We have a problem, and what we need is not a simple removal of guilt. We don’t need our guilty slate wiped clean. We need a new slate altogether. Our problem is not one of degree, with some being more guilty than others. Our problem is one of kind. We have the wrong kind of heart. We need a new one. But how do we get one?
Here’s where the good news of the gospel shines. Being a Christian is not about what you do. It’s not about your effort. You will never make the necessary sacrifice, no matter how long you try. Only your blood would satisfy the wrath of God that your sin invoked. But Jesus willingly sacrificed himself on our behalf. He lived the perfect life so that he could offer the perfect sacrifice. He was a sufficient replacement for us because his blood was human yet without sin. Therefore, by a single offering, he perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.
This changes everything. In the perfect sacrifice of himself, Jesus brought us something that the law could never bring. He completely satisfied the wrath of God, and he changed our hearts. Jeremiah 31:33-34 shows us how. There are two primary blessings. First, we will obey the law because it will be put within our hearts rather than forced upon us from outside via the law. Our heart is transformed to obey God out of love for him in response to his love to us. Second, all the sin separating us from God is removed and the only person still remembering them as a barrier to God is us. In God’s sight, our sin is dealt with. It is removed. We can come to him unhindered, without sacrifice, because Jesus has paid it all.