Last year I was sharing the Gospel in Raleigh, NC when a few Muslims walked up. One was holding a poster board sign that read “Meet a Muslim.” I began to engage them in their belief and shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ. One of the Muslims asked,
“Why is it fair for another man to be punished for someone else’s sin?”
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Tucked away in that question is the fundamental difference between Christianity and all other cults and false religions. Below are three reasons why it is not fair but absolutely necessary for Jesus to have died for other man’s sins.
A biblical understanding of this question is the heart of Christianity. So, what is the heart of Christianity? The Gospel of Jesus Christ. The picture of the Gospel is seen not as something that is either fair or not fair, but instead it is necessary. Jesus—who was truly God and truly man—was the only one who could initiate and complete the work of salvation.
Read the following three verses together. They are linked together as a chain to pull their readers toward a sure conclusion.
Exodus 12:15: “Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats.”
There has to be an unblemished Lamb to pay for sins. No single man can pay for sin on his works or efforts. My Muslim friends don’t understand this idea because their books constantly tell them that good works are needed for salvation. This is one reason why they have to understand God’s requirements for satisfying sin and how pitiful their attempts look before a Holy God.
Isaiah 53:10: “But the LORD was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand.”
The Messiah was coming and God was going to crush Him. God sent Jesus because it was His will, and He crushed Jesus because it was also His will. Why? Because Gods nature is unchanging. It took perfect Jesus to pay for our sins. We need Jesus to be completely forgiven—something no other religion or cult can promise.
1 John 2:2: “. . . and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.”
Jesus is the fulfillment and the satisfactory substitute that God demanded for the human offence against His holy nature. This is why the Gospel is truly good news! No-one else can offer what is freely given in the cross of Christ. The King died for His subjects; the Lord died for His kingdom.
No matter how many times it is said, how it is said, how long it is believed, or how many believe it, man cannot pay for his sin. The debt is too big. The sea of sin is too far to cross. The kingdom of righteousness cannot allow sin soaked people into its gates. Below are a few samples of what two cults and another religion believe:
(This is from the Jehovah Witness Website.) Why do we preach and teach the good news? Is it primarily to help honesthearted people onto the road to life? (Matt. 7:14) That is the first reason listed below, but it is not our primary one.
It is a requirement for our own salvation. (Ezek. 3:19; Rom. 10:9, 10)
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“To those who believe and do deeds of righteousness hath Allah promised forgiveness and a great reward,” (Surah 5:9).
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“There is not a man or woman, who violates the covenants made with their God, that will not be required to pay the debt. The blood of Christ will never wipe that out, your own blood must atone for it; and the judgments of the Almighty will come, sooner or later, and every man and woman will have to atone for breaking their covenants.” (Discourses of Brigham Young, pg. 385).
Mormon Apostle Bruce McConkie wrote, “But under certain circumstances there are some serious sins for which the cleansing of Christ does not operate, and the law of God is that men must have their own blood shed to atone for their sins.” (Mormon Doctrine, pg. 92).
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And now for the third point about why Christ’s death was necessary.
Islam is just as hopeless as any other religion or cult trying to pay for a sin debt that is simply unpayable by man’s futile efforts.
1 Peter 3:18: “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;”
Jesus had to come pay for the unjust ones—in order for us to stand in the presence of the one true God. When you understand perfectly obeying God law is the requirement you begin an eternal journey toward understanding the value of Jesus and what His perfect sacrifice accomplished. This is what my Muslim friends and neighbors need to understand.
In close, Jesus dying on the cross for the sins of mankind should not be seen fair nor unfair, but instead as a necessity to be made right with an amazingly Holy and perfect God. The non-believer needs to begin to uncover the treasure of God’s goodness and the filthiness of their works compared to Jesus’ finish work on the cross.
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