How Does Jesus’ Death, at the hands of men, pay a debt men owe to God?

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The atoning sacrifice of Christ on the cross at Calvary forms the basis for what I like to call “The Peculiar Theology of Redemption”.

And there’s no doubt that the theology behind our redemption IS peculiar, because it had to be … in order to give Satan the devil just enough “rope” to hang himself. 

Here’s how it works:

The first sin had to be a very serious matter, Adam also had to fully understand that it was indeed very serious, and the sin also had to be committed with the full consent of Adam’s will.

Finally, the consequences of that first sin had to be such that a simple apology, a pledge of repentance, and God’s subsequent forgiveness, would still not be sufficient to make all things whole again.

Based on all of the above, we know that the first sin resulted in Adam’s total rejection of God, and his “throwing in” with Satan, against God.

Adam even went so far as to transfer dominion of the whole earth, which God had earlier given him, over to Satan.

And since Adam enjoyed free will, God permitted him to make these choices, and to suffer the eternal consequences.

Once all this was done, Satan turned on Adam, and made a slave of him and his descendents, because, as everyone knows, all the offspring of a slave automatically belong to the master.

This presented a serious problem, because man had no ability to overcome the supernatural dominion that Satan now exercised over him.

Furthermore, God was under no obligation to provide his supernatural graces to his enemies.

Deprived of God’s grace, Eden soon disappeared, Adam and Eve began to age, suffer, and die, and the world became an increasingly more hostile and forbidding place.

Mankind lived under constant threat from Satan, who was given the power of death over them, according to their free will choice, and according to God’s perfect justice.

But this is not what God had in mind when he created man, so God promised to eventually send a redeemer to destroy Satan’s evil dominion, forgive sins, defeat death, and restore all things.

That is exactly what Jesus did.

And the only reason Jesus could do it, when no other human ever could, was because Jesus was never “stained” by sin … and Satan had no power at all, over one without sin.

Under God’s most basic law, one without sin is not liable to die. (This was the flip-side of the same law that Adam broke, when he sinned.)

Jesus permitted Satan and his minions, the Jews and the Romans, to unjustly put him to death, knowing full well that this was the only way Satan’s evil dominion could be legally destroyed, as no one, not even the devil, had the authority to take the life of a sinless man, let alone the only son of God.

Once Jesus died, Satan was judged for his great sin, stripped of all that he had earlier gained from Adam’s fall, and left destitute.

Jesus was raised from the dead and appointed the new head of all mankind. God was now more than willing to forgive man’s sins, and our redemption was truly at hand.

Now, anyone who rejects Satan and swears faithful allegiance to Jesus (typically through baptism) is able to have their sins forgiven, become a living temple of the Holy Spirit, and among other things, also become a member of God’s own family.

The Church carries on Christ’s great work of redemption in the world today, and it will continue to do so, until the end of time.

We have Christ’s word on it.