God is perfectly holy and cannot allow sin to go unpunished. God is perfectly just. Our sin deserves to be penalized. From the very beginning of recorded human history, God has hinted to the truth that sin results in death. Immediately after Adam and Eve rebelled from God’s commandment, God provided animal skins to cover their shame and nakedness. The shedding of blood an eventual death was the result of the original sin. Death has always been the penalty of sin.
Romans 8:6 For the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set of the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind-set of the flesh is hostile to God because it does not submit itself to God’s law, for it is unable to do so. 8 Those whose lives are in the flesh are unable to please God.
Romans 6:20-23 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free from allegiance to righteousness. 21 And what fruit was produced then from the things you are now ashamed of? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now, since you have been liberated from sin and become enslaved to God, you have your fruit, which results in sanctification–and the end is eternal life! 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We must not allow our infatuation with eternal life to distract us from the penalty of eternal death. It was Christ’s death that paid the payment for humanity’s sin. The monumental reality of God’s son dying exhausts our ability to comprehend it. There is only thing more difficult to understand that an innocent Son of God dying for a guilty humanity. The one issue more difficult to understand is humanities’ stubborn rejection of God’s gift of eternal life.