By Hal Lindsey
Jonathon Edwards said, “You contribute nothing to your salvation except the sin that made it necessary.”
That’s a humbling statement, but true. It’s humbling because we like to pay our own way. But when it comes to salvation, we can’t. We don’t have the resources. So, Jesus paid the price for us. We can either accept that gift or reject it. But we need to know that it is a gift.
Jonathon Edwards helps put that in perspective, too. He said, “If there be ground for you to trust, as you do, in your own righteousness, then all that Christ did to purchase salvation, and all that God did from the fall of man to prepare the way for it, is in vain.”
Why would God go to all the trouble? Why would Jesus bother to die a horribly painful, cruel, and humiliating death on the cross if we could be good enough on our own? If we could pay our own way, why did He have to pay with His life?
God is perfectly just. It is an essential part of His nature. As humans, we are only partly aware of the extent of evil in any sin. When we hear of child molesters, or terrorists beheading their innocent victims, we get but a glimpse of sin’s awfulness. God sees it fully. He sees all of it for what it is. And He has pronounced judgment on it.
But God also loves us. Jesus, God the Son, came to earth as a human being, lived a perfect life, and then took the full weight of God’s judgment against sin onto Himself. That’s why John the Baptist introduced Jesus to the world with the words, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29)
His audience should have understood from centuries of animal sacrifice the meaning of the words, “Lamb of God.” Jesus would cover our sin with His blood.
The first verse of the Book of Revelation tells us its true title — “The Revelation of Jesus Christ.” The English word “revelation” is a translation of the Greek word, “apokalupsis.” That’s where we get the word, “apocalypse.” “Revelation” is a good translation. It means “unveiling” or “disclosure.” It is a revealing of Jesus. Here’s one of the things it reveals. Twenty-four times in the Book of Revelation alone, Jesus is referred to as “the Lamb.”
Revelation 19:1 says, “After these things I heard, as it were, a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, ‘Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God.’”
Salvation belongs to God. It does not belong to you. God wants you to be a good person. He wants you to be moral, ethical, kind, and loving. But those things are the result of His salvation, not the cause of it. Salvation belongs to God. It was purchased fully on the cross of Christ. It can be yours only as a gift.
Moments before Jesus took His last breath, He cried out from the cross, “It is finished!” (John 19:30) He used the Greek word, “tetelestai.” It means “Paid in full!” Jesus took our certificate of debt and wrote across it in His own blood, “Paid in full.” When we receive His pardon, we can never be tried for our sins again. It’s settled forever in heaven by the blood of the only begotten Son of God. The New Living Translation says it well in Colossians 2:14. “He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.”
All your sins and failings — past, present, and future — were nailed to the cross. Jesus paid the price forever. That’s why we sing “Hallelujah.” And that’s why we will sing it forever!