As I wrote in an earlier blog about why Jesus had to live as a man, and what it accomplished, I hope to follow up with why He had to die.
Let’s start with these verses:
Romans 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Gal. 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
The only penalty for sin is death(Romans 6:23a). It rang true in the Garden when God made coats of skin and covered Adam’s and Eve’s sin in the Garden, as God sacrificed an animal(s) to use for their covering. It rang true when they died the physical death, along with all of Adam’s posterity. Without someone going in our stead to atone for our sins, we all were going to hell. We, having be felled in Adam, had nothing to redeem ourselves with. This is where Jesus’ death comes in. In Exodus 12, God told Moses to tell His people to kill a male sheep or goat, and put it’s blood upon the doorposts and when He would come through that very night, the first born, even down to their livestock, would die, those who He didn’t see the blood applied. This was a picture of us with Christ’s blood applied to our souls. Without Jesus dying for our sins, placing them upon Himself, and nailing them to the cross, we would be without hope in this world. In Leviticus 16, you can read of a scapegoat that Aaron used. God told him to place both his hands upon this goat, confess all their sins and iniquities upon it, and it would be led into the wilderness by the hands of a fit man(Leviticus 16:20-22). Jesus was our scapegoat, and He took them and condemned them in the flesh(Romans 8:3).
By Jesus’ death, He was able to shed the blood necessary to atone for our sins. It took the Guiltless to die for the guilty. It took the Pefect to die for the imperfect. It took the Incorruptile to die for the corruptible. It took Life to die for the dead. It took Light to die for the dark. It took Truth to die for liars. When the High Priest went into the Holiest of all, they had to make an offering for themselves, because they weren’t without sin. Something like a sheep, goat, or turtldove had to die on their behalf. The High Priest was the only one at that time who could perform the atonements required by God. Jesus was the only One truly qualified to go to the cross to be our sacrificial Lamb. Christ, fulfilling the Law, and the office of High Priest, offered Himself, being without sin. However, in Matthew 26, you can read where He prayed three times for God to remove the cup from Him; the bitter cup of sin that He had to drink, and take our sins upon Himself. This was the man in the Godman that was calling out, because He had never been separated from the Father at any time prior to this. By Jesus doing this, He bacame the symbol of sin, and the Father withdrew His hand from His Son, seeing that the penalty for sin is death.
Jesus also had to die to usher in the New Covenant. In Hebrews chapter nine, the writer writes this, “For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood.(Hebrews 9:13-18). Jesus had to die to cause the New Covenant to take effect. Sure, it took His rising the third day to accomplish/fulfill it, but His death was an absolute necessary before He could rise from the dead.
Jesus’ death brought reconciliation to His people. By Jesus dying on our behalf, He redeemed us(bought us back) from the curse of eternal death. In Galatians 3, Apostle Paul explained that Jesus redeemed us from the curse of the Law(Galatians 3:13), as I already showed. The Law, in and of itself, is holy and just and good(Romans 7:12). However, we by ourselves, can not keep it, neither could the OT saints. It was a curse in that they were commanded to keep it, yet, they had not the faculties to do so; and yet, God punished them for it. Now, before you think this is cruel, it was God showing them that they could not do this by themselves. It was God’s way of pointing them to Christ. In Galatians 3, Apostle Paul wrote this: “But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”(23-28) The best the Law could do was bring us unto Christ, and not into Christ. By Christ’s death, He brougt forth the Grace covenant, and this Grace is what brings us into Christ.
We, as sinners, were under God’s wrath. Jesus took upon Himself His Father’s wrath, by being our sin bearer. What should have happened to us, He gladly took it for us. The mockings, spitting in His face, plucking the beard from His face, plaiting a crown of thorns and thrusting it upon His head, beating Him, and finally nailing Him to the cross, should have been our punishment. But He willingly and lovingly did this for us, His church, His bride, His people, His elect.
By Jesus dying, He was able to ascend to the Father, and pour His blood upon the Mercy seat. By His dying, He took the chastisement of our peace upon Himself(Isaiah 53:5). By His stripes, we are healed. Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin(Hebrew 9:22). However, the blood of bulls and goats wasn’t sufficient(Hebrews 10:4). By Him shedding His blood for us, He obtained eternal redemption for us(Hebrews 9:12). It took a human, One that could fulfill all the commands of the Law perfectly, to die for us. None of the OT Prophets, Judges, High Priests could fulfill this duty, could perform this, because they were guilty of being sinners. Jesus, living perfectly, died in our stead, shedding His blood for His people. Christ, being the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, was the only One worthy of obtaining eternal redemption, and subsquently salvation for us. Amen.
I will leave you with these verses:
John 10:11 11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
John 14:1-3: Let not your hearts be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the Spirit.
John 10:17,18 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”
Hebrews 2:14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,
2 Corintians 5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
John 10:18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
I pray that this feeble attempt will touch someone’s heart.