The Death of Jesus Christ For Our Sins
The Bible gives great emphasis to the death of Jesus as a substitute for sinners. Paul wrote, “But we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness,” (1 Corinthians 1:23) Christians should continually remember the pain of crucified love. People who love Jesus will have no trouble remembering the sacrifice He made for them. This great sacrifice was motivated by love. Paul wrote, “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” (1 Corinthians 2:2) Jesus was truly a man without equal! His sacrificial death for our sins fills us with hope and amazement. How could anyone love so much? Why did Jesus die?
The need which prompted Jesus’ death. In Romans chapter three Paul, by inspiration of God, described man’s problem. In doing so he quoted from Psalm 14:1-3. He said, “As it is written: There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10-12) Later in the chapter he said, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) As we observe Paul’s use of the terms “all” and “none” we quickly recognize that there are no moral and respectable people without Jesus. Without Jesus there are only sinners. The result of sin is horrifying. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) Except for the death of Jesus we would be forever lost; but through His blood, thank God I’m saved!
The love which was proved by Jesus’ death: Through an astonishing love Christ took my sins so I could have His righteousness. “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21) His love caused Him to “become sin for us.” Romans 5:6-8 describes the love of Jesus for mankind. “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Of the love of God F.M. Leham wrote, “Could we with ink the ocean fill, and were the skies of parchment made; were every stalk on earth a quill and every man a scribe by trade; to write the love of God above would drain the ocean dry; nor could the scroll contain the whole tho stretched from sky to sky. O love of God how rich and pure! How measureless and strong! It shall forever more endure the saints and angels song.”
The church which was purchased by Jesus’ death. The church of Christ is not a denomination. The church of Christ is the blood-bought body of our Lord. Acts 20:28 says, “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.” Denominations are man-made, but the church of Christ is divine, consisting of only the saved and of all of the saved. The church of Christ is a divine institution because it belongs to Christ. Matthew wrote, “When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am? So they said, Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets. He said to them, But who do you say that I am? Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus answered and said to him, Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:13-18) Men have built many churches but Christ has built only one. It was purchased by His blood. All the saved are added to His church. (Acts 2:38-47)
The destiny that is prevented by Jesus’ death: The blood of Jesus provides our only escape from eternal hell. No other religion or “savior” has any hope to offer. Without Jesus we will perish and our “whole body” will be cast into hell. Jesus said, “If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.” (Matthew 5:29-30) It is the death of Jesus which keeps the obedient from perishing. “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.” (John 10:28) Hell is a place of eternal punishment. Our Lord said, “And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:46) Were it not for the blood of Jesus we would all go there.
The hope which is provided by Jesus’ death. At the very heart of our heavenly hope stands the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ The cross provides the answer to man’s sin problem and frees him for heaven. The blood of Christ provides us with the hope of heaven. Paul spoke of “The hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel." (Colossians 1:5) Hope is provided “by way of the cross.” With Paul, all should say, “But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Galatians 6:14) The cross shows both God’s love for mankind and His hatred for sin. It also shows God’s desire to bring sons to glory. (Hebrews 2:9-10) Salvation, peace, contentment and real joy comes through the cross of Calvary.
God has done His part. He has provided salvation through Jesus. Man’s part, through small, is also necessary to reach heaven. Man must hear the gospel (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus (Hebrews 11:6), repent of past sins (Acts 17:30), confess Jesus as Lord (Acts 8:36-37), be baptized for remission of sins (Acts 2:38) and live a Christian life (1 Peter 2:9). Christ gave His blood to make your salvation possible. Please be saved before it is too late.
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, P.O. Box 551, Greenville, Alabama 36037 USA