“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”Romans 6:23
Well, the day has arrived. That’s right, it’s Tax Day—you know, that special (or dreadful) day marked on the calendar when each person’s taxes owed are due to infamous ‘ole Uncle Sam. It was the year 1789 when Benjamin Franklin popularized the now familiar phrase: “…But, in this world, nothing is certain except death and taxes.” I’ve even heard some to believe in death by taxes. Now, isn’t that encouraging? Happy Monday! I believe it was the American entertainer Will Rogers who once said: “The main difference between death and taxes is that death doesn’t get worse every time Congress meets.”
So, what does death and debt have to do with Easter? The answer: everything! Let’s take a look. The Word of God tells us, “There is none righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10). A few verses later, we are faced with the truth that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). There is no forgiveness of debt with a holy God. What does this mean for you and me? Well, the sin debt must be paid or else we must suffer the eternal consequences.
But…there is good news! I love the conjunction “but.” Let me explain: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Need more good news today? “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, made us alive with Christ even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace!” (Ephesians 2:4-5).
Simply put: we are all sinners in need of a Savior. I realized my sinful nature and need for the Savior when I was eight-years-old and accepted Jesus Christ to be the Lord of my life. And do you want to know the greatest thing that happened next? After I prayed and received Christ in my heart, I was forever changed, cleansed, freed, and forgiven. The debt I owed—canceled. That death I deserved—now alive in Christ.
When considering the great love and grace of Jesus, I’m reminded of the words penned by gospel songwriter Gloria Gaither: “I’m just a sinner saved by grace. When I stood condemned to death, He took my place. Now I live and breathe in freedom with each breath of life I take. Loved and forgiven, back with the living, I’m just a sinner saved by grace!”
This is the good news of Easter: Christ is risen; death is defeated! Because He lives, our debt is paid. Paid in full! “Oh, praise the One who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead!”