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Do you like Jesus’ death?
As a Christian, what do you believe, or what can you say about the death of Jesus Christ?
If you are a Sunday school teacher / evangelist / missionary, what will you teach/preach about the death of Christ?
For humans, usually death is sorrowful news, there is no more work to be done.
But, in the case of Jesus, it is “good news of great joy for all the people, for all time.”
Good news of the gospel is the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Without the death and resurrection, the gospel cannot be gospel.
Jesus’ death is a great work, the greatest work.
It didn’t come unavoidably, but by his definite choice according to his own purpose.
- “It is finished.” in Greek is only one word.
- “It is accomplished. All is paid.” etc.
This is one of 7 sentences he spoke at the cross.
- “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
- “I tell you the truth, today, you will be with me in paradise.” (Even at the point of death can you also preach to save souls as he did?)
- “Dear woman, this is your son.” To John, “This is your mother.”
- “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
- “I’m thirsty.” (literal thirst)
- “It is finished.” (all is done)
- “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”
It is finished = with my death, I do all things I’ve wanted to do for all eternity for all men (in the past, in the future)
Actually, our whole lives are not long enough to fully meditate on the death and meaning of Jesus’ death.
6 Spiritual Meanings.
He did not bear his own sins, but substituted himself for our sins. Numerous scriptures say, “Jesus died for you…for others…for us.”
- Isaiah 53:5-6 “Christ was pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities…by his wounds we are healed…we all like sheep have gone astray, each to his own way, but God laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
- Romans 5:8 “God demonstrated his great love for us in this…”
- 1 Corinthians 15 “What I received, I passed on to you as of first importance.”
- 2 Corinthians 5 “God made him without sin to become sin for us.”
- 1 Peter “God made him on the tree for us.”
- 1 Peter 3 “Jesus died for us all to bring us to God (once for all).”
There is no question Jesus died as our SUBSTITUTION – for our sins.
#2: Ransom (Redemption)
Literal meaning = an amount of money paid to set someone free (prisoner, kidnapped)
Redemption = deliverance of that prisoner to freedom.
Jesus death is our ransom price for deliverance from death to life, from child of Satan to child of God, from hell to heaven, from condemnation to forgiveness, from bondage of sin to freedom of truth, from Old Creation to New Creation.
Jesus already paid the whole price to get us as a child of God.
“You are not your own, you were bought at a price, therefore, honor God with your bodies.” (Romans?)
If we try to please ourselves, we are bad men, because we were already bought.
What must we pay to buy salvation? You cannot because it is too late. Already 2000 years ago, Jesus paid the full price.
How much must we pay? You cannot because it is too expensive, far beyond your ability to pay.
The price of salvation is priceless.
“The value of one soul is more valuable than the whole universe.”
“I did not come to be served, but to serve and to give my life as a ransom for all.”
Galation 3 “Christ became a curse for us to destroy the curse, for everyone who is hung on a tree is cursed.”
“It is not from gold or silver we are bought but with the precious blood of the Lamb of God.”
- Ransom (cause)
- Redemption (effect)
#3: Propitiation (atoning sacrifice)
Literal meaning = covering or mercy seat or appeasing.
In the OT, the cover of the Ark of the Covenant (with 10 Commandments) was called the Mercy Seat (propitiation).
If there is something bad, dirty, etc, and I cover it, then I can no longer see it.
The covering over us is Jesus’ death, is the propitiation for our sins so that God no longer sees the sins.
Appeasement = if someone is angry at me, and I relieve that anger by giving a gift, that is my propitiation.
Propitiation removes God’s wrath from us.
How can God declare the unrighteous righteous? Are you righteous before God? Can you say you are a perfect man?
If you are, then God is no longer righteous.
Propitiation is when God declares the unrighteous righteous because he believes in Jesus and his death for our sins.
Romans 3:25-26 “God presented Jesus Christ as the propitiation for our sins.” (KJV)
“God presented Jesus Christ as the atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (NIV)
“because in his long suffering, he had left sins before Christ unpunished. He did this to be just and to justify the one who believes in Christ.”
1 John 2:2 “Jesus Christ is the propitiation for our sins and the sins of the whole world.”
The Bible encourages us and challenges us to be reconciled to God.
First, enmity (enemies) and then reconciliation (friends again).
2 Corithians 5:17 “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come.”
God reconciled all human beings through Christ. If we are reconciled, then we are given the message and ministry of reconciliation.
The story of reconciliation goes like this:
At first, God and man stood face to face in fellowship with original koinonia (Genesis 1-2)
If God judged immediately because of human sin, there would be no more Bible because we fell in Genesis 3. So, the rest of the Bible is God’s pursuit of us to reconcile us and save us from condemnation.
- At first, Adam and God could talk face to face, and listen to each other.
- Usually, sinful man does not like holy God. So, man turned away from God and walked away.
- Also, holy God could not see sin, so turned away from man.
“The sinful mind is hostile to God, but Jesus Christ has fully satisfied the commands of God and has reconciled us to him.”
Still now, man is entreated, encouraged to be reconciled to God by believing in Jesus.
2 Corinthians 5:3 “Be reconciled to God.”
Without reconciliation with God, there is no reconciliation with yourself, with others, with your parents, children, spouse, friends.
The key to all reconciliation with anyone is first reconciliation with God.
“Jesus Christ is our peace who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier between God and man.”
#5: Fulfillment (Satisfaction)
“It is finished.” “All is done.”
Jesus’ death is the fulfillment and satisfaction. His death is the fulfillment of God’s law, God’s justice, God’s holiness, God’s love, God’s prophecy, God’s covenant.
- In God’s law, sin must be paid by death.
- In God’s justice, must be punished.
- In holiness, must be removed.
- In love, must be forgiven and all things given up.
- In prophecy, nothing must be left undone.
- In covenant, all requirements must be met.
All these are met in death – perfectly in Jesus’ death.
“Do not think I have come to abolish the law or the Prophets, I have come to fulfill them.”
Romans “Jesus is the end of the law, the fulfillment of the law.”
#6: Our Story
All this mental agreement and mental knowledge is NOT enough to save us.
Even Satan knows and believes this and shudders. He knows and believes but is not saved, why? He does not commit his life to Christ.
Mental agreement is not enough.
#6 is our personal story, personal belief, personal relationship
Jesus’ death is MY death (personally).
Can you personally confess this?
“Jesus’ death is MY death.”
Can you be united with Christ in his death, really, truly? This is the full truth of Jesus’ death from the text this morning.
Visible things are temporary, but invisible things are eternal. If we really have faith, we must be able to see things that are invisible.
- Today, visibly, it looked like THEY killed him.
- Invisibly, Jesus killed death, the final enemy.
Yes, we say, “Jesus died for me.”
This is the first step (confession).
Unbelievers never say this because they don’t believe – so they don’t confess the real meaning, effect, blessing. For them, this is resolved until they believe.
- It looks (visibly) that Jesus died for me.
- In reality (invisibly) we died with Christ 2000 years ago.
Where Were You When Jesus Was On the Cross? (last sermon)
Galatians “The life I live in the body I live by faith…”
Romans 6:6 “I was crucified with Christ so that the body of sin was done away with…
This morning, did you see the sun in the sky?
It rises in the morning and sets at night – even the Bible expresses this.
But in the invisible world, the sun is constant, and the EARTH is moving. But we do not feel it, do not see it.
Visibility doesn’t always equal reality.
The Christian life is union with Christ (first) in his death. Then, if you are really united with him in his death, then you can be (second) united with him in his resurrection.
If you are not united with him in death, you cannot be united with him in resurrection, and nothing else that happens after (life, glory, etc).
But, if you are united with him in death, then you are also united with him in all things that come after.
Romans 6:4-5 “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead for the glory of the father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him in his death, we will also certainly be united with him in his resurrection.”
Let’s stand and confess and proclaim.
- If you do not believe, keep silent.
- If you believe, open you heart and mouth.