I banished J and S (both 9 y o) from the library this afternoon. They were not making wise choices about their stay in there. J told me he felt unfaired upon, but didn’t elaborate since he wasn’t about to earn the ire of friends who were still in the room. Anyway, about half an hour later, he asked me if he could be allowed back in the library again. Reluctantly, I said, “Yes, I think you deserve another chance.” J replied, “No, I actually don’t. You’re just really nice.”
It’s times like these that I wish we were not in a non-sectarian school where all sorts of taboos are placed on religious expression on the part of the teacher. I I would have told him, “You know, none of us ever deserve a second chance at heaven. Man blew it when he rebelled against God in the garden of Eden. And you know what? God is just. Those who need to to be punished will be, and those who merit rewards will receive them.
Because God is a just God, sinners must die. (Deuteronomy 24:16, Romans 6:23) In the Old Testament, God’s chosen people were given a chance to forego death by following the command to lay their hands on a goat and confess all their sins on it, and then release the goat in the wilderness (Leviticus 16:20-22). They also were to find an unblemished lamb to slaughter, and the shedding of its blood will have paid the price for their sins. The lamb would take on their death. (Leviticus 4)
In the New Testament, God went the extra mile and sent His only begotten Son to earth. He humbled himself by taking on human form (thereby making him a little less than the angels – Hebrews 2:9). And though he was human, he was sin-free. He willingly offered himself as a sacrifice for the sins of all of mankind. He suffered humiliation, betrayal, a rigged trial, mocking, scourging, beating, spitting, crucifixion, and death in the hands of those who came to save. He is the unblemished lamb of God.
So even though we were undeserving, all the while we were sinners, Christ demonstrated His love for us by taking on a substitutionary death; a death that was meant for us (Romans 5:8), so that we may have eternal life (John 3:16) (1 Peter 3:18), and in order that we may serve the living God who lives in us (Hebrews 9:14), (Galatians 2:20) (Psalm 116:8).
God isn’t nice. He is a just God. I am undeserving of heaven, regardless of any good that I do. (Romans 3:23) Thank goodness Jesus came along and took my place on the cross! By accepting His sacrifice, His blood washes away my sin, and I am able to have a second shot at heaven. I am forever grateful!”
Yup, that’s what I would have told J. Too bad I didn’t.