There are many astounding aspects of the Gospel. Depending on the day one or more may take the first position on that list. However, there is one that is constantly vying for that prominent position in my mind.
The facet of the Gospel that draws my attention most often is the Gospel’s Intensity. What I mean is the Gospel points to one man, Jesus of Nazareth, as the only necessary sacrifice for sin. Let’s look at what Paul said to the Church of Rome.
18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.Romans 5:18-19 NKJV
The sin that entered into the world through Adam and Eve’s disobedience was made right, was countered, and was addressed through the obedience of Jesus’s death on the cross. The effect of one act of disobedience forever condemned the lives of every member of the human race to the effects of sin. But, in Jesus, the obedience of the perfect Son of God provided an avenue of escape from the downward spiral of sin.
The Gospel’s intensity is that in one perfect act of surrender to the will of God, all who believe will be saved. The quality of the salvation Jesus purchased by and through his blood would remove the requirements of perpetual offerings of animals. The system of atonement mandated for the people of Israel was abrogated. It was only a placeholder, a reminder that sin required atonement.
But when Jesus entered the scene, what was incomplete and imperfect in the old system, was forever rectified with one perfect offering.
Let’s look again at how the writers of the New Testament capture the intense nature of Jesus’s sacrifice.
Paul says in Romans,
5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of Hisresurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 6:5-11 NKJV
Peter adds his witness when he says,
18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit…1 Peter 3:18 NKJV
The writer of Hebrews provides a theological bridge between the old covenant’s sacrificial system and Jesus’s fulfillment of that system.
23 Also there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing. 24 But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. 25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
26 For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; 27 who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever.Hebrews 7:23-28 NKJV
And a few chapters later the writer of Hebrews expands on how Jesus completes the work left incomplete by other priests of God’s temple.
11 And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, 13 from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. 14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.Hebrews 10:11-14 NKJV
At every turn, we are instructed by the Scriptures that in Jesus, the Gospel’s intensity is most keenly seen. What the Gospel says we have because of Jesus’s sacrifice can be trusted because Jesus is the guarantor of what we have been given.
Our salvation is not merely something God hands out. Our salvation was purchased by the precious blood of Jesus. And in Jesus’s sacrifice, all that God required for us to have eternal fellowship with Him was satisfied.