from Pastor Steve Berg

As a dad, one of my favorite things is entertaining the questions of my son. He is incredibly inquisitive and sometimes asks some really important questions. A little while ago he asked the question, “why did Jesus have to die?"

I paused. 

How can I explain this to a four year old? I want to just tell him it’s because God loves him, but that’s an incomplete picture. To rightly explain to my son why Jesus had to die I have to tell him it’s because he has sinned. That he is imperfect. It’s because me, his dad, has sinned and is imperfect. I did my best, and we actually had a good conversation about it (before he started talking about his race cars).

However, that question got me thinking. Christ died because he loves me. That is so fundamentally important and true. But Christ’s death doesn’t just point to the love of God, it points to the gravity of my sin. Sin is a big deal. It’s not something that God could just turn away from. Sin is so egregious that death is it’s penalty. 

Think about the justice system for a second; it’s only the worst of the worst crimes that carry the penalty of death. Sin carries just that. What is more shocking is that every single one of us deserves that. 

God in the Old Testament set up a regular practice of sacrificing a lamb to pay for peoples sins. Death had to happen because of our sin. But this sacrifice happened again and again, because it wasn’t the perfect sacrifice. 

And then Christ came. He lived a perfect life. He did not deserve to die because he did not sin. Yet he died. Hear these beautiful words from Hebrews 10 -

"And by the will of God, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy."Christ is the perfect sacrifice for sin. That is why in heaven, one of the songs being sung is “worthy is the lamb who was slain."

So hear the words of the song Lamb of God:

“The Lamb of God, in my place
Your blood poured out, my sin erased
It was my death you died, I am raised to life
Hallelujah, the Lamb of God."

When we sing that, be reminded of the gravity of our sin, and be transformed by the weight of God’s love. 

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