The Church Lesson 8: The Cost to Christ

The Church From the moment that Adam and Eve sinned in the garden; God has been moving the history of man towards a place of redemption and restoration.

That plan had to involve punishment for sin to uphold his innate sense of justice and it had to involve mercy to uphold his innate sense of love.

The prophet Isaiah glimpsed both God’s justice and God’s mercy; he saw both the day of God’s wrath and the day of redemption in a single vision, recorded for us in Isaiah 63.

He speaks of the great day of vengeance saying in verse 3-4:

3 "I have trodden the winepress alone; from the nations no one was with me. I trampled them in my anger and trod them down in my wrath; their blood spattered my garments, and I stained all my clothing. 4 For the day of vengeance was in my heart, and the year of my redemption has come.

This day of vengeance or wrath is reminiscent to us of the similar visions revealed to John in the book of the Revelation.

But along with his wrath, justified as it is; comes his innate desire for the redemption of mankind.

Notice that the prophet indicates the “day” of vengeance, but the “year” of redemption. Mercy always outweighs vengeance; that’s why he says mercy triumphs over judgement. The desire for mercy is always in his heart; but justice must be satisfied.

In verse 5 we read of his desire for mercy and salvation:

5 I looked, but there was no one to help, I was appalled that no one gave support; so my own arm worked salvation for me, and my own wrath sustained me.

Isaiah reveals to us that God is the worker both of wrath and salvation.

From this and other verses we understand that the Messiah, Jesus the Christ, the Redeemer, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world; is the Almighty God.

God looked down upon the creation searching for someone worthy to win redemption and salvation for mankind but found no one worthy; so he declared: my own arm worked salvation for me.

We understand of course that vengeance over sin comes at a price; the soul who sins will die. This is God’s universal law of sin and death.

The sinless life of Christ; lived in complete obedience to the will of the Father made him worthy to pay for the sins of all of mankind; whosoever will believe in faith that he paid that price for them.

That price for Jesus; the only worthy; included enduring the wrath of a holy God; meting out justice rightly deserved for sin; but justice that was unjustly poured out on an innocent volunteer. For vengeance to be sufficiently carried out and for justice to be adequately met, death could not be avoided. We read in Romans 6:23:

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The basis of the New Testament church is a core of believers who have been bound together by redemption through the blood of Jesus the Messiah.

There had to be death to satisfy justice; but that death had to be of a spotless lamb; a perfect sacrifice for it to be applied to the account of others.

So the first aspect we see regarding the cost of the establishment of the church is the death of Jesus the Christ, the Son of the Living God.