Yesterday evening, Ryan, a young man I met about a year ago stopped by my place to help me with a computer problem. Both of us being tired just sat there after he fixed the problem and talked. We talked about my belief in Christ. Ryan told me that he had heard a young man on the radio say just what he was thinking. “Why would Jesus need to die for me. Why isn’t my saying I’m sorry enough?” As I groped for an answer. I thought of Ryan’s two-year old son whom we had just been discussing.
I then hypothesized, “Suppose your son was grown and he looked you in the eye and told you he was going to betray his country and nothing you could say would stop him. Then suppose the result of the betrayal was that a million people including everyone you love died an agonizing death.
How could your son ever get right with you again? The size of what he had done would be insurmountable. You would want to forgive him but could you when things weren’t set right. Yet how could your son ever set it right? No matter how repentant he was. No matter how much you loved him. The enormity of the betrayal would still be there. All those people would still be dead.”
We then talked about the meaning of going against the infinite God and how we choose to do it every day. I explained that even a small offence against God is infinite not because of our nature but because of the nature of the one we are offending. While in my example the son’s offence was not infinite the consequences of the sin were so large that no human could deal with it. I then said that because God is infinitely good the smallest offence against his will is infinite. We simply are not able on our own to cross the breach between us and God.
That is why our gracious God gave us his Son to breach that gap. The whole Old Testament is a foreshadowing of the sacrifice of the One who finally made mankind right with his creator. Only the death of God himself could pay the price of our sin.
Ryan said that for the first time he understood why Jesus was crucified. He said he wanted to talk about the resurrection next. God help me! After he left I sat there and wondered about the inadequacy of my explanation.
I would love your comments and suggestions. I would like to do better next time.