Grace For The Journey
There is a hymn we sing by Elvina Hall entitled, “Jesus Paid It All.” The refrain goes like this:
Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.
Jesus paid our debt through His substitutionary atonement on the cross and then overcame the penalty of sin through His resurrection. Unfortunately . . .
I’m afraid the fact that Jesus paid your debt and my debt
Is losing its wonder in today’s world.
We live in a time when debt is no longer something to be avoided or delivered from. Being in debt has become an accepted, even embraced, way of life. Numerous countries, including the U.S., run on debt-based economic models. The government’s debt is presently greater than $21 trillion – that’s a debt of $174,000 per tax payer. It is the largest debt for a single country in the world. Chasing the American Dream has resulted in student loan debt of $1.5 trillion and credit card debt approaching $1 trillion. Now, credit card companies are offering marketing promises to pay the card user cash back for using its credit card. How can these company not go bankrupt giving away cash? Because card users carry debt on the card.
Folks have forgotten the wisdom of “don’t spend what you don’t have.” Society has become desensitized to debt, justifies debt burdens, and feels entitled to debt forgiveness without consequence. To be sure, society is now conditioned to carry large debt burdens despite the long-term ramifications. Commercials and societal norms opine that you cannot go to college, buy a house, or get a car without loans. Even cell phone companies offer financing for the purchase of the latest and greatest phone.
With “living with debt” as the societal norm,
Do we really understand the debt that Jesus paid?
What the Bible says in Romans 3:23 is clear, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” and the Bible informs us in Romans 6:23 that, “the wages of sin is death.” You and I deserve death. We are not entitled to probation for good behavior or a “get out of jail free” card. Moreover, the consequence of carrying our sin debt is beyond the temporal trappings of this world; it is eternal – eternal separation from God (Romans6;23b).
As sinners, we are enemies to God (Ephesians 2 and separated from our holy God. We cannot approach Him after the fact to plead our case or play “let’s make a deal.”
There is no debt forgiveness with a holy God. The sin debt has to be paid, or else we suffer the consequences. However, our debt is so enormous that it leaves us bankrupt, and we cannot do anything about it. Isaiah 64:6 attests that “all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment.”
But the good news is that
“God so loved the world, that
He gave His only begotten Son”
To pay our sin debt.
Jesus is the only person who could pay our sin debt.
The Bible plainly tells us what Jesus did for us in Isaiah 53,:4-5, “Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.”
In 1 John 2:2 the Bible says, “[Jesus] Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world. “
And in Revelation 5:9, the Bible says, “And they sang a new song, saying, ‘Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation….’”
Jesus died for your sins and my sins on the cross. His blood was spilled as the atoning sacrifice to pay our sin debt. John 19:30 records the last words of Jesus on the cross: “Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, ‘It is finished!’ And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.”
The single Greek word translated “It is finished” is tetelestai. I t is an accounting term meaning “paid in full.” Jesus was declaring that our debt owed to God for our sin was completely wiped away forever. No payment plan is required, no surprise balloon payments materialize at the end – the sin debt has been paid in full. This is perhaps easier to see in the Greek, for tetelestai is spoken by Jesus in the perfect tense. There is no English equivalent to the Greek perfect tense. The perfect tense means that something happens at a specific point in time and continues on into the future with ongoing results. Hence, Jesus paid all of mankind’s sin debt at that very moment and for eternity.
Properly understanding debt is of critical importance. Everyone’s greatest debt is not material or monetary, but one that possesses eternal consequences for our soul. Hell is no longer our destiny because “Jesus paid it all….” We will be able to stand before holy God and be ushered into eternity with Him.
This is God Word … This is Grace for your Journey
… Rest And Rejoice In The Wonderful Truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”