“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.’” Galatians 3:13
Have you ever told a lie, taken something that didn’t belong to you, or lost your temper? If so, then you’re guilty of breaking the perfect standard required by God’s Law. The penalty is eternal separation from God in Hell – where agony and sorrow never cease. That’s why the Cross still matters. Jesus’ willing sacrifice redeemed us from the guilt and curse of the Law.
By definition, redemption is regaining possession of something in exchange for payment. It’s clearing a debt, which is exactly what Jesus did on the Cross. Without Christ, we are all cursed and condemned to die, but His blood paid our penalty, clearing our sin debt and all its guilt.
The problem is, many people dismiss the Cross, believing their good deeds will save them. There are a couple of problems with this train of thought. First, we could never be good enough for long enough to earn our own redemption. Second, we would live in constant fear of not having enough good works to outweigh the bad.
There’s a great story that helps us understand redemption. A little boy built a sailboat. After he tarred and painted it, he took it to the lake and pushed it in, hoping it would sail. Sure enough, a wisp of breeze filled the little sail and the boat went rippling along the waves. Before the boy knew it, the boat was out of his reach. As he watched it float away, he hoped the breeze would shift, bringing the boat back to him. Instead, he watched it go farther away until it was gone.
Sometime later, the little boy walked by a second-hand store window displaying a small boat. It was unmistakably his. So, he went in, picked it up, and said, “This is my boat.” The owner of the shop said, “That’s my boat. I bought it from someone.” The boy showed him the scratches and marks where he had hammered and filed, evidence that he had, indeed, made this little boat. The man said, “I’m sorry. If you want it, you have to buy it.”
So, the boy worked hard and saved his pennies until he had enough money to buy the little boat back. As he left the store he said, “You’re my boat twice; first because I made you, and second because I bought you!”
That’s the picture of redemption! The very God who created us, bought us back in an amazing act of grace. Salvation cannot be earned. It is God’s free gift through Jesus. So yes, the Cross still matters!