I will never forget how years ago a routine prayer forever changed my perspective of Jesus’s death on the cross. I was praying over the day as I traveled to drop the children off at Mother’s Day Out. As I thanked God for sending Jesus to die on the cross, one of my children began sobbing and cried out, “I don’t want Jesus to die!”
His pleading and genuine love and concern for the wellbeing of Jesus struck a chord deep inside of me. I had to soberly ask myself if I had ever been that emotionally broken about the death of my Savior. It had taken my own little child to literally bring me to the foot of the cross where I could contemplate all that Christ had endured for my sin.
I suspect that I am not alone in this experience. For some reason we have a tendency to minimize the significance of our sin and just exactly what that sin costs. I find this especially true in this day and time where we go to great lengths to explain away and make excuses for the very things that God clearly defines as sin.
The problem with this distortion of the truth is that if we cannot recognize sin as sin, how can we possibly confess, repent, and be forgiven. The danger in this way of thinking is made very clear in 1 John 1:8-10:
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.
Not only do we have a tendency to excuse sin, we also tend to downplay the cost and consequences of our sin. However, Romans 6:23 clearly reminds us that our sin carries a heavy price:
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Minimizing the cost of our sin then leads us to also minimize the physical, mental, and spiritual agony that Jesus endured on the cross for us. Luke 22:41-44 paints a vivid picture of the anguished He experienced in just contemplating what our sin would cost Him
He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed. “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.
As we enter into this Easter season, let’s take time to reflect on the profound sacrifice that Christ made for us. Let us examine our hearts and remove anything that diminishes the amazing gift we have been given. Finally, let’s be willing to call sin what it is…sin, for if there is no such thing as sin, then Christ died on the cross for nothing.
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.