We've heard it said that sin is its own punishment, and there is a whole lot of truth to that statement. Sin keeps us from living the best life we could live, it keeps us from enjoying the blessings that could be gained from a wise life. Though like the psalmist in Psalm 73 we see sin sometimes seemingly working out for others but we trust that in the end righteousness works out best.
When Jesus died on the cross He died to set us free from the bondage of sin (Romans 6:18). We are no longer bound to a life of sin. Sin is a punishment in and of itself and we are no longer subject to it.
But sin is not solely its own punishment.
Jesus died to save us from the wrath of God. Before Christ's intervention we were by nature objects of wrath (Ephesians 2:3). We were enemies of God. God's wrath was directed at us as cosmic insurrectionists who always attempt to force God to abdicate His rightful place of authority in our lives and in all of the universe.
"But God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him would not perish but have everlasting life" John 3:16
We were objects of wrath and enemies with Almighty God and God Himself extended the olive branch to offer us peace before we asked for it. Christ died to free us from the bondage of sin and to save us from the wrath of God and make peace with God for us. Christ absorbed the full wrath of God... "He did it to demonstrate His justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus." Romans 3:26
See how Paul explains it in Romans:
"He (Jesus) was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand." Romans 4:25-5:2
"You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through Him! For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation." Romans 5:6-11 (emphasis added)
See, sin is missing the mark, but it's more than just that. As R. C. Sproul has said: "Sin is cosmic treason. Sin is treason against a perfectly pure Sovereign." It is treason that puts us at odds with God. "If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31b) Well, if God is against us, what chance do we have? But thanks be to God that God Himself, while we were still His enemies, made the terms of peace and made all the efforts necessary to secure that peace for us.
You can have peace with God and having that peace is necessary, it is the first problem we need fixed. God is extending the olive branch of peace, a branch that cost His Son's life, to you. Will you accept peace with God today?