What did Christ do in this regard? He had to do something both externally and internally. Externally, Christ had to set us free from the condemnation of the law. He did this by taking our sin upon Himself and suffering the punishment of our sin. How wonderful this is for someone who understands the gravity of his wrongdoing and the punishment he rightly deserves! (Leslie Yoder’s story.) That’s nothing compared to the forgiveness Christ procured for us! The certificate of our debt to God has been nailed to the cross. We are rescued from the eternal torment of hell. Surely, this is good enough to make us rejoice all the days of our life here on earth and for all eternity in heaven!
Sin, by nature, is destructive. As Midas’ touch turns everything into gold, sin destroys everything it touches and there’s no exception--whether we can see it or not. The cancer that grows in us without us knowing is far more dangerous than breaking a leg. As a violation of the moral law without, sin brings humiliation and criticism and banishment and even prison terms, not to mention all the harm it does in our relationships. But more than anything, sin separates us from our holy God: “Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear” (Isa. 59:1-2). Sin cannot sever our relationship with God—the fact that He is our Father and we are His children in Jesus Christ. But sin can and does disrupt our fellowship with God in profound and powerful ways, like estranged father and children who hardly communicate with one another. What good is it really to be rescued from hell if we are still estranged from God? God is the Fount of life and every blessing; He is our salvation, our life, and our all in all, without whom nothing means anything. How foolish it is to be content with our escape from hell if we are estranged from God! It would be like living in a big mansion, all alone, or watching a gorgeous sunset all alone.