Our Perfect Substitute – May 16, 2023
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.
1 Peter 3:18
Our Perfect Substitute
Devotion based on 1 Peter 3:18
See series: Devotions
Are you going to heaven when you die? If so, why? Is it because you are good enough for God? Have you stacked up enough good deeds to outweigh whatever wrongs you may have done? Have you worked so hard to be better than the average person—so much so that you have avoided most of the ‘big sins’?
Maybe you have determined that you are going to try harder every day and get better each day so that you will reach a level of goodness where God will be pleased enough to let you into heaven.
That all sounds exhausting. And none of it ever works. To be sure, people are striving hard to do good things and be better people. However, the world doesn’t have any perfect people–none who would classify as being without sin. God has one requirement for heaven: perfection. We can all try as hard as we want, but we will never reach that goal on our own.
God has a better way. He provided a substitute. He knew we could never achieve perfection on our own. So he provided someone who could do it for us. God sent the righteous for the unrighteous. Jesus came into this world and lived a perfect life. He never once sinned! And at the end of that perfect life, he gave himself over to death on a cross to die in our place. In a wonderful exchange, God traded the perfect life of Jesus for our lives of sin. Through Jesus, God provided us with the righteousness we lacked. Getting to heaven is not about what we do. (Thank God for that because try as we might, we are unrighteous.) Rather, it is all about what Jesus has done for us. Through his work on the cross, his righteousness replaces our unrighteousness. Through faith in his work for us, we are going to heaven!
Dear Jesus, thank you for being righteous in my place and earning my salvation. Rather than relying on my level of goodness, help me to trust in your work and sacrifice on my behalf. Amen.