"whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith. He did this to show his righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over the sins previously committed;" Romans 3:25 NRSV
If you've read Leviticus, you may remember all the animal sacrifices. If you committed sins, you'd offer a gift of atonement. At specified times, the priest would also present burnt offerings on behalf of the people. The death of the animal was a representative act of transformation for the people, an atonement that cleansed their sin. From the end of one thing came new life of another. These sacrificial acts had to be repeated; it was a temporary fix. Each time you sinned, you needed to offer a new sacrifice.
Jesus became the permanent sacrifice for our transformation. His generous gift not only cleanses all the sins we have committed, but those we are yet to commit. We fervently pray that we won't sin, but sadly we are human and prone to mess up despite our best intentions. Earlier in this chapter (3:23), Paul says, "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God;" None of us are perfect, yet, but it’s something we are working towards.
God, we give you thanks for your Son Jesus and his selfless gift to atone for our sins. We are grateful for the permanency of salvation and lifting from us the burden of the Law. We acknowledge we aren't worthy of such a gift. By our very nature, we are sinners, yet our sins are forgiven. We give thanks for the Holy Spirit, which leads and guides us. Please help all we come in contact with see your transformation in us. May, our words and actions create a desire in you for the same change. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
How has God transformed your life?