One of the more common phrases heard in Christianity today is “Jesus died for our sins.” It’s a concise statement summarizing the purpose of Jesus’ life on earth and, on the surface, it seems simple enough. But when we think about it, we find that the statement is not simple at all. How does the death of one person lead to salvation for others? What type of salvation are we talking about in the first place? To really understand the death of Jesus, we have to dig deeper into matter. We have to carefully look at what happened between Jesus and God on the cross.
Hindsight, as the saying goes, is 20/20. Most people are familiar with this expression. When we look the outcomes of different situations in our lives, we can often identify one or more deciding factors. And it’s not always what we do that brings about a result, but sometimes what we don’t do. For instance, there are different ways a person can get a failing grade in school. If the person cheats and gets caught, the grade is a result of a deliberate action. Likewise, the person can simply neglect to study and also fail. We often say that a negative consequence due to in-action is a missed or wasted opportunities.
If we think back to the missed opportunities of our past, we can often measure its severity by its consequences. Being late for the train may result in being late for work and losing some income, but missing an entire day of work without telling one’s employer may result in being fired. So if we were to rank the extent of a missed opportunity, could we say that we would put those things which affect us for a short time at the bottom and those which affect us for life at the top? Not necessarily.
“Does God exist?” It’s a question that virtually all people have asked. Some have dedicated large portions of their lives to studying the matter while others, perhaps most others, have asked the question and then moved on with their lives despite not coming to any real satisfactory conclusion.
But before we even begin to ask this question, we can legitimately ask another question: “Does it really matter that God exists?” For if the existence or non-existence of God does not affect our life in any meaningful way, we can make the case that being ignorant of the truth is fairly inconsequential. If God does exist, but He does not require our knowledge of Him or His existence, then we need not be concerned if we are ultimately wrong about our conclusions. In other words, the existence of God is one issue, but the other issue is, is God concerned that we discover Him, that we learn about Him, and that we heed His commandments?