What is perfect? In ice-skating, it is a “10.” In baseball, it is batting 1000. In school, it is a 100 on every test. In God’s eyes, it is conforming perfectly to God’s standards—no slip-ups and no deviations! "Perfect" is Jesus—righteous in every way, always measuring up.
What is imperfect? In ice-skating, it is one fall on the ice. In baseball, it is one strikeout. In school, it is one incorrect answer on a test. In God’s eyes, it is one sin. "Imperfect" . . . that would be me — unrighteous, never measuring up — not even on my best days.
This is why I need Jesus. This is why I need the cross. Jesus' perfection and my imperfection met there. Peter tells us about it:
Peter describes The Great Exchange. He tells us about Jesus, the righteous one who perfectly conformed to God’s standards, suffering the wrath of God for sins. That little word for means "on behalf of."
Jesus for thief on the cross.
Jesus for me.
Jesus for you!
The cross is a symbol of great love and great sacrifice! It is the symbol of The Great Exchange for every person who believes in Jesus.
We get life in exchange for his death.
Where would you be without the love of God and the cross of Christ?
Dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1)
Without God and without hope in the world (Ephesians 2:12)
Under the wrath of God (John 3:36)
Missing out on life to the full (John 10:10)
Living without his peace and the confidence of his help (John 16:33)
As D.A. Carson notes, it was Christ's unqualified resolution -- out of obedience to God and his love for you -- that held him there. How does one respond to such love? With belief, obedience, and eternal thanks.