Q24: Why was it necessary for Christ, the Redeemer to die?
A: Since death is the punishment for sin, Christ died willingly in our place to deliver us from the power and penalty of sin and bring us back to God. By his substitutionary atoning death, he alone redeems us from hell and gains for us forgiveness of sin, righteousness, and everlasting life. (Crossway 2017)
Colossians 1:21-22 “And you, who were once alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him.” (ESV)
The Vertical Truth in Faith – What does this truth mean in my relationship with God?
This truth is the very reason we can have a relationship with God. Through Jesus’ substitutionary and atoning death, he makes the way for us to be made right with God and brought into eternal life as forgiven sons and daughters. To understand the greatness of this truth, we have to first understand the severity of our sin.
We all know that sin is bad, but do we really understand the severity of its consequences? Our sin, no matter how big or small, demands punishment and that punishment is death. In Romans 6:23, Paul writes, “For the wages of sin is death…” You see, what we owe, what we earn because of sin, what we deserve because of sin is death; separation from God both now and for all eternity. This is the justpunishment for our sin.
God, because he is holy and wholly good, punishes sin. But the message of the Gospel does not end there. Paul continues in Romans 6:23, “but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Because of God’s love, Jesus, who did not deserve sin’s punishment because he was sinless, took our place and punishment on the cross. Because he was a perfect sacrifice, he was able to take our place, be our substitute, and pay the penalty for the sin we commit. And then, through the resurrection, defeat death and make a way for us, through faith in him, to share in his victory.
Why must the redeemer die? Because without his taking our punishment, wewould have to take the punishment for our sin and would be forever separated and spiritually dead. But because of his love and willingness to take our place, we can be forgiven, free, and experience eternal life if we believe.
- 1 Peter 2:24“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed..”(ESV)
- Romans 3:23-26“…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. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” (ESV)
- 2 Corinthians 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.” (ESV)
The Horizontal Truth in Love – What does this truth mean in my relationship with humanity?
For those who have been saved by Jesus, this means we live as free people in a world where many are still in bondage by sin. We live as those who’s punishment has been paid, while many around us still deserve, and without Christ will pay, the penalty for their sins. We have been given an incredible gift we did not deserve and now have the responsibility to share this same possibility with others. We should seek to share the message of Christ; his perfect life, his sacrificial and substitutionary death, his resurrected life, and opportunity for all people to be saved through grace by faith in him. Freed people should work to free people.
- Acts 1:8“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnessesin Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (ESV)
- 2 Corinthians 5:17-21“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (ESV)
Practical Truth in Action – How can I put this truth into action?
We can put this truth into action in several ways:
- Accept Jesus Christ as your Redeemer by placing your faith and trust in him. Have you been forgiven of your sin and allowed the grace he bought with his sacrifice to cleanse you and free you from your sin? If not, choose his free gift today.
- Romans 10:9-10“…if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” (ESV)
- Live a life that reflects that of Jesus Christ. One of the best ways to honor Jesus and to enjoy the abundant life he provides is to live a life in his ways. See how he lived. See how he loved. See what mattered most and do those things. Let your life be a sacrifice of worship and praise to him.
- 1 Corinthians 12:1-2“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (ESV)
- Share with those around you the good news of Jesus; that they too can be freed from sin and its penalty by the sacrifice of Jesus. Live with eyes wide open to the people and opportunities around you. Take time to share the message of Jesus both through your words and your actions, helping others to find the freedom you’ve found in Jesus.
- 1 Peter 3:15“…but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you, yet do this with gentleness and respect…”