“The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord.” Romans 6:23.
What does that mean?
Sin carries a salary. The payment due sin, the wage of sin, is nothing short of death. This death is not only physical, but it is spiritual. One might dwell on the tragic affects the fall of man had on every living thing on the planet. When sin entered humanity through Eve and Adam, the penalty was of catastrophic proportions and the world would feel its weight forever.
With sin’s entrance, it brought things like famine and disease, wars, turmoil, male domination, physical pain, suffering, decay, greed, dishonest gain. The list goes on. And, of course, it brought physical death.
We can get stuck asking ourselves, “What if? What if Eve had never taken a bite? What if we didn’t have to experience pain and suffering and we could have all lived in the Garden?”
Physical death as the payment for sin is monumental. But it is much worse that we think. Because the verse in Romans isn’t talking about physical death, it is talking about separation from the Creator forever.
Before you hang your head in despair, read on!
God is offering a retirement plan. What’s better, it is “free.” It’s a gift. Eternal life is a gift. Don’t be mistaken. Sin received its payment in full. It was the Cross, and it carried a perfect sacrifice in Christ.
The condition of sin that had to be rectified annually with the blood of a sacrificial lamb had been annulled. It had been paid in full. From the moment of the Cross, never again did a lamb have to be sacrificed. The need for this ritual that had carried on for thousands of years was no longer necessary!
A gift followed. too. It was eternal life, and that is good news! If you want some good news today, this is it! If you are a believer in Christ and you have chosen to live your life on the narrow way, your spirit will live forever in the presence of the Lamb of God!
Now, I want you to picture something, and I want this image to stick with you for the rest of your days on earth!
In antiquity, the worst criminals had a wage of death. Those that received the death penalty were banished to the wilderness to die. Wandering through the desert hoping to find a meal would be a challenge. Facing the elements with no shelter would also wear down the guilty party. Then there would be the issue of finding water. And how about avoiding predators? The criminal wouldn’t be the only living think looking for food.
Try and imagine living all alone in the wilderness like this. As horrific as it would be, there was something more to make life impossible. Every criminal banished to the desert with the death penalty had a corpse wrapped to it, face to face. The corpse would be strapped arm to arm, leg to leg, face to face. The criminal would have to carry this body for the rest of his life.
As the corpse decayed, the decay would eventually transfer from the dead body to the living body. Blisters and sores would break out, followed by illness and death. What a horrendous way to die.
Imagine you are this man, wandering around all alone, strapped with a dead body. You know death is coming, but you don’t know when or how painful the path is going to be. From a long way off, you can see a figure. As you move closer to it, you can distinguish that this figure is not moving. It is as if he is waiting for you.
Soon you can make out that the man is holding a knife! What is he going to do with it? Is he going to put you out of your misery quickly?
The man rushes to greet you. He smiles, holds out his arm and begins to slash at the cloth that is binding you. Soon, the corpse falls to the ground! You have been set free! The man has cut you loose!
That man is Jesus. This is what Jesus did, He cut us free. He took the dead body from us.
There is one more thing I want you to think about.
When you sin, or when you deny Jesus, it is as if you are running back to the dead man, picking up the corpse and loving it. You hug it, you squeeze it, you kiss it!
What a horrible thought!
The wages of sin might be death. It might be. If you are loving the dead man, stop! Let him go. Turn and look your Savior in the eye. You have been set free. That is, if you want to be.
Written by Jori Sams
Jori Sams is a Christian author and freelance writer with nearly 2000 published pieces on the Internet, with over 1500 being published by Yahoo. Her books are published through Writeious Books. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her following the sun…