Yesterday we looked at what crucifixion is and why it was important for Jesus’ death to occur that way. Today, we will continue with our discussion about Jesus and His saving grace.
What we believe about Jesus is a critical issue.
The Bible says Jesus is the only begotten of the Father, the Son of God. His coming was predicted by Old Testament prophets as the one who would set people free from sin and rebellion against God. Yet this belief is becoming less popular in our day because it threatens a society that desires freedom to do whatever it wants. They resent anyone, especially Christians, who tells them how to live. And the more believers obey, worship, and live for Christ, the more uncomfortable those around them become.
Jesus’ substitutionary death on the cross is at the heart of Christianity.
This was the primary reason the Son of God came to earth—to die as a substitute for us. Because He was divine and lived a perfect life, He was the only possible candidate to pay for mankind’s sin. Therefore, He was born of a virgin and became human in order to die on the cross for us. God the Father placed our sins on Him, and Jesus suffered the wrath we deserved. Without His atoning death on our behalf, there would be no salvation, and we would all die in our sins and be forever under God’s wrath.
Since Jesus is the only substitute, He is the only way of salvation.
Jesus affirmed this truth when He said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6). There is no other means of forgiveness and reconciliation to God except through the atoning substitutionary death of Jesus Christ on the cross. All who believe in Him as Savior and Lord, trusting in His sufficient sacrifice can be forgiven of all sin and made acceptable to God.
Paul also claimed that Jesus was the only way. Romans 5:8-10 describes this amazing transaction: “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified [declared righteous] by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”
Peter proclaimed Jesus as the only way. When he was defending the gospel before the hostile Jewish leaders of the Sanhedrin, he said, “There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Although as Christians we may be accused of being narrow-minded, we must remain firm and hold to the truth of the Bible, which clearly tell us how to be saved. We can expect criticism, but we should never be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In addition, we must be courageous in telling people about salvation through Jesus Christ. They need to know that “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). All who trust in Christ’s death as payment for their sins and surrender their lives to Him can be certain that their names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life and that heaven is their future home.