Here are some great words from a great book: The Gospel for Real Life by Jerry Bridges. This quote is found near the end of the section where Bridges talks about original sin and the sinful guilt/pollution humans have by nature (i.e. Rom. 3:10-20).
“You might be thinking by this time, ‘Why devote so much attention to sin? It just makes me feel guilty. I thought you were going to tell us about the unsearchable riches of Christ.’ My reason is to cause us all to realize we have no place to hide. In our relationship with God we cannot plead our Christian duties, as helpful as they may be, or our external morality, as exemplary as it may be. Instead, we must confess with Ezra that ‘our sins are higher than our heads and our guilt has reached to the heavens’ (Ezra 9:6).”
“Furthermore, even a deep, penetrating sense of our sinfulness does not do justice to the reality of our predicament. Our need is not to be measured by our own sense of need, but by what God had to do to meet that need. Our situation was so desperate that only the death of his own Son on a cruel and shameful cross was sufficient to resolve the problem.”
“Many people erroneously think that God can just forgive our sins because he is a loving God. Nothing could be further from the truth. The cross speaks to us not only about our sin but about God’s holiness. …The cross…is an expression of God’s wrath toward sin as well as his love to us. It expresses his holiness in his determination to punish sin, even at the cost of his Son. And it expresses his love in sending his son to bear the punishment we so justly deserved. …We cannot begin to understand the true significance of the cross unless we understand something of the holiness of God and the depth of our sin” (p. 28-9).
rev shane lems