Making Biblical Decisions: Taking Sin Seriously – November 3, 2023

We cannot overlook our propensity towards sin as we consider the means to make biblical decisions. Last week, we reminded ourselves of this sad reality. As we continue to consider sin’s effect on our lives, we must pause to take a deeper look at the seriousness of sin. One reason that we make unbiblical decisions and sin is that we don’t take sin seriously. We don’t take sin seriously because we don’t consider the high cost of our sin regularly. I am not speaking of today’s physical and relational consequences of sin (which are indeed high). Instead, I am speaking about the cost of paying the penalty for those sins and remedy for our relationship with the Creator. We must take sin seriously because the only remedy for our sin is the death of God’s Son.

Christ’s death was no small or insignificant event. All of history points forward or backward to that singular moment. History marched towards the cross following man’s fall in the Garden of Eden. As Eve held Cain in her arms, she wondered if this would be the sin crusher. Sadly, he removed all doubt when he killed his brother Abel. Lamech wondered if his son, Noah, would be the sin crusher (Genesis 5:29). While Noah did preserve humanity through his obedience in building the ark, his drunken sin following the flood reveals that he was not the sin crusher. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Solomon, and many more came and went with the hope that they would be the sin crusher. However, all were stained with sin and required a savior.

One day, on the shores of the Jordan, John the Baptist declared the fantastic news. The Lamb of God had arrived who would take away the sin of the World (John 1:29). The incredible mystery was that the Lamb of God was also God Himself. He came as a man to bear man’s sin. To do this, He fulfilled the righteous requirements of the Law (Matthew 5:17-20). While Satan tempted Him with sin just as Satan tempts us, Jesus never sinned and remained free from sin’s stain (Hebrews 4:15). Jesus lived the perfect life in our place so that His death could be placed on our account.

Even Jesus’ death reveals the seriousness of sin. No normal death could do. Each day, thousands die from sickness, disease, and accidents. None of these would cover the seriousness of our sin. Instead, Jesus was killed on the cross. This death consisted of hours of agony and suffering. Jesus was nailed to the cross for those who passed by to observe, mock, and deride. As he hung from the nails, he would slowly suffocate. The only relief would be to lift himself against the nails, rubbing his wounded back up the rough wood. When the pain became unbearable, and his muscles began to cramp, he would slump back down and begin to suffocate again. This process would happen over and over until He died. This agonizing death was the death that sin’s seriousness required.

Christ pointed to his death in his conversation with Nicodemus in John 3. Jesus spoke of the event in Israel’s wandering when God punished their disobedience by sending poisonous snakes into their camp (Numbers 21:4-9). As people writhed in agony and died from the venom, Moses cried out to God for help. God instructed Moses to construct a bronze serpent and place it on a pole in the middle of the camp. All who looked to the bronze serpent would live. In the same way, Jesus suffered an agonizing death, being raised on the cross for all to see. So that all who look to him in faith will live. So, as we make decisions, we must consider our propensity to sin. We cannot excuse it or underestimate it. Instead, we must run from it!