“When they arrived at the place called The Skull, they crucified Him there, along with the criminals, one on the right and one on the left.” (Luke 23:33 CSB)
Why couldn’t God simply forgive us without Jesus having to go to the cross? It would seem so much simpler and involve far less pain to just leave the crucifixion out altogether and say, “You’re forgiven.”
Several reasons make that impossible. First, the absolute holiness of God and the justice of God require our condemnation and destruction. Our minds are incapable of grasping the reality and validity of this, but God’s perfect holiness cannot permit sin. It requires the destruction of anyone who violates it.
Second, if God were to simply say, “You’re forgiven,” we would have no real appreciation of what our forgiveness cost Him. That would say to us that sin is no big deal, that it’s important, but that in the long run sin is ok. The cross communicates the cost.
Third, the cost of our forgiveness communicates the love behind the event, the motivation of God’s heart. In the cross we see God’s compassion for His lost children, His desire to provide us with an opportunity for eternal life, and His invitation to faith.
Lord, What You have done for us, for me, is still beyond my ability to comprehend. All I can do is accept this in faith and thank You for it, and then live my life in honor of You. Amen