The central theme and message of both the Old Testament Scriptures and the New Testament Scriptures is the person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ. His atoning, or sacrificial, death on the cross is the watershed of all history (cf. Luke 24:25-27; Acts 8:32-35; 1 Cor. 2:2). It is no accident that even the secular world divides history as it relates to the birth of Christ. All men and events are recorded as being either BC or AD. Christ is not only the center of the Bible; he is also the center of history and all creation. The central concern and singular purpose of the mission of the Son of God was the work of atonement (cf. Matt. 1:21; 20:28; Luke 2:11; 19:10; 1 Tim. 1:15; 1 John 4:14). God’s character of holiness and truthfulness demands that sin cannot be merely overlooked or ignored, but it must be punished by death. Either the sinner bears that punishment of death himself, or an acceptable substitute must be provided. It is safe to say that one will understand the Word of God to the same degree that one understands the person and work of Christ. To be ignorant about the atoning work of the Lord Jesus Christ is to be ignorant about salvation by grace.

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