June 6: The Gospel Message
[Jesus our Lord] was delivered for our offences – Romans 4:25
Your initial response to that statement might be: “Offenses? What offenses? I’m a pretty good person who lives a pretty good life.” And you are probably right! You have not killed anybody ever, you have not stolen from anybody lately, and you have not lied to anybody… today.
We are pretty good people. But that is just the problem. We are pretty good people living in a world that was created by a perfectly good God. God is completely good, and we are – at best – only pretty good people with lots of flaws and failures. And because God is good, he does not lower his standards in order to let sinners slide; God does not minimize lying or stealing or selfishness in order to make us feel better. Our sins, our failures offend the goodness of God.
There is no way that pretty good people can be good enough for a perfectly good God. The Bible, then, is not primarily calling you to be a good person, but to trust in the grace of God to make you good enough. And so now the good news: God has made a way of salvation! And the grace of God is entirely wrapped up in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Jesus was delivered for our offenses.
Jesus was betrayed into the hands of people who hated him, not by accident or merely by human cunning, but according to God’s eternal purpose to deliver Jesus for our offenses. Jesus died in order to take our offenses, and the punishment for them, on himself and pay completely for them on the cross.
So whether you are a pretty good person, or a notoriously poor excuse for a human being – Jesus is your only hope for standing before the perfectly good God who created this world.
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