Have you ever been punished for something you didn’t actually do? Maybe you were rejected and punished even though you tried to do the right things. Maybe you willingly took the blame to prevent someone you cared about from suffering the consequences of their actions or choices. We often stand up for ourselves refusing to take the blame, but there are times in which we willingly accept the blame to protect those we care about. Whether by choice or not, it’s not easy taking the blame or punishment for something you didn’t do. But your love for those involved causes you to understand the consequences involved if the truth were known, so you accept their punishment.
That’s exactly what Jesus did for each of us. “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). He took the punishment for all of our sins. He suffered a cruel death on the cross even though He never sinned. Hebrews 9:28 says, “So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.” Through his death and resurrection we are healed and can accept the gift of eternal life.
Why would He be willing to endure the floggings, the crown of thorns, and the horrible crucifixion? Love. An old hymn says sums it up perfectly: “What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!” Jesus is the most caring and loyal friend we could ever find. He could have chosen at any time not to accept the punishment we deserve, but He loved us so much that He became a voluntary substitute for each and every one of us.
Jesus took the blame and punishment for every sin anyone has ever committed or will commit. He knew the consequences we deserve, but He loved us so much that He was willing to suffer for our sins. Mine, yours, every single person ever born. It’s difficult for us to take the blame for something we didn’t do, yet Jesus, who was perfectly holy and pure, Jesus who knew no sin, bore the sins of the entire world. No matter what we’ve done, He paid the price.
He paid a debt He did not owe. I owed a debt I could not pay.
I needed someone to wash my sins away,
And now I sing a brand new song, Amazing grace all day long.
Christ Jesus paid a debt that I could never pay. – Author Ellis J Crum – copyright 1977