescribed an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth we understand that justice cannot always come in a like for like form. In the same Torah, for instance, there were prescriptions for the lashing of sinners with the whip for certain punishments which otherwise could not be meted out in kind. And while the total like for like was not dished out to Christ on the cross, it sure may have been when He descended into Hell to suffer the whole damnation that we deserved before He took those very keys to Hell to seal forever His rule and reign over who goes to Hell and who will be released from every having to feel Hell’s torments because of our acceptance of His grace.
God cannot simply wink at sin. There would be no justice in that. And because God is just He cannot out of His love simply give a pass to all who sin. That is why the cross of Calvary became necessary. That is why the cross was a burden that Christ had to bear. There was no other option. There was no other way. God had to be just in justifying we who are ungodly. For Him there was no option to change His ways since His ways are immutable. In issuing the New Covenant Christ in no way abrogated the Old Covenant but set up a federal system whereby if a person refused to accept the grace of Christ he is still free to be responsible for his own sins under the Mosaic covenant. Yet with the Law of Moses demanding total obedience at all points under the penalty of death, it would not be a wise choice. It is this rejection of the grace of God which is freely given which under the law of grace is the greatest sin that could ever be committed and which when committed until death will remain forever an unforgivable sin since it is God Himself that the sinner is rejecting. God has no choice but to punish the sinner forever in Hell as the rebellious deserve. What amazes me is how many times in my discussions with atheists that they ask that God would give them what they deserve when I pray that God would have mercy on them! It is not unbelief but rebellion which is at the core of their rejection of the Gospel as can be seen in the case of so many Christians of today who understand Who God is but who want to have nothing to do with God outside of what they feel they have to do for society or for family.
It is through the priestly sacrifice of Christ on the cross that we who believe can be saved. In the past the priests would sacrifice the blood of goats and bulls to point forward to the sacrifice of Christ which alone would provide the satisfaction that would be required of God. In this sacrifice, Christ provided for us our redemption by paying for us the ransom that was required by God that would otherwise be forced on our own blood. Because we so often make such a little deal of sin we can easily forget that every sin subjects us to the infinite wrath of our infinitely holy God because we simply don’t understand that the heart of sin is always rebellion against God Who created us and provided for our every need. But while the Law demands us to have perfect obedience, we have been released from the power of the curse of the Old Covenant by Christ Who became the curse for us so that we might be able to experience the Royal Law of Love that we are now in with Christ. There is a totality to the sacrifice of Christ on the cross so that it can be accurately said that Christ redeems us from all evil so that for the believer everything that happens to us will be for our good in this life or in the next. That doesn’t mean that everything that happens to us will be good. What it means is that we are released from the power of evil over our lives for our destruction.