Wednesday, April 27, 2011

How Calvary Would Change If You Were the Only Sinner

“…If you were the only sinner in human history, nothing about Calvary would have changed.” – Denison

I saw this quote on Facebook. It looks about like what you might see on a church sign. I tend to pick church sign sayings apart. This particular saying looks good, but it is true?
In a word, no. What I believe this person was trying to say is that if you were the only sinner, Christ would have died for you anyway. There’s actually strong Biblical basis for that. II Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

It’s really a hypothetical situation we’re talking about, so since it isn’t God’s will that any perish, we could say that he would have sent his Son to die for one sinner, if that’s all there was. But that’s not what the quote says. The quote says that “nothing about Calvary would have changed.” There is a great deal about Calvary that would have changed if you were the only sinner in human history.

One thing that would have changed is that Jesus wouldn’t have been crucified between two thieves. As he hung there on the cross, he wouldn’t have had to listen to one of them heckling him and we wouldn’t have this beautiful picture of him telling the other “today shalt thou be with Me in Paradise.” They wouldn’t be there because they wouldn’t have been thieves and they would’ve had no reason to be on the cross.

Another thing that would have changed is that Judas wouldn’t have betrayed Jesus. Judas wouldn’t have sinned if you were the only one. The religious leaders wouldn’t have come to take Jesus at night and there never would’ve been a trial.

Then consider the method of Jesus’ execution. That would have changed too. What would the Roman soldiers know of crucifixion if they had never encountered anyone worthy of death? They certainly wouldn’t be crucifying innocent people, because you would be the only sinner and you wouldn’t have been born yet. And why would we need soldiers at all? With no sinners, there would be no invading forces to worry about.

If you were the only sinner, Jesus wouldn’t have been the Passover Lamb. There never would have been a Passover because Pharaoh would have never prevented the Jews from leaving Egypt. An all those blood sacrifices would’ve never taken place.

While it may sound good to say that nothing would have changed if you were the only sinner in history, the fact is that it would have. We don’t really know what would have happened if there were only one sinner in history, but we do know that when God saw our needed he saw all of our need. While we might enjoy thinking about God’s love for us as individuals, let’s not forget that Jesus died for the world.

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