Was Achieved by Christ's Blood Shed on the Cross
A little story illustrates the direction we must first look. Paraphrased, three farm animals were discussing how they would present gifts to God. "I will give Him an egg," said the hen. "I will give Him milk," said the cow. They turned to the pig. "Well, what will YOU give?" "I will give Him my bacon."
Giving God your "bacon", in the pig's case it was his own real flesh, put him in an entirely different class from his friends on the farm, did it not?
Well, God took the initiative and gave His Son, the most precious thing to Him, and for divine purposes and human salvation allowed for that Son to be crucified on a Roman cross in 33 A.D. Jesus Christ, the One given, was also the giver, being God. As He said, He willingly laid down His life, for no man had the power to take it unless He gave man that power.
So, there is no other way to see this event: Jesus was not a hapless victim slain on a Cross by human injustice or expedience, and he was not a criminal being justly punished. He was, if you believe the record of the Gospels, a willing sacrifice for man's sin, past, present, and future. He was the Father's Lamb, the precious "bacon" that was God's own life laid down for others' benefit.
Why? Why did God go to such trouble and sacrifice so much? What was the point? Why did God think it necessary?
The Cross provides the only valid answer, an answer that has stood the test. To provide a way of salvation for human souls, this Roman instrument of utmost torture and inescapable execution (though Christ could have called down legions of angels to rescue him off it if he had so chosen!) was utilized by God to achieve a number of things. These are, simply, forgiveness of sins, atonement and peace with God, and access to God. You might add, worship and victory as the direct results, for far from being a negative and tragic emblem (it is called the "emblem of suffering and shame" in a great old hymn, "The Old Rugged Cross"), it is the most positive thing on earth. By it humanity was granted a second chance, a new life, a total transformation, a way to God and eternal happiness.
It was, supreme and totally necessary, the divine bridge from this sinful earth to Paradise! There is none other provided by God, just false bridges religions and religious men have devised, but they will each and every one of them fail all those who attempt to use them to cross over from here to heaven.
How in the world, then, does a person connect with these tremendous realities of the Cross that Christ's suffering and death won for us?
They can be worked for (a big, big mistake), or they can be simply accepted by faith in Jesus Christ and what He accomplished on the Cross.
Any person can take what is offered by grace so freely by God, God's forgiveness of sins and all the other blessings that flow from the Cross, simply by coming as he or she to God in prayer, confessing one's sin and asking for forgiveness. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved."
Is it really so simple? Is it really such a sheer gift of grace? Can God really mean to give so much away at such a great cost to Himself? Yes, yes, and yes!
At some critical point Papa Alfred Stadem came to realize that his own works would never pass muster. He had some fine, Grade A "eggs" of Christian service to give God, no doubt, even some fine "milk" of good deeds and high moral standards. Yes, he had a lot that was admirable to give God, but he came to see, as every sinner who will be saved must see, that his works were as filthy rags, or worthless, before a holy God. He then threw himself upon the Work of Christ on the Cross, and pled for mercy and forgiveness for his sins. By doing so, he obtained the whole gift of eternal life and God's eternal forgiveness. No wonder he had peace, when the moment came to depart this life on earth! His salvation, he knew in his heart, was a real thing, better than anything a man could achieve on his own merit or by his own efforts. Truly, 'twas well with his soul!
Like him, it can be made well with your soul, dear guest! It only takes going to your Father in heaven, and by Jesus Christ's work on the Cross, gaining forgiveness and, as a result,
salvation, atonement and peace with God, and access to God forever. Do it now if you haven't transacted this most important business of your life. Once you have done so, it is time to share your faith with others, and to celebrate Christ's victory on your behalf (in other words, worship your wonderful Lord and Savior!).
To sum up, what if the blood of Christ had not been shed? Life would be exactly what the relativists and the atheists, and even Shakespeare in a dark moment, say it is: a "tale told by an idiot of sound and fury signifying nothing." Thank God that they have been proven absolutely wrong! Christ's shed blood really, really, absolutely, counts!--Editors
Note: This discussion of the benefits of the Shed Blood of Christ was based in part on the truths given in a Pilgrim Tract with the title, "If the Blood Had Not Been Shed?".