In the Old Testament, we see how God provided a way for people to deal with their sin. Once a year, the high priest entered the Holy of Holies, taking the blood spilled from sacrificial animals. The blood meant the death of an animal as a substitute for the death of the priest and the people. God deemed the blood of the animal as sufficient to purify the people of their ceremonial uncleanness. But, this cleansing was temporary and only sufficient for past sins. While the blood covered over the sins of the people, it could not actually cleanse the guilt of the priest or the people.
The Good News that we remember at Easter is that God had plans to send a new high priest, Jesus the Son of God, who came as the ultimate sacrifice, the sacrifice of Himself. Jesus’ sacrifice sufficiently covered sin, but also bore the burden of our sin and washed our conscience clean. The animal sacrifices of the priests foreshadowed the final sacrifice of God’s Son. The death of the Son does what no other sacrifice can do as it reaches back to cover over all the sins of God’s people in the past and forward to cover all the sins of God’s people into the future.
Praise God for the sufficiency of Christ which we celebrate this Easter morning. The bloody cross and the empty grave present the truest and most real hope for the Christ follower.
Pastor R.C. Sproul, founder of Ligonier Ministries said, “What Jesus accomplished on the cross and in the resurrection is enough to overcome the separation between God and humanity. United with Christ, we are as close to God now as we will ever be. Through Him we have full access to the presence of God and enjoy privileges of the world to come.”
In its most fundamental sense, sin is man trying to be God. In sinning, we war against God’s rightful rule, reign and authority. We want to be the god of our own life. We want control. We want the credit and glory due only to God. As sinners, we are glory thieves, yet while we are sinners Christ died to pay the wages of sin that justly we deserve. At the cross, Jesus fully endured the judgement of God on our behalf and thus brings true and full salvation for sinners. The Great Exchange is that God substitutes and sacrifices Himself for man.
Jesus lived the perfect life we could not live. As a man he was fully tempted by sin and then endured the death that we deserved. The glory of Easter is that death could not contain Him. “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” (1 Peter 2:24)
Easter proves that Jesus is the only one who is sufficient to remove all of our sin and to restore us to God.
Jesus is sovereign over life and death. He clears our seared conscience, and He is victorious. This truth leads Paul to say in 1 Corinthians 15:54-57, “When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Jesus conquered death and now sits at the right hand of the Father. Our Great High Priest not only brings forgiveness of sin but a right standing before God. Being reconciled to God truly brings peace to our conscience. Christ sitting at God’s right hand means that everything Jesus died to accomplish has indeed been accomplished. No enemy can hinder His work in the end. The atonement is utterly complete; the Father was utterly satisfied; and all the enemies will fall utterly before the reigning Christ in Heaven. Unlike the sacrifices of Israel, the once and for all sacrifice of God is complete. The sacrifice satisfied the Father, and brought the enemy under sovereign control. In Christ, we are freely justified, sanctified, and sent on mission.
Christ alone is sufficient to bring about salvation for all of humanity including orphans, vulnerable children, and vulnerable families.That is why it is imperative to agree on the gospel with those whom we partner to care for the vulnerable. Children cannot be saved by adoption, foster care, or loving acts of kindness. All of these acts are samples of the true salvation that must be theirs if they are to be made whole. It is essential that we believe and teach vulnerable children and families that salvation comes in no other name but Jesus. Because of the sufficiency of Christ and His once and for all salvation, we have access to God and an advocate in God the Father. Giving vulnerable children anything less than the gospel is giving them false hope. Jesus is the eternal King to whom we surrender our lives forever, and in turn He is the perfect High Priest who represents us forever to the Father.
May we cling to the sufficiency of Christ. May we know why it is abundantly important that we believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures as a representative, substitutionary, and complete sacrifice; was raised from the dead to conquer sin once for all; and because of this, all who believe in Him are justified. Easter fuels our hope and our mission.