This month our Sunday school kids are exploring the question, “What did Jesus do to Save us?” The answer to this question, as they are learning, is that “Jesus lived a sinless life, died on the cross, and rose from the dead.” This is a significant part of our faith that we are pretty familiar with and one that most of our kids have also heard and talked about. However, we are focussing on the why of Jesus’ death as we grapple with this question. We know Jesus was powerful, that this was an excruciating way to die, and that Jesus was completely innocent. So why then could he not have solved our sin problem in a different way? An easier way? A less painful way?
God loves us and is just. Though it’s sometimes difficult to read through the trial and crucifixion of our Savior, it’s also a reminder to us of God’s great love for us. It was out of this love that He sent His Son, allowed this horrific punishment, and ultimately saw Him pay the price of death for the sins He never committed. As the curtain in the temple tore, allowing full access to God’s presence, so did the curtain of sin separating us from our Creator. God didn’t need a relationship with His creation, but desired that relationship. Even with that unimaginable amount of love, God is also fully just. He cannot ignore sin, He can’t simply let it slide…sin comes with a cost and that cost is death and separation from a holy God. As followers of Christ, we don’t have to pay that debt…Jesus paid it for us. Do we fully grasp the gravity of our sin? That even our seemingly insignificant sins require full atonement? So as our hearts sit with this passage today, let’s remember the reasons behind it. As our kids strive to understand the darkness of sin and the beauty of God’s love and justice, let’s also seek to grow in our own understanding and love for our Savior.