Read Romans 3:21-26; Romans 1:16-17; and Romans 5:8. What does Redemption in the Cross for the forgiveness of our sins reveal about God?
The forgiveness of our sins implies two phases in Jesus’ mediation in the two apartments of the heavenly sanctuary. First, Jesus removed our sins and carried them Himself on the cross in order to provide forgiveness to everyone who believes in Him (Acts 2:38, Acts 5:31).
On the cross Jesus won the right to forgive anyone who believes in Him because He has carried their sin. He has also inaugurated a new covenant, which allows Him to put God’s law in the heart of believers through the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 8:10-12, Ezekiel 36:25-27).
A second phase in the ministry of Jesus consists of a judgment, the pre-Advent judgment, which was still future from the point of view of Hebrews (Hebrews 2:1-4; Hebrews 6:2; Hebrews 9:27-28; Hebrews 10:25). This judgment begins with God’s people and is described in Daniel 7:9-27, Matthew 22:1-14, and Revelation 14:7. Its purpose is to show the righteousness of God in forgiving His people. In this judgment the records of their lives will be open for the universe to see. God will show what happened in the hearts of believers and how they embraced Jesus as their Savior and accepted His Spirit in their lives.
Speaking of this judgment, Ellen G. White wrote: “Man cannot meet these charges himself. In his sin-stained garments, confessing his guilt, he stands before God. But Jesus our Advocate presents an effectual plea in behalf of all who by repentance and faith have committed the keeping of their souls to Him. He pleads their cause and vanquishes their accuser by the mighty arguments of Calvary. His perfect obedience to God’s law, even unto the death of the cross, has given Him all power in heaven and in earth, and He claims of His Father mercy and reconciliation for guilty man. … But while we should realize our sinful condition, we are to rely upon Christ as our righteousness, our sanctification, and our redemption. We cannot answer the charges of Satan against us. Christ alone can make an effectual plea in our behalf. He is able to silence the accuser with arguments founded not upon our merits, but on His own.” — Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, Pages 471, 472.
|Why does the cross and the ministry of Jesus in our behalf suggest that we should look confidently, but with humility and repentance, toward the judgment?|