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Why Did Jesus Christ Die?


 It is an age-old question, but perhaps more important now than ever before.

The heart of the apostle Paul can be expressed with the words: “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” Jesus Christ was the “Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.” “He bore our sins in His body on the tree.” “He was made sin for us.” “Jehovah has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” “He is the propitiation for our sins.” “He tasted death for every man.”

All of these statements from the Scriptures describe the substitutionary nature of the death of Jesus Christ. Because of His death, the believing sinner is placed in God’s estimation beyond his own execution, and the ground of condemnation is forever past (John 3:17-21). God sees us as having been punished for our sins in Christ’s death. God removed through the death of Jesus every moral and spiritual hindrance to His righteousness in the believing sinner. Because of the atoning death of Christ, God can now exercise His love without reservation. Nothing now stands in the way to hinder it. God in grace reaches down to the sinner to save him for all eternity.

But not only does He forgive the guilty sinner, He places the sinner in eternal glory in the very image of His Son, Jesus Christ. That is the greatest thing God can possibly do in and for the believing sinner. “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:17). “After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you” (John 14:19-20).

Jesus suffered our death so that the righteousness of God could be fully satisfied. That fact is so crucial that a personal acceptance or rejection of Christ is the declaration that determines the final eternal destiny of every person.

Jesus Christ died as our substitute (Isa. 53:5-6; Jn. 1:29; 3:16, 18, 36; 2 Cor. 5:14, 21; Heb. 2:9; 1 Jn. 2:2).

He died a death, once for all, that you and I might never have to die for the wages of our sins. His death fully satisfied the infinite righteousness of God. The divine transaction for our sins was completed when Jesus declared, “It is finished!” The all-sufficient ground of salvation for every sinner was completed on the cross. Christ removed the cause of our enmity in His death.

In a legal sense, all have died in the death of Christ because Christ died for all (2 Cor. 5:14). The value of that death has been secured for all. The greatest thing that can be said of us is that Jesus died for us. However, that death does not save the world automatically. It does make salvation of the individual possible because salvation depends upon a personal appropriation through faith in Jesus Christ. In the cross of Jesus, God has fully accomplished a work for every unsaved person. The blood of Jesus Christ has redeemed us.

God in love now awaits each individual to personally trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ. The righteous judgment for sin has been fulfilled in the death of Christ. If anyone goes to hell it is only because every possible mercy from God has been rejected by that individual.

“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

The universal message is “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.” However, no one is saved by that universal message alone. Because “God so loved the world” and “He gave His only begotten Son”, anyone who “believes in Him” can be saved today.

The great invitation of a loving God is for all to believe on Christ today and be saved. “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

God has provided all that the sinner can possibly need. Jesus said, “He that believes on Me has everlasting life.”



Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006





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Unless otherwise noted "Scripture quotations taken from the NASB." "Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE" © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)

Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NET) are from the NET Bible copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://www.bible.org/. All rights reserved.

Wil is a graduate of William Carey University, B. A.; New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Th. M.; and Azusa Pacific University, M. A. He has pastored in Panama, Ecuador and the U. S, and served for over 20 years as missionary in Ecuador and Honduras. He had a daily expository Bible teaching ministry head in over 100 countries from 1972-2005. He continues to seek opportunities to be personally involved in world missions. Wil and his wife Ann have three grown daughters. He currently serves as a Baptist pastor and teaches seminary extension courses in Ecuador.


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