We are looking this week particularly at the cross of Christ, and we have said already that this was no martyrdom. No accident. It was not intended as an example of how to suffer and die. It was so much much more. For one thing, there was a job to be done, which only he could do. We human beings are all infected with the spiritual plague – even the finest of people are infected. It is a ’self-in-the-centre’ disease, sometimes called ‘pride’ or self-centredness. But the Bible has a much simpler word of three letters for it, namely – SIN.
Sin does not mean crime, for not everyone is a criminal – but everyone has sinned. Every single person who has ever lived has developed this plague. Not one of us had to learn how to lie, to deceive, to cheat. We knew! As soon as we were old enough and the opportunity arose and bang! we had fallen in. Ask tiny little children squabbling ‘All right, who started it?’. Go on. Ever heard any one of them say ‘I did’. No it’s always: ‘he did’ or ’she did’, ‘It’s their fault, not mine’.
Right at the heart of the human race there is this deadly spiritual virus which none of us has escaped. Well, there was one, only one, who was clear of it. Jesus was his name. Only he was qualified to tackle it, on the grounds that even doctors who have the plague themselves cannot treat others. They will only spread the infection. Polluted hands cannot handle anything without polluting it. Paul said, in Romans Chapter 5: 6-8
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ dies for us”.
There was no other good enough to pay the price of sin. He only could unlock the door of heaven to let us in.
Now read Romans 5: 12-21