Day 43: Couldn’t God have just forgiven our sins with the wave of his hand?
17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”Romans 1: 17-18
The cross of Jesus Christ is one of the most marvelous things to ponder. The son of God himself hung on a tree so that, by his death, we might be saved from death.
But I’ve always kind of wondered, did Jesus actually have to die? I mean it sounds good, and for years growing up in church I simply accepted it as true–Jesus died for your sins. Cool. Got it.
But for a while something gnawed at me in the back of my mind. Why did Jesus actually need to die? To forgive our sins–sure. But if God is actually all powerful, why did he have to send his son to die a horrific death to forgive our sins? Couldn’t he have just waved his hands or snapped his fingers?
I’m not trying to be flippant here, I’m really not. I’m not trying to trivialize Jesus’ death, but I am trying to get you to see where I’m coming from. I understand the concept of grace, but couldn’t God have just given us grace without the transaction of Jesus’ death for ours?
Can you help me out, Paul?
Thankfully, today’s verse helps shed a little bit of light on the subject. Paul tells us that the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel. Now remember that gospel means “good news” in this case, the good news of Jesus Christ. And therein lies the key.
The good news reveals God’s righteousness. Yes God is all-loving, yes God is all-knowing, but God is also all-righteous. He is the good and perfect judge. He cannot let Levi off the hook if he owes a billion dollars to the government. But he could let Levi off the hook if another person steps in and pays that billion dollar debt.
Well, in the case of our sin, it’s not a billions dollars; it’s far more serious than that.