Jesus was crucified for the sake of humanity on Good Friday. After six hours of suffering and agony, “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” cried out in triumph: “It is finished” (John 1:29; John 19:30). The sinners’ sacrifice had been made.
Without divine assistance, men, condemned for their wickedness, would die with no hope, but “God, who is rich in mercy” (Ephesians 2:4) provided a sacrifice to take the sinners’ place. “Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8) so man could be pardoned through Him.
Christ’s sacrifice would also remove the guilt that humanity bore. God sent His Son to make His life “an offering for sin” (Isaiah 53:10). Moreover, the sacrifice would satisfy God's need for justice. His perfect law had been broken, and perfect restitution was required. That was the only way God could cross the chasm that separated Him from the sinner (Isaiah 59:2).
Since man could not restore himself, Christ “through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God” (Hebrews 9:14). On the cross, God Himself, in Christ, paid the requirement of the law. “God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:19).
The Cross satisfied divine justice and achieved forgiveness for the sinner. This definitive victory over evil assured sin’s eradication in the universe and eternal security for its inhabitants. That is why the Redeemer cried out, “It is finished.” During these days of reflection on the passion of Christ, let us open the Bible to the Gospels and reverently behold the Lamb of God who takes away our guilt.
All Scripture references in English taken from the New International Version®. Copyright © 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
The author is a doctor of theology and writes from Silver Spring, Maryland.