When it comes to salvation, it’s difficult to truly appreciate the good news until we understand the bad news of our spiritual condition—namely, we all come into this world dead in our transgressions and sins. In the Scriptures, there are different meanings for death. Physical death is what everyone experiences at the end of earthly life. Spiritual death is alienation from God because of sin, and it’s the inherent condition of all mankind. Eternal death is the final outcome without salvation, and it results in everlasting separation from the Lord. Without Christ, the situation is hopeless, which is grim news indeed.
But there’s good news. Jesus did what was necessary to bring us back into a relationship with God. He was the only person who ever lived a completely righteous life, and as He hung dying on the cross, the Father placed all the guilt of our sins upon Him. Christ’s death was …
Sacrificial. The animal sacrifices in the Old Testament foreshadowed the perfect Lamb of God, who would make the final atonement for sins.
Substitutionary. Since Jesus bore the punishment for us, we no longer have to pay the penalty for our sins.
Sufficient. We can’t earn salvation because we will never be holy like God. But since Jesus was perfect, His sacrifice on our behalf proved acceptable to the Father. His blood adequately covers our sins.
Everyone dies, but those of us who have been saved are no longer alienated from God. Believers will never suffer eternal death but instead are given everlasting life.