Summary: Answers the foundational question of the Christian Faith...What Did Jesus Do? (Forgiveness, Justification, sent followers with a mission in life.)
Today we are answering a foundational question of the Christian Faith, “What Did Jesus Do?”
2000 years ago was the point in time that God came to earth as a man who went by the name of Jesus. Jesus was real, he would have looked like anybody else born on earth. He went through the same difficulties and heartache like the rest of us, and he also was able to experience joy and laughter like the rest of us.
One strong difference between Jesus and the rest of mankind is the issue of purity. To be pure means to be undefiled, without any spot or blemish. The Bible tells us that because of our sin, which are the actions and the words that we take that are just plain wrong, we are impure. Jesus never did anything wrong though, he never sinned, he allowed for no spot or blemish to come into his life.
Because of the purity of Jesus Christ he stands out in history as the only person ever to go through life without a single sin.
This is important because Jesus was a man who lived to die. He was put to death by the fiercest form of execution that has ever been devised by man. Crucifixion put Jesus through intense pain, suffocation, dehydration, and also public shame.
So why did Jesus die on the Cross. What was his goal? Why would anybody, much less the son of God, allow themselves to be tortured and killed that way?
The answer is explained to us in the Bible, in the book of Romans, chapter 5 and verses 8-11
8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. 9 And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s judgment. 10 For since we were restored to friendship with God by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be delivered from eternal punishment by his life. 11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God—all because of what our Lord Jesus Christ has done for us in making us friends of God.
Romans 5:6-11 (NLT)
I want to sum the verse up by saying this,
Jesus took your punishment, released you from the penalty of sin and sent you with a mission in life.
What did Jesus Do? Jesus took your punishment.
You and I have a deep need to be clean. Our impulse is to try to wash our hands of sin, we wipe the effects off our exterior so that it looks like we never did anything wrong.
King David tried this approach to cover up his adulterous affair with the beautiful Bathsheba. He did every thing in his power to hide his sin from man and present himself as clean.
But what David found to be impossible, and what you will find to be impossible is that you cannot clean your conscience by simply washing your hands.
Shakespeare illustrated this point in his play, Macbeth. In the play, the character Macbeth kills his cousin Duncan in secret, and the people pronounce Macbeth King. But there is blood on his hands that only he and his wife, Lady Macbeth know about.
She tells him how to get rid of the blood, “A little water clears us of this deed.” And he washes his hands and presents himself as clean and innocent before the people.
But there is a heavy conscience that hangs over the Macbeth family. This guilt is hanging over them and well the rest of the country elevates them to high position, the truth of their sin weighs them down.
Lady Macbeth begins to go insane. She has dream after dream about the blood of King Duncan on her hands. She sees the blood and she screams at it, and she washes them, and washes them and scrubs them and hopes beyond hope that somehow she can reconcile this sin with water and soap.
But you know, and I know, that soap and water cannot clean the stain of sin. It doesn’t matter how hard you scrub, it doesn’t matter what words you say, it doesn’t matter the people you impress or the position that they put you in, that stain remains and it weighs your conscience down with a burden that is too heavy for even the strongest of men to bear.
What Did Jesus Do? Jesus took your punishment so that you could be washed of your sins.
Lady MacBeth would have given everything to get a clean conscience again. Jesus Christ gave up his very life so that a clean conscience could be made available to every man, woman and Child.