“Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.” ~ Matthew 18:27
A Debt We Could Never Repay
“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” ~ Genesis 2:16-17
The story of the Fall in the Garden of Eden is familiar to most (Genesis 1-3). God instructed Adam to avoid the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Satan in his desire to rob God of the love and worship of humanity, deceived Eve. When humanity yielded to the deception, a debt was shared, that was originally Satan's alone. That debt… was death.
“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” ~ Romans 5:12
God desired obedience as the currency of love. When Adam disobeyed, he sinned. Humanity could not pay the debt for sin. To say ‘I'm sorry' wasn't enough. What was to prevent us from infinitely repeating the transgression and throwing God a cursory ‘Sorry!' forever? Because the payment for sin is death, it could only be made once and never repeated.
What is Death?
Death is basically the end of life. It's when something ceases to function. Death and life can become commingled when used in religious topics. Still, the definition of death does not change. Even though different words are used in Greek and Hebrew, depending on the context, the result is the same. Death essentially results in a separation, the separation of the breath or spirit from the body, which removes the life from the body. What happens next is the same as sleep without dreams. There is no knowledge, not awareness, no thought.
“His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.” ~ Psalms 146:4
“So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep.” ~ Job 14:12
It would surprise many to know it was not God who sentenced mankind to death. It was Adam. God in His love let Adam know he would die if he ate of the Tree. And because of God's pure, perfect, and divine nature, sin could not continue existing forever. God's desire is to restore the perfect society of love and peace He originally created. For that to happen, sin must be eliminated forever. The payment is not one of never ending torture or eternal torment. It is eternal separation from God's presence. This is what death is when finished. God's loves all of humankind and never wanted death to reign over us. But we made the choice, then and now. Yet, there is hope!
The Bringer of Death
“He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning“… ~ 1 John 3:8
“For the wages of sin is death;”… ~ Romans 6:23
“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;” ~ Hebrews 2:14
We see that Satan brought more than a lie into the Garden. He brought death! Adam would die because sin brings death. Satan is the progenitor of sin! Satan knew that God would not, could not, allow sin to exist forever. He knew because of his own transgression, death would be his end. Yes, even Satan, the devil, an angel can and will die!
“Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.” ~ Ezekiel 28:18-19
See that? Satan's destruction is set. Because Adam followed suit, so was ours. Yet, there is hope!
The Plan for Redemption
God never intended for Adam to die. Love had to be voluntary to be meaningful and true. So God allowed Adam to choose. The Tree wasn't a trap. It was a choice and love allows for that. Adam could choose to avoid the Tree and trust the Father for totally for everything, including life! Or choose the Tree and follow his own way, which could only end in destruction.
“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” ~ Proverbs 14:12
Yet before the first sin was committed, God was ready! He had everything planned out for the redemption of not just man, but all of creation.
“…For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” ~ 1 John 3:8
Remember, the debt for sin must be paid. Something or someone else had to pay the price. And in the end, mankind had to pay it! The first and temporary sacrifice was a flawless lamb. He was symbolic of the Lamb of God who was to come. The natural lamb's death could not atone for sin permanently. God did not want a continuous, ongoing sacrifice.
“And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. And he did as the LORD commanded Moses.” ~ Leviticus 16:34
It was too easy to just kill a lamb and go on sinning until the next lamb. That sacrifice had no lasting effect. There could be only one for all time… and it had to be a man!
“For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” Romans 5:19
The Lamb of God
“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” ~ John 1:29
You see, through man sin entered the world. It would take a man to remove it forever. But not just any man. It would take a perfect man, a man who never knew sin!
“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” ~ 2 Corinthians 5:21
It would take a pure sacrifice to completely atone for sin. That is why every substitute lamb had to be spotless and blemish-free first born male. Because Jesus is God and without sin, he could do what no lamb could.
- He took everyone's sin on himself as the final sacrifice.
- He paid the price of sin by his own death.
- He then conquered death by his resurrection.
Jesus paid our debt in full by His own death! Jesus did not drop the charges. He paid the cost. He provided the ultimate debt payment!
All Sin for All Time!
“For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10
It does not matter when one died. It could be last week or in Adam's day. Anyone who died believing in the hope of the resurrection through the Lamb of God received the promise of life!
The Ultimate Debt Payment
“But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” 1 Corinthians 13:10
“And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;” ~ Hebrews 10:11-12
The perfect sacrifice has come, Jesus Christ the Righteous! The perfect Lamb sent from God. His only purpose was to prepare a people and then pay the awful price of eternal death for man! Remember when Jesus cried out to the Father on the cross? At that moment, Jesus paid that price in full by experiencing spiritual death, total separation from God, as the sins of the world from Adam to the last human to ever be born, were placed on him! As he became a curse for us, he felt all of the loneliness and despair sin causes. He moaned as he experienced the wretchedness and guilt of the world's transgressions. His heart broke as God the Father could no long look on His precious Son. The Father turned His face from him and left him alone for the first time ever.
Then he understood why the Father could not stand by. He understood why his mission was so vital and why he was the only one who could accomplish it. And why something so horrible (sin) had to be done away with. Then with the debt paid, he went to sleep and rested until his promised resurrection!
We Are No Longer Debtors!
Because of Jesus, we do not have to pay the debt of sin! Jesus did not drop the charges. If he had, the cross would never have been necessary! If we:
- Believe on the Lord Jesus,
- Believe in and accept his work of atonement on the cross,
- Walk in obedience to God Word, and
- Have faith in his return and our resurrection unto eternal life,
we can escape eternal death! The debt is paid. We don't have to die without hope. Jesus is our hope if we accept the free gift. We accept the results of those who struggled to provide freedom from tyranny in this life only. Why not accept the one who gave his life to deliver us from the stronghold of Satan and death for all time?
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:” ~ Ephesians 2:8
“Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.” ~ 2 Corinthians 9:15
I hope this post was helpful. Thanks for visiting!