“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins” (Romans 3:23-25).
In considering the death of Christ, we need to consider why He died. What was the purpose of His cruel death? The verses above provide the reasons.
1. Jesus died because of our sin.
This truth seems basic to the Christian, but we need to ponder its significance. When Adam fell, the human race was plunged into ruin. Adam served as our representative, but he fell, taking us with him (Romans 5:12). We could not stand in our own merits because we also sin. We needed someone who could take our place. Jesus took our place on the cross.
2. Jesus turned God’s wrath away.
Many people stumble when they hear of God’s wrath. They only want to imagine a God of love. Yet the Bible displays God in His full character, describing all of His attributes. God is love (1 John 4:8, 16), but God is also a “consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29). God’s holiness requires that He punishes sin. In the cross, we see God’s wrath poured out on Jesus who was innocent. But He died in our place so we could live with Him forever. Jesus’ death turns away the wrath of God from hopeless sinners like us. We should continually praise God for His great mercy toward us (Hebrews 13:15).
3. Jesus purchased us from the marketplace of sin.
In ancient times, people sold things, and even people. God sees us as bondservants to sin, or servants of sin (John 8:34). We could not earn our way out, nor could anyone else for that matter. But Jesus could, and demonstrated His love for us while we were sinners (Romans 5:8).
Jesus did not die to set a good example. Plenty of people have died for causes they believed in. Jesus did not die simply as a committed martyr. He did not die as a result of an angry mob. Look carefully at this verse:
“This Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men” (Acts 2:23).
God used evil men to achieve a noble purpose: rescuing sinners from eternal ruin. Jesus died to deliver us from eternal doom, and He also translated us into the kingdom of God (Colossians 1:13). He was the only one qualified to do this; and He did!
Posted on Tue, April 11, 2017
by Diane Hultgren