The confidence that Jesus Christ died for our sins is at the heart of the Christian faith. Yet many Christians find it hard to articulate why this should be the way in which God deals with sin, and how the death of the Son can be the way of reconciliation and hope.
In my book 'Why Did Jesus Have to Die?', I try to set out the classic descriptions of how God works to bring us home through the death and resurrection of Jesus. The aim is to avoid theological jargon and technical language and to help us to approach the Atoning God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who always acts in love, offering forgiveness and restoration.
In the death of Jesus Christ, the terrible realities of the world are acknowledged but not given the last word. We are separated from God ‘through negligence, through weakness, through our own deliberate fault’, as the Confession says, but that does not dictate God’s response. God accepts the very worst we can do, but then turns it into a way of coming closer to us, so that in Jesus, as Paul says, ‘nothing can separate us from the love of God’.
Lent might be a good time to pay attention to the strange and wonderful way in which God comes to find us, and be thankful.