Imagine if you had completed all your shopping in one day at one store, had all your perfect selections rung up, and when you handed your money to the cashier you heard, “I’m sorry, we don’t take money.” Next, you pull out your credit card and then your debit card, and you still hear, “We don’t take those either.”
What if, when you asked the clerk how you could pay, she said you needed a currency that you knew you didn’t possess?
I think I would say something like, “I’ve worked hard to make this money. I’ve used this money all my life: I’ve bought things with it, saved it, and invested it; what do you mean I can’t use it here?”
After working hard to earn the money, denying my own wants and desires to be able to afford gifts, worrying and searching for the exact right gift for each person on the list, fighting the crowds, and then not be able to make my purchase — I’m afraid the next words I might hear would be “Security to the check-outs, please!” And then, “Get this woman out of here. Now!”
Fortunately, we know in advance the correct currency for making our purchases and paying off our financial debts. If only we understood the currency needed to pay our sin debt.
Hopefully no one will go into financial debt buying Christmas gifts, but as for sin debt… well, that’s a different story. Because we are born sinners, we sin, and our sin debt grows. If we don’t have the correct currency to pay the debt we will not be allowed into heaven.
We try to be good, thinking that if we are good enough then we can make a dent or perhaps wipe the slate clean. But we can’t. We can’t because we have no goodness, or righteousness, of our own. Our so-called righteousness is like dirty rags – it is the wrong currency – it won’t pay any debt. It won’t purchase anything. It counts for nothing.
“There is no one righteous, not even one…” – Romans 3:10 NIV
Since we don’t have the correct currency, we are lost. Doomed. Destined for death.
“What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord.” – Romans 7:24-25 NIV
Jesus is the righteousness that is required to pay your sin debt. Because Jesus is eternal God, without beginning or end, His righteousness is infinite. Because Jesus humbled Himself and took on human flesh, was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin, there is no sin in Him.
That’s what we celebrate at Christmas! Our perfect, eternal, immortal God came to earth to die. This was always the plan: that God, in the Person of the Son, would die to pay our sin debt.
At the cross, our sin is placed on Jesus account, and His perfect righteousness is credited to our account. The account sheets in heaven must balance.
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” – 2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV
But it is more than just believing in Jesus – even the demons believe in Jesus. We must confess that we are sinners and hopelessly destined for eternal destruction. We must confess that we don’t have the currency to pay our sin debt. And we must ask God to credit righteousness to our account as we place our faith in Him.
The only people who don’t spend eternity in heaven are those who refuse to allow Jesus to pay in full the debt they owe.
This Christmas, will you accept the gift of righteousness that Jesus is offering? Will you come to the cross and let Jesus take your sin and give you His perfect righteousness so that you will spend eternity with Him in His perfect, sinless heaven?