Romans 3:21-31 is the passage that we’re focused on this week. It’s an important one. Up until this point Paul has used the opening couple of chapters of Romans to explain the predicament that people are in. We are sinful, broken, and helpless on our own. The law, while doing a great job of pointing out our sin & shortcomings, doesn’t do anything to make us right with God. It only magnifies our great need for a Savior.

Paul makes a turn in verse 21 of chapter 3. Suddenly he shows us that indeed the law can’t save us, but there is another way; the only way. There is a Savior that stepped out of perfection and into our mess to break the chains of sin & death. Finally, there is a solution and answer to deal with this giant problem of sin, but it requires a huge sacrifice from God the Father & Christ the Son.

So what exactly do we mean when we talk about a sacrifice? It’s a common word in the Old Testament. It was the means by which the people were forgiven of sins. Something took the place, as a substitute, for another. An animal was offered up as a sacrifice by a priest. The blood was shed and there was forgiveness. The problem with this system though is that they only lasted until sin happened again. At that point, another sacrifice was needed.

So why was a sacrifice needed? The shedding of blood was necessary and important for two reasons: 1. it reminded people of the seriousness of sin, and 2. it showed that the penalty for sin is always death.

Hebrews 9:22 says: “For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.”

Jesus knew that for sin to be defeated and permanent forgiveness to occur, a final sacrifice was needed. He came to earth, lived a sinless life, and took on our sinfulness. He went to the cross and willingly died for you and me. It was the greatest act of love the world has ever known.

Take some time this week to read through Romans 3 and think about the seriousness of the sacrifice that was offered so that you could have forgiveness.

The Chris Tomlin song “Jesus, Son of God” says it well: “You took our sin, you bore our shame….a love like this the world has never known.”


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