13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.
When a criminal was crucified, an inscription was written on his cross detailing the charge against him (Mark 15:26). His crucifixion was the repayment of his debt to society—the government was punishing him for the crimes he had committed.
In the same way, we stood guilty before God, having sinned against him. The “legal demands” (v. 14) that we had failed to meet condemned us before our holy God. The repayment of our debt was death and eternal fire (Romans 6:23, Matthew 18:8).
So in his crucifixion, Jesus Christ took our record of debt on himself. Our record was nailed to his cross, where he bore the punishment for our sin. Our debts were canceled, we were forgiven, and now we are alive with Jesus Christ!
If that’s not a cause for rejoicing, I don’t know what is.
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!