Jesus’ death and resurrection paid for our sins. There have been a lot of great religious teachers throughout history. They’ve all had good things to say, but what makes Jesus different from every other religious teacher throughout history is the fact that He died and rose again.
That’s of critical importance because it’s not the life of Jesus that saves you; it’s not the teachings of Jesus that save you; it’s His death and resurrection that open the door for your salvation.
Jesus died for your sins. The Bible says we’ve all blown it. We’ve all made mistakes. None of us is perfect. That’s pretty obvious; I don’t measure up to my own standards, much less God’s. We have all sinned.
The Bible says that justice demands punishment. If you do the crime, you pay the time. If you break the law, you pay the fine. If you get caught speeding, you get a ticket. If you break God’s laws, you pay God’s penalty and, according to the Bible, “the wages [for our] sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23 NLT).
In other words, somebody has to pay for all the things you’ve done wrong in life: either you pay or somebody else pays for you. And this is where God says, “I’ll do it!” He steps up to the plate. Jesus Christ is sent to earth—God in human form—and He says, in effect, “I will pay for your sins.”
Here’s the good news: Everything you’ve ever done wrong, everything you’re ever going to do wrong, things you haven’t even thought of yet, all those sins have already been paid for by Jesus Christ as He died on the cross: “Through the blood of His Son, we are set free from our sins. God forgives our failures because of His overflowing kindness” (Ephesians 1:7 GWT).
When Jesus died on the cross for you, it showed two things:
1. It showed how much your forgiveness cost. The highest price you can pay for anything is to give your life for it. And that’s what Jesus did. He gave His blood. He gave His life. It was extremely expensive. Grace is free but it is not cheap. It cost Jesus His life, but He paid for your sins.
2. It shows how much God values you. It shows how much you matter to God. Jesus died for you on the cross. It shows the highest price possibly to be paid was giving a life.
How much are you worth? Jesus says, with His arms stretched out on the cross, “This much I’m willing to die for you.” You may think that you’re worthless because of things you’ve done wrong. But Jesus says, “No. You’re priceless. And I’m willing to give My life in order to pay for your sins.”