Since death is the punishment for sin, Christ died willingly in our place to deliver us from the power and penalty of sin and bring us back to God. By his substitutionary atoning death, he alone redeems us from hell and gains for us forgiveness of sin, righteousness, and everlasting life.
“Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behaviour. But now He has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation.” (Colossians 1:21,22)
By nature we were God’s enemies, and under sentence of death. As our Substitute, Christ took our blame and paid our penalty by dying on the cross. Thus He satisfied God’s justice and enabled us rebels to be reconciled to God (I Peter 3:18). The ancient breach between God and mankind has now been fully and finally healed.
We were corrupted by our sins and unable to bear the utter purity and holiness of God. But because of what Christ has done, we can be cleansed (Zechariah 13:1). Because He accepted our curse (Galatians 3:10,13), we are made holy and acceptable to God.
What this means is that we no longer need to be afraid of God, but can enjoy His presence (Romans 5:1)! Our past sins can no longer haunt us (Micah 7:18,19), and our present sins can no longer defile us (Isaiah 1:18). “Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No-one.” (Romans 8:33,34)
Most merciful God,
who by the death and resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ
delivered and saved the world:
grant that by faith in him who suffered on the cross
we may triumph in the power of his victory;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. (Collect for 5th Sunday of Lent)