Why Did Jesus Die?
We continued our series on Christianity on Sunday by talking about the reasons for Jesus’ death. You can watch the sermon right here.
Christianity is the only world religion that claims victory through the death of its leader. This goes against what makes sense to the world. In fact, Paul talks about this in 1 Corinthians 1 — what seems like foolishness to the world is exactly what God used to bring about salvation. Christ crucified is God’s power and wisdom.
We talked about three reasons Jesus died:
- Jesus died to take away our sins.
We talk about this a lot, but it’s really a magnificent thing when we stop to think about it. Our sin sentences us to death. It is an offense against God and separates us from Him. But because of His great love for us, He didn’t leave us to die. He sent Jesus, His Son, to die in our place. He is the atoning sacrifice for sin, and is able to cover us in His righteousness. Jesus purposely was born to die — for us.
2. Christ died to reveal the character of God.
At just the right time, Romans says, while we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Christ died for us while we were still rejecting Him. While we were wallowing in our sin and celebrating our evilness. He knew how things were supposed to be — the garden of Genesis before sin. He wanted to bring us back to that spot.
3. Christ died to conquer the powers of evil.
Pastor Dan referenced Colossians 2 when talking about this yesterday. I just reread it and it gave me chills:
13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
God nailed our indebtedness to the cross. And He triumphed over sin and evil — making a spectacle of them — through the work of the cross! It’s amazing, and it makes me look forward to the end of days when that triumph will be complete and whole!
I loved what Pastor Dan said about appealing to God’s justice when we call on Him. Because of Jesus, the price for sin has been paid. God won’t require more payment because He is just. The debt is paid in full. So we call on God’s justice, knowing His character as revealed through Jesus.
Jeremy Riddle has a beautiful song that emphasizes this point. The lyrics state: “To the cross I look / To the cross I cling. Of its suffering I do drink /Of its work I do sing. On it my Saviour, both bruised and crushed / Showed that God is love and God is just.”
God is love. And God is just. Both are true. And the beautiful, tragic, magnificence of this was demonstrated to us through Christ crucified.
I also wanted to mention John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, which Pastor Dan mentioned in his sermon. I read a simplified version of it when I was much younger, and this made me want to read it again! It’s available in lots of versions on Amazon.
As we head into this week, take a moment to thank Jesus for what He did on the cross! And ponder, with me, the following questions:
- Which of the three reasons for Christ’s death stood out to you the most? Why?
- Why do you think God chose to bring about victory through the death of His Son?
- What are some ways you can work on demonstrating God’s love and justice to others this week?