“Collateral Damage” is a modern term used to describe injury or death inflicted on someone other than the intended target, such as the death of non-combatant civilian in a military battle.
When Jason lost his good paying job at a major food distributor he asked his boss, “What have I done wrong?” His manager explained he had done nothing wrong; the company was suffering financially and had to downsize by laying off employees, thus, leaving Jason out of work. He and others in the company were collateral damage. It wasn’t fair. It never is.
Jesus was collateral damage too.
The Bible tells us that our Lord lived a sinless life, yet he was punished for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities (Isaiah 53:5). He didn’t deserve to be crucified or die. It wasn’t fair, but God the Father chose his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to be the sacrificial lamb and the redeemer of all mankind.
John the Baptist declared of Him, “Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).
History’s greatest collateral damage occurred when the sinless Son of God was brutally killed as a vicarious substitute for the penalty of our sins. His death was necessary to satisfy God’s holy justice, so that we, the sinful ones, should not be punished. As the first Adam’s sin kills us, so the Last Adam (Christ) and His righteousness restores us who believe in Him (Romans 5:17–19).
“For, because of one man’s trespass (Adam), death reigned through that one man to all mankind. Yet, with all those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness will reign in life through the one man (Jesus Christ). Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation of all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people too. For just as through the DISOBEDIENCE of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the OBEDIENCE of the one man the many will be made righteous.” – Romans 5:17-19
When Jesus is called the “Lamb of God”, it is referring to Him as the perfect and ultimate sacrifice for our sins. It is a beautiful picture of Christ’s atoning work on the cross. Those for whom He died are covered by His blood and protected from God’s wrath for sin.
While the idea of a sacrificial lamb might seem strange to us today, the concept of payment (or restitution) for doing wrong is one we can easily understand.
The Bible tells us that:
- The wages of sin is death.
- Our sin separates us from God.
- We are all sinners and none of us is righteous before God.
- Because of our sin, we are separated from God, and we stand guilty before Him.
- But faith in Christ frees us from condemnation and makes restitution for our sins.
Therefore, the only hope we can have is receiving God’s provision of salvation through His Son. Christ is the only way back to God. That is what our Heavenly Father did in sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross on our behalf. Christ died to make atonement for sin and to pay the penalty for the sins of all mankind, of all who believe in Him.
Christ’s collateral damage isn’t fair—it cost Him his life—but His redemption is free. Won’t you reach out to Jesus today in faith and receive the salvation He offers? His righteous sacrifice will pay the price for all your sins.
- Luis Joseph Castle
KEEPING IT SIMPLE
Heavenly Father, I thank you for your love and mercy. Forgive me of my sins. I thank you for providing your sinless Son of God to be my substitute on the cross of judgment. For I know that my sins were not forgiven with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. I reach out to Jesus today and make Him my Savior and Lord. Amen.