This passage emphasizes some of the most significant actions of God. As we have seen, God has spoken all throughout history, calling people to repentance and faith in His Son. God revealed Himself through His exact representation, Jesus Christ. Jesus is the heir of all things, creator and sustainer of the universe. Even more, God gave the world His Son for the purpose of providing help from sin. Jesus purifies people from sin through His death on the cross. All these things identify God actively involved in His creation.
Jesus was not afraid to get His hands dirty. He personally involved himself in mankind’s greatest problem – sin. When Jesus went to the cross, he became sin – the sin that you and I commit. He bore our sin, paying the punishment for the wrongs we committed against God. We deserved to die yet God loved us enough to provide a way out. Jesus is our substitution. This has been labeled the “great exchange” in that “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Other religions show ways mankind tries to purify their own sin and reach God. Christianity shows God intervening himself into the world of mankind in order to reach them. This is the message of Christmas and Easter wrapped into one gift, giving to us directly from God.
Through repentance and faith in Jesus’ substitutionary work on the cross you become Jesus’ righteousness; purified and forever cleansed. In other words, as you look at the history of your experiences with sin and failures, God forgives you. Your record is wiped clean.
After Jesus provided purification for sin, he sat down at the right hand of God. A priest in the OT temple never sat down. In fact, there were no chairs for him to sit. The reason was because a priests work was never finished, continually performing sacrifices for ongoing sins of the people. The writer of Hebrews says, “Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God… because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy” (10:11-14).
TAKING IT HOME
– What kind of help do teens need today? What are teens greatest needs?
– What is the difference between religion and Christianity?
– How do people try to purify themselves from sin apart from Christ?
– What does it mean to live a life of purity? Is this attainable? How does a Christian live with purity?
– Can you think of another example where a single act has great impact on everything else? How does this relate to Jesus dying on the cross?
– Set aside some time where you can reflect on the words of Jesus saying “It [payment for your sin] is finished.”
– Read the following passages to appreciate and understand Jesus’ death on the cross. Write out any questions or comments you have. Share your questions/thoughts with a friend.
Romans 3:21-23; 5:8, 12-19;
2 Corinthians 5:21
1 Peter 1:18-19; 3:18
1 John 2:2