While Lenten has the technical answer correct on how they got here, I can give you a real protestant perspective in case you run into it.
From the protestant mindset, Jesus’s death was a penal substitutionary atonement. This means that Jesus death and suffering took on the sin’s of the entire world by the punishment of God the Father. God the Father then sees the punishment He inflicted on His Son, and Jesus, who is our mediator, stands in our place. Therefore, by believing in Jesus Christ, God the Father no longer sees you and all your sins, but Jesus.
Because Jesus paid for all sins, it does not matter to God the Father what the sin was. All sins are equal, because all sins are paid. Martin Luther summarized grace as snow on a dung heap. He viewed grace as God covering over our sin and just like dung, sin is sin. They look at the verse in Romans 8:1, “There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus” and apply that to everyone who confesses Jesus is Lord.
Here are the ramifications which protestants have not dealt with:
- God the Father is Love and always acts in love, but the cross was anything but a loving act for the Father.
- Forgiveness is a trait of a God that loves, but without Jesus, God the father cannot forgive.
- God must be a dualistic masochist to kill Himself.
- There is no justice for Jesus, because it was God the Father who unjustly killed His son.
- By God the Father looking at Jesus instead of us means we have no ability for the Father to see us directly. If all He sees is the Son, we are invisible.
- There is no justice for humanity, because the same forgiveness can be given to the murder and the victim. The only justice belongs to the Father alone, not even the Son.
- Grace becomes a covering for sin, and not an active force of God to prevent sin.
- Sin does not need to be fought in this world, therefore, the role of the church is not to knock down the doors of Hell, but to feed the flock.
- Those who strive to be holy are just wasting their time.
- What you do on this earth does not matter.
The only concern of a protestant is saving a person from Hell, not saving them from a worthless life.
I hope that summarizes the thought and impact.