The death and resurrection of Jesus is the central crux of Christianity. As we are nearing the end of this holy week, we are yet again reminded of the death of Christ, an event that robs even the most eloquent of words. Let us consider and meditate upon that moment, which was both the most tragic and triumphant event in eternity. Let us contemplate the reasons why Jesus died.
Jesus died to:
Restore our relationship with God
We were eternally and irrevocably separated from God by my sinful rebellion. We had set up a relational barrier that could not be overcome. Without the death of Christ, there would never be a restoration of that relationship.
Extend his Grace to us
We were fairly judged and rightly condemned. There was no way to simply let us free as there is no way to liberate a serial killer sentenced for death. Without the death of Christ, we would receive our justice, because of His death we can receive more than Justice, we can receive unmerited Grace.
Show the seriousness of sin
We were under the self-inflicted delusion that sin is not serious, but merely a choice we have the privilege to make. By dying for sin, Jesus showed the severity, danger, offense, and depravity of sin, allowing us to appreciate our dangerous predicament and our costly salvation.
Satisfy God’s wrath for sin
We were in the cross-hairs for the just wrath of God. The infinite Creator was filled with righteous indignation and fury at our rebellion. If hell is only a consequence of the wrath of God, what would it be like to face an angry God directly? Because Christ was crushed under that wrath, intended for us, we never have to know.
Undo the effects of sin
We were living in a world that we destroyed by our sinful rebellion. Poverty, sickness, abuse, greed, war, and famine were our future. Christ’s death began to undo the destruction of this world, and his victory over sin will cause the world to be recreated in a brilliant burst of light, completely without sin.
Redeem a people for Himself
We were a people without a home and a future, loved by no one. We would have continued to live in an empty void of futility, and end up as kindling. Through the death of Jesus, we were redeemed and adopted into a new family, having a new identity, purpose, and future.
Establish an eternal kingdom
We belonged to the kingdom of sin, death, and darkness. Those things were our masters and had authority over us to the end. Because of Christ’s death we were transferred into a new kingdom of light, with a new Master, where we shall eternally belong and be overjoyed.
Cleanse us from our sins
We were defiled in every way, unable to fully appreciate our filthy rags. Our sins were dark enough stain our souls with a putrid odor. Christ, through his vicarious death, imputed upon us a righteousness and cleanliness that is purer than the freshest snow in heaven.
Transfer His righteousness us
We didn’t only have sin and evil that blemished our clothes, but a lack of anything good to decorate ourselves with. By His death, Christ exchanged his own robes of righteousness, marked with His many decorations and achievements for ours; our robes are not only clean, they are King’s robes.
Inspire true selflessness
We had no examples or illustrations of selfless acts, only seeing egoistic attempts to grasp for power, attention, or wealth. In his death, Jesus provided the ultimate illustration of selfless love, one that echoes through all the ages.
Overcome satan and evil
We were not only at war with God, having freely joined Satan in rebellion, but being abused by our own master, the devil. Not only suffering the wrath of God, but the hate of satan. By dying to atone for our sins, Jesus liberated us from our old master and his effects, and gave us freedom from our sin and the “first sinner.”
Number us among the saints
We were as weeds and thorns, ready to be burned, numbered among the wicked. There was no possible identity change that any could obtained, at best we could become depraved wretches with a few good years. By His atoning death, Christ already named us among the saints in Heaven, eternally secure in Him.
He died to accomplish all this, and His resurrection testifies that it is done.