Sin. The barrier that causes division between people and separates us from God. If humans are responsible for their actions and commit sins, why would God save them rather than expecting people to answer for themselves?
God is love, the giver of life. He created humans to be spiritually and relationally connected with Him. But mankind chose to act against God’s will, to sin, separating us from God – the source of life. Sin was passed down from generation to generation like a virus, spreading with humanity, separating people from God and one another.
God spoke through his prophets, giving new commandments and opportunities to follow his law, but the people always failed. The price of sin, of separating ourselves from God, is death. Since God is perfectly just, he couldn’t simply ignore or forgive humanity’s sins. God is holy and righteous. His uncompromising nature means He must judge and punish sin. So wouldn’t it be up to us to earn God’s forgiveness and avoid judgement?
The problem is humans can’t keep God’s commands, we can’t live without sin, and we can’t redeem ourselves. It would seem like we’re doomed. Except God doesn’t want his creations to die. He is merciful and loving, and wants us to be restored, living with Him in full life. Beginning with Abraham and continuing through other prophets over the centuries, God revealed piece by piece his plan to send the Redeemer who would pay the penalty for mankind’s sin.
The redeemer is Jesus. He descended to earth from his place of glory in heaven, took on human form, and lived the sinless life we never could. Then Jesus willingly took on our sins, enduring the punishment of death for us once and for all. But He could not be held by death. Jesus rose from the grave, conquering death and sin, enabling us to have a restored relationship with God. God loves us, and because humans aren’t capable of restoring themselves, Jesus redeemed us from sin and death, so that we might be saved and live with Him. Now we must accept the sacrifice Jesus made for us to enjoy the freedom of a restored relationship with God.