”Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.”
Hebrews 9:22 (ESV)
Our world cries out, “What sort of a God demands a sacrifice in blood? What sort of God refuses to accept anything less than the death of an innocent as recompense for sin? What sort of a God is that?”
The answer: a God who is infinitely holy, utterly righteous, and perfectly just. A God whose total purity cannot tolerate even the presence of the smallest impurity or slightest sin.
We are so quick to hurl our accusations at the Almighty. We say, “You are unfair! How can you demand such perfection? Isn’t it enough that we try our best?”
The answer: our best will never be good enough. No matter how hard we try, no matter how many good deeds we accumulate, we can never measure up to His expected standard. A billion righteous actions can never erase the fact we have all sinned. All of us have missed the target. On our own we are utterly and completely without hope.
Such a God would truly be One to be feared, even loathed – unless there was something more to Him.
God is indeed all of these things; infinitely holy, utterly righteous, perfectly just, intolerant of sin, and incapable of accepting our good deeds as recompense for our misdeeds. He has declared of humanity, “We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags.” (Isaiah 64:6)
However, there is so much more to Him.
He is also a God of infinite love, unending grace, and unfailing mercy. His absolute standard demands that any who do not perfectly keep His laws and commandments must come under the sentence of death and separation from Him for eternity. That is why He came Himself, in the person of Jesus Christ, to rescue us from this curse. As Jesus Christ, a perfect and sinless man, He was able to offer Himself as the perfect blood sacrifice so any who will put their trust in Him can have their sins completely removed. He has promised, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
That is why we call this day “Good” Friday. On this day we remember our cruelest act as a race, the day when we nailed the Creator of the Universe to a wooden cross for crimes He did not commit. Even so, we did not take His life from Him, he laid it down willingly so that He could restore us to our rightful state as God’s sons and daughters.
That is the God that I serve this day. I pray that if you don’t yet know Him that you will cry out to Him for His forgiveness, accepting the sacrifice that Jesus made for us on that cross, and so inherit the eternal life and joy that our Father always intended for us.