In giving His very first command in the garden of Eden, God warned that disobedience carried the death penalty (Gen 2:17). So from the start, His judgment of sin was prophesied, and later it was also pictured in the elaborate sacrificial system He established. Under this system, each transgression required an animal’s blood to be sprinkled on the alter. The severity of penalties, the penalty of life was a graphic way for our holy God to communicate how offensive and grievous sin actually is. It was also a foreshadowing of the Lamb of God, who would come to take away the sin of the world (John 1:29).
Jesus Christ was, on the cross, what a lamb was on to the altar, but with a significant difference: Under the old covenant, every time sin was committed another animal had to die. Jesus, however, willingly offered Himself once and for all to atone for the sin of the entire world (Heb 7:27)
Refusing to personally accept Christ’s substitutionary atonement leaves a person with the responsibility of paying his or her own sin debt. Let us thank the Savior for our amazing free gift or receive it from Him now.