The ultimate favor from God
“For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God.” – 1 Peter 3:18
It is nice to have someone come to our rescue in trouble. Imagine we have an unpayable debt and a stranger walks into our life and willfully clears all our debts. Isn’t it nice? In fact, God did something very similar to us and we will behold this truth in the Bible verse.
Usually, we seek God for favors believing that He is good and always help those who ask Him. It is good to come to God for help, but it is equally important to step back and listen to what He says. Time and again, God reiterated in the scripture that He is angry with our Rebellion Psalm 7:11, Rom 1:18, Gen 6:1-5.
Harken to the incident of Mt. Sinai in the history of Israel, when God before descending on Mt. Sinai, speaks to Moses the leader of Israel to warn them not to come near to the mountain. He told Moses to pitch a fence around the mountain so that people do not come close or they would die – Exodus 19:2, 23. God wants us to give Him all the priority, attention, honor, love, and glory (Is 43:7). He wanted us to understand His greatness, to fear Him, to love Him, to praise Him, to submit to Him, and thus glorify Him. This is the purpose of our existence and we failed to live up to the calling. God calls it SIN. We sinned against God through our actions, attitudes, thoughts, and dishonored Him. Our sin alienated us from God and set us apart from enjoying relation with Him. God is so pure that He cannot behold evil (Hab 1:13) and He will never let go the guilty unpunished (Nah 1:3). God declared that all have sinned and deserve death and hell (Rom 5:12; Ps. 9:17) – the eternal punishment.
Going further, the Bible says that we all commit sin because we are born sinful – we are sons of disobedience (Eph 2:2; Ps 51:5; 58:3). We are born with a rebellious attitude. This rebellious nature is vivid even in children. Our heart is sinful (Jer. 17:9). With our sinful nature, we can never live up to God’s standards and please Him. We could do nothing to appease His angry. We are destined to burn in the fires of hell forever. Now, the real favor for mankind is to save from Hell, transform the nature, and reconcile to God.
God the Father who is rich in mercy provided for us a Savior in His Son Jesus Christ (John 3:16). God required the death of an unblemished substitute for the atonement of sin (Lev. 1:1-5; Heb 9:22) and Christ died for the sins, giving himself to the horrific death on the cross wilfully (John 10:17-18; 2 Cor. 5:21) on our behalf to pay the penalty of our sins. A crown of thorns He bore for our wickedness, He was beaten and nailed to the cross for our iniquities, He was spat for our shameless deeds. “He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities. Is. 53:5″. He died our death, taking upon Him the punishment sentenced on us.
He is the Just, meaning – the righteous one who alone can be our perfect substitute – Heb 7:26. Peter emphasized the sinless nature of Christ – “Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth” – 1 Peter 2:22. He referred to the blood of Jesus as precious – 1 Peter 1:19. The word ‘precious’ is ascribed to the things that are rare; and Jesus alone is the rare unblemished spotless lamb, who can be our substitute. His death is sufficient for the atonement of sins of the disgusting sinners like us – The Just for the unjust.
A deeper comfort is found in the phrase so that He might bring us to God. The ultimate purpose of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ is to bring every sinner who trusts Jesus Christ into an intimate relation with God (Heb 4:16). Relation has been reestablished in Jesus Christ. The more we understand the dire consequences of our sin, the more we will appreciate Christ’s substitutionary sacrifice.
This substitutionary sacrifice for sin is made once for all. Once in the history of man, God the Father has made atonement for sin in Jesus Christ and it has perpetual validity and does not require repetition. Everyone who puts their trust in Jesus Christ and comes to Him in humble repentance will receive forgiveness of sin, transformation of life, and an intimate personal relationship with the living God. This is surely the favor of all favors from God – The ultimate favor.