The scripture for today, February 24 (2/24), is 1st Peter 2:24 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:
Many people do not understand what Jesus dying on the cross has to do with us going to heaven. After all, if we don’t murder, steal, abuse others and only lie a little, God has no choice but to take us into heaven. But God is perfect, so cannot co-exist with imperfection ~ even one tiny sin.
Romans 3:23 says all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. And Romans 6:23 says the wages of sin is death. So, all through the Old Testament era, whenever we sinned, God allowed us to kill/sacrifice a perfect animal and spill its blood to collect the death wages in our place. Notice, the animal had to be perfect and this was a temporary fix.
Eventually, God sent his own Son to come to earth and live in a human body and be tempted in every way that we are (see Hebrews 4:15). Jesus resisted all temptations and lived his entire life sinless. He was perfect morally, just as the sacrificial animals were perfect physically.
Then as the perfect Lamb of God (John 1:29), Jesus became the final sacrifice. He took the blame for all our sins and died in our place. He took the terrible wages of death for our sins. On the cross, he died spiritually (forsaken by God) and physically with blood dripping from the wounds in his hands and feet. Then God basically told the world, “I will consider you perfect too; all you have to do is believe in and follow my Son.”
It is explained further in Romans 6:3-4. Just as Jesus died bearing our sins, we die to our sinful nature ~ the part of us that sins and doesn’t care. Then just as Jesus was buried in his tomb, we are buried in the watery tomb of baptism. And finally, just as Jesus rose up out of his tomb the Savior, we rise up out of our watery tomb the saved ~ born again to a new life.
He left heaven to do all this for you and me. Indeed, by Jesus’ wounds you and I can be healed. We fall at his feet and say, “I am a sinner and so unworthy. Thank you.”