What did Jesus mean when he said that he came to give his life as a ransom for many? In this sermon Tim Keller explains the objective and subjective meanings of the cross. Objectively, Jesus paid the debt we owe that separates us from God. Subjectively, the cross turns us into little children, running boldly into our Father’s loving arms because of what Jesus has done.
The Easter story tells us of a new beginning after disaster - that after death there is life. If you spiritualize the resurrection of Jesus, you will have comfort but not the truth. The message of Easter is that right now, Jesus has flesh and bones. This changes the way you think, the way you live, and the way you feel.
The definition of a Christian is an honored failure, a justified sinner, both righteous and fallen. Righteousness is not something we gain by working for it; we receive it because Jesus died on the cross. Only when we see that we are still sinners, but sinners who are justified by Him, can we understand and experience the dynamite love of Christ.
The cross solves many of our deepest human dilemmas. We wonder how there can be a God when there is so much injustice in the world, yet of all the world’s religions, only Christianity has a God who comes down and suffers injustice alongside us. We wonder how we can ever truly please a perfectly holy God, but on the cross, Jesus satisfies the holiness of God for us. The temple curtain is torn, and we are welcomed inside as God’s children.