“While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
“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
Over and over again we hear the story of the gospel- that God sent His son to die for us so that we might have eternal life. We are told that it is not by our actions we are saved, that we are saved by the grace of God. We are told that we will sin - everyone sins, but that we are still forgiven. There is nothing so bad that God will not forgive.
Often this question is asked, “But if I’m forgiven for all of my sins already, then why should I worry about not sinning?” And we are told that when we really grasp onto God’s grace, we’ll want to pursue good in life and steer clear of sin. That understanding God’s ultimate sacrifice for us will encourage us to be our best and do our best! But, lets be real - what does that even mean?!?
I did gymnastics all growing up, and I was ok at it, but never really great. In high school though, I had one of the best tumbling coaches I’ve ever had. He was so successful at helping push us forward and achieve our goals. This is how:
Everyone on the team was usually working on different things, so he would help us one by one. As he came to us, he would point out what we needed to work on. He’d say things like: “You need to keep your feet together during that back handspring.” He’d give us some drills we could use to work on it. Then, he’d come up and whisper so no one else could hear, “If you don’t keep those feet together, then ____ will have to do pushups for you,” and he would name someone else on the team.
Then, he’d walk around the room some more, and when he got back to you, if you hadn’t improved, sure enough, whoever that was got to do your pushups. He would wait until he wasn’t standing near you to tell them to do them, so they never knew it was your fault. Everyone on the team had someone else they did pushups for, and no one knew who their person was. Never once were we going to have to do anything as a consequence of our actions - someone else was going to do it for us.
It took about a practice and a half before we realized how serious he was about it, and then we worked so hard to not have to make other people do pushups! It almost never happened after that. And believe it or not, we all started to improve. We were our best, because we would do just about anything to be better so someone else wouldn’t have to suffer for us.
That is what Jesus did for us! Jesus ‘did our pushups’ for us, except much more! For every sin we commit, have committed, and will commit, Jesus died to forgive us! We are not perfect, and we never will be. And Jesus will continue to forgive us so that we don’t have to suffer the eternal consequences of our actions.
But doesn’t that thought make you want to be the best you can be? It makes me so grateful for God’s love and grace - that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us so that we might become His righteousness!