God created us for a purpose. We were created to display the goodness of God—living with Him and for Him (Gen 1 & 2). But early on in the story we decided that our way was the best way. We sinned against God (Gen 3). Sin is anything we do that is contrary to God’s law in word, thought and deed. As a result of sin, brokenness and death entered into the world and into our stories.
God is holy and just and can’t simply ignore sin. Because He is just he must punish every sin I have committed. The punishment for sin is death, with is separation from God and all that is good (Rom 6). Despite my best efforts, there is nothing I can do to earn God’s favor or affection.
Just as God is holy and just, he is also loving, merciful, and full of grace. In his mercy and grace God provided a substitute—someone to take my punishment (2 Cor 5:21). Jesus, who was fully God and fully man, was born of virgin—unstained by the sin we all inherit. Jesus was not only the perfect example to us, but a perfect substitute for us. Jesus lived the life I could never live and died the death I deserve.
When Jesus died on the cross he took the penalty for my sin that I deserved. The wrath of God the Father was placed on God the Son. When Jesus breathed his last breath and died he was buried, but on the third day was raised to life. Jesus defeated death and provides life. Jesus offers forgiveness and the gift of eternal life with himself to those who trust him to save them from sin. Because of Jesus, those who trust in Him live a life for Him with power He provides.