I had no idea it was this bad

Mark 14:36 And He was saying, “Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will.”

It is astonishing to think that there was no other way for our salvation than the cross of Christ. If ever there was a prayer from the Son that the Father would have been pleased to answer, it would have been this one. All things were possible for God, yet it was not possible for Him to effect our salvation without Christ going to the cross.

The horror of sin is never so fully manifest until we realize what it took for God to bring victory over and forgiveness of our sin. The horror of sin is seen to be what it is when we realize what the cure required was, namely the death of the perfect Son of God himself. The severity of a sickness is seen in how radical a treatment is required, and never has there been a disease requiring so great a remedy as our sin. Sin is so utterly terrible that Jesus Christ, the God of the Universe, could bring our healing through nothing less than His own blood.

There is a teaching today that doesn’t look at the cross of Christ this way. It teaches that the death of Christ displays not the wickedness of our sin, but the greatness of our worth. In other words, Christ’s life was a fair market exchange for our friendship. We are so valuable in God’s eyes that He was willing to give His own Son to bring us to Himself!

This is almost blasphemous.

The atonement does not show us our worth, but the cost of our guilt before God. The greatness of the atonement corresponds to the greatness of my guilt before God. Why is 100 billion years of hell insufficient punishment? It is insufficient because that much suffering is not enough to pay for my infinite guilt before the glory of an infinite God. This is why hell is an eternal torment. Oh, how great is our guilt, our debt that only the infinitely precious blood of Christ is sufficient to satisfy the wrath of God.

Throughout human history, in the current events, in our personal lives, we see many, many examples of how terrible and evil sin is. Yet, it is not until we come to the cross of Christ that we finally and fully see just how terrible sin is. It was only when I was struck with the truth that my sin could only be paid for by the death of the Son of God that I realized the full wickedness of my sin.

Before the cross, I had no idea it was this bad.

But aren’t we valuable to God? Yes, you and I are valuable to God, but to equate our worth with the Son of God is blasphemy. Jesus puts it this way, “You are more valuable than many sparrows.” We are more valuable than many sparrows… Let us be humbly grateful for that.

One thought on “I had no idea it was this bad

  1. Jason & Theresa Tarn March 8, 2006 / 9:46 pm

    good point geoff…it’s baffling why God values us. I just read this Calvin quote, “it is a wonderful goodness of God and incomprehensible to the human mind, that He was benevolent towards men whom He could not but hate.” He could not but hate our sin…and you did well to show that the death of his son demonstrates the extent of his hate towards sin. And amazingly it still shows how much he loves his children…with a free, undeserving love.


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