When one finally understands why Jesus was called the “Lamb of God,” this name should cut to the core of our hearts! Our salvation required the sacrifice of innocent blood from a sinless Saviour – it required His life. Did Christ sin? No! But why should He pay the price for our wickedness?
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. ~John 3:16
Just as God required the Jews to take a spotless lamb to the high priest to sacrifice and atone for their sins, so did Jesus Christ offer Himself as the final sacrifice and His precious blood was the payment for the penalty of our sins so we may have eternal life.
The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. ~John 1:29
And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! ~John 1:36
For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. ~Matthew 26:28
There is no one who can claim this title. Mary cannot claim it. Mohammad cannot claim it. Joseph Smith cannot claim it. None of these were sinless and nor did they give up their lives in payment for our sins. It is only by Jesus’ own shed blood that we can stand before the Father without judgment.
Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. ~Romans 5:9
The Father looks upon the born-again Christian and sees only the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. The Father does not see our wickedness – He sees His Son’s sacrifice! Therefore, Christ’s blood justifies us and saves us from the wrath to come! The catholic cannot say this because the catholic church teaches that when they die, they go to purgatory. Purgatory is a place where catholics are condemned to fire! Does this sound like Romans 5:9 and its reference to being saved from wrath? Here are a couple of excerpts from catholic writings that help to explain the catholic’s purgatory:
“Whereas the Catholic Church, instructed by the Holy Ghost, has from the Sacred Scriptures and the ancient tradition of the Fathers taught in Councils and very recently in this Ecumenical synod (Sess. VI, cap. XXX; Sess. XXII cap.ii, iii) that there is a purgatory, and that the souls therein are helped by the suffrages of the faithful, but principally by the acceptable Sacrifice of the Altar; the Holy Synod enjoins on the Bishops that they diligently endeavor to have the sound doctrine of the Fathers in Councils regarding purgatory everywhere taught and preached, held and believed by the faithful” (Denzinger, “Enchiridon”, 983).
In Origen the doctrine of purgatory is very clear. If a man departs this life with lighter faults, he is condemned to fire which burns away the lighter materials, and prepares the soul for the kingdom of God, where nothing defiled may enter. “For if on the foundation of Christ you have built not only gold and silver and precious stones (1 Corinthians 3); but also wood and hay and stubble, what do you expect when the soul shall be separated from the body? Would you enter into heaven with your wood and hay and stubble and thus defile the kingdom of God; or on account of these hindrances would you remain without and receive no reward for your gold and silver and precious stones? Neither is this just. It remains then that you be committed to the fire which will burn the light materials; for our God to those who can comprehend heavenly things is called a cleansing fire. But this fire consumes not the creature, but what the creature has himself built, wood and hay and stubble. It is manifest that the fire destroys the wood of our transgressions and then returns to us the reward of our great works.” (P. G., XIII, col. 445, 448 ).
To the born again believer, our judgment has already been paid by Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. We are justified by His blood. The Lamb of God took away our sin and the penalty for it has been paid. Upon our death, we are present with the Lord – we do not need to be purged any further because the precious blood of the Lamb of God was sufficient!
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: ~Hebrews 9:27 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. ~2 Corinthians 5:8