For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Imagine you receive a letter in the mail one day. As you read it, you realize you’ve been found guilty of tax evasion. Not only that, it’s been going on for years.
Because of back taxes and fines, you now owe the IRS over $500,000! Your entire net worth is pennies compared to the fine. You can barely make a dent in it, and can never, ever pay the complete fine.
In addition, the minimum prison sentence is twenty years.
You show up at the trial and realize there is substantial evidence against you. Financial records, invoices, previous tax returns—it’s all there. You have no case.
You plead with the judge, claiming it was an accident and you honestly had no idea you were doing anything wrong. He sternly reminds you that ignorance is no excuse for criminal behavior. You broke the law and now you must pay the consequence.
The gavel slams against the desk as he sentences you to the maximum prison term in addition to your fine.
As you’re being escorted out of the courtroom, however, the judge speaks up:
“Stop! You may not know this yet, but I love you more than you can fathom. I can’t bear to see you punished like this. I will have my own Son pay your fine. He will serve your sentence for you. I can transfer all of your guilt to Him, allowing you to go free as one who is forgiven and restored to righteousness. You must decide, though, if you trust Him to do this for you. Will you receive this gift of forgiveness?”
You ponder the offer for a moment. It seems too good to be true. But then again, you have no other options. You’re desperate. It’s too late for you to undo what you’ve already done.
“Yes, your Honor. I trust your Son. I need Him to save me since I will never be able to overcome my own guilt.”
Immediately, the handcuffs are taken off you and placed upon the wrists of the Son.
You are now free.
Your debt has been paid.
As the Son is escorted out of the room, you thank him with tears in your eyes. You have never felt such an overwhelming sense of relief—or gratitude.
Friends, this is not just a story. This is the gospel.
This is what Jesus has done for every one of us who have trusted Him: He took our guilt, trading us His righteousness in return.