But that does not mean that the Father felt any less pain than the Son did in His agony upon the cross. When the clean, pure, sinless Son of God took our sin upon Himself, something terrible happened. For the first time in all eternity, His fellowship with the Father was broken!

Sin separates. Spiritual death is separation from God. As the “Son of Man” (a prophetic title Jesus used -Matt 8:20; 17:12, 22, etc.), Jesus paid in full the penalty for our sin -alone upon a cross.

But the Father felt the pain of that penalty in full measure as well. When fellowship is broken, both parties share in the awful hurt. They walked that painful road together –· to the end. Just as Abraham’s heart was grieved by the possible sacrifice of his son Isaac, so God’s heart was grieved by the actual sacrifice of His only Son for our sin.

Paul is reaching into the meaning of this awful yet wonderful truth in these words to the Corinthian church: “God [the Father) was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them” (2 Cor 5:19). This is a part of the mystery of the Holy Trinity. Jesus said, “I am in the Father and the Father in Me” (John 14:10,11).

When Jesus was born of the virgin, we are told in Matthew 1:23 that “They shall call His name ‘Immanuel’, which is translated, ‘God with us’.” John the Baptist, upon seeing Jesus, declared: “Behold! The Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).

We recall that Abraham told Isaac, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering” (Gen 22:8). These prophetic words present a beautiful picture of God’s personal love for us. God will provide a sacrificial Lamb for our sin. He made Himself responsible to provide the necessary means through which we can be saved.

THE FREE GIFT OF ETERNAL LIFE

A holy and righteous God declared, ‘The soul who sins shall die” (Ezek 18:4). And with that, the Judge of the entire earth doomed the whole human race to death. It was the only thing that justice could do.

However, the mighty Creator of the universe and the Judge of all mankind is also a Father-Redeemer. He looks with love and mercy upon a sinful world and makes a most wonderful -yet terrible decision: “I will die in their place. I will pay the penalty that justice demands that they might live. I love them that much!”

And that is what God did. He was in Christ Jesus reconciling the world to Himself. In His Son He gathered up the whole human race and died on a cross. Now this passage from Paul’s letter to the Romans  becomes  alive with much meaning: “Therefore, as through one man’s [Adam’s] offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s [Christ’s] righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.