A little over a week ago I did a Q&A session for Crossroads (our college fellowship). One of the questions was about the value of Christ’s death. How could the death of one man, even a perfect man, pay for the sins of all humanity? And how could suffering for a short time pay for an eternity of judgement.
As I said at the time, this is a very good question. In my answer I pointed to the deity of Christ as the basis for his death having infinite value. If Jesus had only been a perfect man then his death could only take the place of one other person. But since He was both God and man, his death could cover the sins of all.
Since that time I have been reflecting further on this question and I realized that there is another important factor to be considered. God is the judge, and He has declared that He will accept Christ’s death as a substitute for all who believe. This makes it possible for God to declare us righteous in Christ without compromising His own justice, or as it is put in Romans 3:26 “that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”
Even if we can’t completely understand the divine calculation by which God computes the value of Christ’s death, as a practical matter what is really important is that He has made it clear that Christ’s death is sufficient to provide justification to all who believe.