Why Jesus Had To Die
Why did Jesus have to Die? So many people ONLY understand Jesus Sacrifice from the
HUMAN LEVEL -- of one Dying in another's stead. This is most certainly TRUE, and is IMPORTANT
for us to understand. But it is NOT all that there is to it!
"All we like sheep have gone astray" (Isa. 53:).
"...we are all as an unclean thing, and all OUR Righteousness are as filthy rags,
and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." (Isa. 64:6).
"ALL have sinned and come short of the Glory of God" (Rom. 3:23).
The BIBLE says that: "the wages of sin is death" (Rom. 6:23). And this death is most
certainly the "Second Death".
1 We all are subject to the "First Death."
That is, we all grow old and die, or die from some other cause. But this is NOT the "Wages of Sin".
This first death is not a Divine Judgment for our personal sins. Babies die.
Do they die because they are wicked and are being punished by God? No! They die because
we live in a world in which Satan has caused all manner of disease, disasters, war, murder, accidents, etc..
But none of these are a Divine Judgment from God against OUR sins.
Too many Christians have viewed God as some tyrannical dictator who insists that we behave
in a very exact manner - and if we do not behave as He dictates, He will squash us out like He
was stepping on an ant. Too many Christians believe that God is sitting up there on His Throne in Heaven
just waiting for us to make a mistake so that He can Punish us! NOTHING could be FURTHER
from the Truth! And the reason we have this view of God is because we have not understood the
Controversy that exists between CHRIST and SATAN (a controversy, or war, in which we have
all become embroiled) and we have not looked at the BIGGER picture!
Long ago, at a time BEFORE this world was even Created, a marvelous, powerful, and highly exalted
Angel named Lucifer decided that HE should be honored with an honor above that which was already his.
He became PRIDEFUL and ARROGANT and SELFISH. He believed that he was being treated
UNFAIRLY and that HE should be EQUAL with Christ. He felt that God was being UNFAIR
to him and that HE could do a better job of Ruling God's created beings than God could. He insisted
on being Equal with God's Son, and this eventually led him to believe that HE should be
2. He thought HE would be a better ruler than God and that all of the Angels
would be better off if only he was their supreme leader. And THIS is what STARTED the whole
controversy between Christ and Satan. Satan accused God of being UNFAIR, a DICTATOR, a God that had
made ARBITRARY RULES that were UNJUST and UNFAIR. And these accusations caused a great amount
of confusion and turmoil in Heaven.
Christ, their Creator
3, and the Father Himself, did everything they could to
explain the True nature of things and to RESTORE Lucifer to a Right Relationship with them.
But Lucifer became set in his Rebellion and, unfortunately, was able to convince 1/3 of the Angels
to follow HIM in that rebellion. When God (Christ) created THIS EARTH, creating MAN in His Own Image,
Satan was determined to SEPARATE Man from the Love of God. He accomplished this by getting Adam and
Eve to distrust God - to Doubt Him - and, instead, to trust himself (Satan). When Adam and Eve
"Sinned", what they actually did was SEPARATE themselves from God by distrusting Him. And
THIS led to their disobedience in eating of the Fruit that God had told them not to eat.
It was NOT the act of disobedience, in and of itself, that brought on the curse of death -
it was the act of SEPARATING THEMSELVES FROM TRUSTING IN GOD that brought the curse. You see,
apart from God we simply cannot do that which is right and we simply cannot be Righteous!
When Satan was successful in getting Adam and Eve to separate themselves from God through their
Distrust (which then resulted in their disobedience), Satan then tried to get God to Kill
them -- Satan well knew that the wages of Sin (separation from God) is Death (and he knew that
he, himself, was under that penalty), and he then tried to Force God's hand by saying that
either God must be JUST by enforcing the penalty of Death upon Man, OR he must be Merciful
and let him (Satan) and his angels back into heaven and restore them to their previous positions. He made
the case that God could NOT be FAIR (Just) AND Forgive Man for what He had done. Either
He would have to do away with His Law (in order to extend Mercy and "Forgiveness") or He would have to enforce
"Justice" and Kill Man! This was the case that Satan brought against God and Christ. Once Satan had gotten
Man to "Fall", He then said that God could NOT be both Just AND Merciful - that God must
be One or the Other. And this is what brought the whole human family into this controversy between Christ and
Satan. Once Adam had "Separated" himself from God, he had nothing to pass on to his posterity but this
separation. And this is why we are ALL born into Sin (Separation from God). Fortunately for us,
God had already devised a way for Him to be BOTH Just AND Merciful!!!
In order to be JUST, God could NOT lay aside His Law or simply "Turn the other cheek". The
Law of His Government HAD TO MAINTAIN ITS FORCE. Anything short of this would mean CHAOS! The
"wages" (or penalty) of Sin (Separation from God) is Death. It can be NO OTHER WAY! To SEPARATE from
God and to try to exist and live on our own, apart from HIS life-giving power, inevitably is an impossibility
and, if allowed, would lead to untold misery throughout the Kingdom of God. The PROOF of that
misery can be seen on our Earth today! So the Penalty for Separating from God (which exhibits itself in disobedience
and wrong acts) MUST be the extinction of those who insist on continuing on without God. It is a lot
like a dog who has Rabies. You cannot simply allow him to keep on living in misery and being a threat to those around
him, so you have to put him down. This is ultimately an act of LOVE, although a very painful
act to follow through on. God is in that same position when it comes to the sin problem existing between man and Himself.
When Lucifer FIRST SINNED, God could NOT execute IMMEDIATE JUSTICE and impose the sentence of
DEATH upon him. Had God done this, ALL of the rest of God's created beings would NOT BE ABLE TO UNDERSTAND
"WHY". The rest of His created beings did not have the benefit of being "All-KNOWING" and could not possible
understand why Lucifer's disobedience would warrant his Death. Nor could they understand what the end RESULT of
that disobedience would be, where it would lead, or the pain and the suffering that it would cause. Therefore, God
HAD to give Lucifer TIME develop his character, apart from God, and to take his "independence" to its
full conclusion. It had to be PROVEN that his assertions were WRONG and that HIS way would only
lead to Suffering and Death. This is WHY God gave Satan the opportunity to develop his ways fully. And
this is why we have seen so much suffering and misery and death on this earth for so long! God has given Satan
the opportunity to "PROVE" where HIS GOVERNMENT would lead, and has given ALL of His (God's) Created Beings an
opportunity to decide FOR THEMSELVES which side they wish to be on. The Angels in Heaven have made their
choice, and so have the beings on other worlds! Only we, on Earth, are still in the process of
"deciding" which "God" we will serve. And the only reason that God has let this go on so long
is because He "is not willing that ANY should
PERISH, but that all should come to repentance" [or change their ways]
(2 Pet. 3:9). He wants to SAVE as many of us as He can. He takes no pleasure even in the death of the
wicked, but wants us to return to Him and LIVE!
But let's be clear about one thing...God is NOT going to have untold universes existing in some sort of "Star Wars" scenerio, where there
is a "Good Force" and a "Dark, or Evil Force". Good and EVIL are not going to continue to "coexist" forever.
God is determined that Sin shall not rise up a second time (Nah. 1:9). Since Satan was successful
in causing the Fall of our founding parents (Adam and Eve), the earth has become his "proving ground".
They did, in effect, hand this world over to Satan's control. However, since God is a God of BOTH Justice and
Mercy, He has determined that He would provide a way of escape for man and would make it possible for Man
to be reconciled to Himself once again. But the CHOICE would have to lie with US. He will
NOT FORCE us to give our allegiance to Him or to obey Him. God is a God of LOVE. Love cannot
be FORCED or COERCED! God intends that ALL of His Created beings will serve Him out of LOVE,
and not FEAR. Love must be CHOSEN, and that "Choice" He has given to each of us. But the
consequences of that choice are dire. We will either Live Eternally as His Loyal Loving Subjects, under
His Kind and Loving direction, or we will choose to "have our OWN WAY", live only for OURSELVES,
and DIE eternally - ceasing to exist.
So it should be plain that when God tells us that the "Wages of Sin is death" that He is referring
to the "SECOND DEATH", which is the final punishment and result of sin. Only the
SECOND DEATH is the Divine Judgment from God against our sin. And from this death there is NO
RESURRECTION! WE cannot pay the penalty for our OWN sin AND Live! We either must have
a Substitute pay the penalty for us, or WE must suffer the consequences - Which is the END
of OUR EXISTENCE! We have ALL fallen short of the Divine requirement! We have ALL made
the choice to Separate from God and live for OURSELVES (we are all "Selfish"). And, consequently,
we have ALL fallen under the sentence of DEATH. We must all pay the "Wages of Sin". BUT! Christ has
stepped into the gap and has RELEASED us from the penalty of the Second Death - "IF" we
choose to accept it. He took upon HIMSELF the consequence of your sin and mine, and has
made it possible for us to escape the final judgment against that sin, which is the Second and permanent death,
by receiving that "final judgment" Himself. This much, most every Christian has understood.
Unfortunately, MOST Christians have only understood the Death that Christ suffered on our behalf as being
running along this line: Christ left the Glory of Heaven and became a MAN and as a MAN He Died in our place.
Then He returned to Heaven and RESUMED HIS ORIGINAL EXISTENCE AS GOD. This is NOT TRUE!
And because we have believed this to be True, because we have believed that this was ALL that was involved
in Christ's Death, we have almost completely MISSED the ENORMITY of the SACRIFICE that Christ
made in order to Save you and me. Because we have believed that the Sacrifice that Christ made was ONLY
TEMPORARY (i.e. that He only had to sacrifice about 33 1/2 years of His Life in becoming Human and then died
the Human Death and then returned to His original existence -- which, in the life of an ETERNAL GOD would seem,
at least to me, to be only a split-second of time), has caused us to lightly esteem the MAGNITUDE
of the Sacrifice of Christ on our behalf! We simply haven't understood ALL that was done, and all that
was "given up", in order for Christ to make our Salvation possible!
You see, most of us have understood Jesus Sacrifice, Jesus Death, as something He did to APPEASE the
Father's ANGER. We believe that Jesus came and suffered the Father's WRATH against Sin, in order
to Satisfy His need for Justice and Vengeance. We believe that Jesus came and "stood in our place" in order to
satisfy an ANGRY GOD - and to "settle Him down" so that He would accept us. We believe that it is kind
of like a Creditor who has loaned us a bunch of money and who, because we have not paid our debt, has showed up
at our door DEMANDING PAYMENT - and Christ has stepped in like a good friend and offered to make the payment for
us. And with that, the creditor has gone away satisfied. What a bunch of GARBAGE! Jesus did not come
in order to satisfy the anger of the Father! Jesus did not come in order to make Him Love us! Jesus did
not come in order to try and make "Peace" between us and God! NO! Jesus came, in order to RESTORE US
to a right RELATIONSHIP with God - and He came, at the behest of His Father!
"For God (the Father) so Loved the World that He GAVE His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him
shall NOT PERISH, but have ETERNAL LIFE" (Jn. 3:16).
"For the FATHER Himself Loves you"
(Jn. 1:27). "God (the FATHER) was in Christ reconciling
the World to Himself" (2 Cor. 5:19). Christ came (and died) in order to restore
US to a proper Relationship with God. In order to do this, He had to pay the penalty for our transgressions
(so that we would not have to - remember, if we were to pay the penalty for our own transgressions, we would
DIE eternally!), AND, Christ came in order to RESTORE A RIGHT SPIRIT within us so that
we could REJOIN the Family of God AS HIS CHILDREN!
Christ's DEATH paid the penalty for our transgressions, but that is not all it did! It is
TRUE that He paid a DEBT that we COULD NOT PAY. But Christ DIED for MUCH MORE than
that! Christ DIED in order to give us the POWER to Live in a RIGHT RELATIONSHIP with Him
and His Father. And that "Death" was MUCH MORE than the death that we normally equate with Christ.
That "Death" involved MUCH MORE than Christ giving His HUMAN Life for us. That "Death" involved
MUCH MORE than His merely "taking a bullet" for us! His Death involved His "giving up"
the Life that was once His. His Death involved His giving up the "Oneness" that He once shared with
the Father in "the Beginning" - when He was both "WITH" God and "WAS" GOD! (see Jn. 1:1 cf. Jn. 1:14).
You are about to hear the "Rest of the story" --
that most people have never realized or known concerning the Sacrifice of Christ, Why He had
to Die, and exactly How He Died!
The Bible clearly states that Jesus "Became Flesh
(became Human) and dwelt among us" (Jn. 1:14). What most of us have NOT REALIZED
is that the PROCESS of His "Becoming Flesh" (or Human) began LONG BEFORE His actual "Incarnation". It
began long before this World was ever created. In fact, it began before ANYTHING was created!
You can read about it in Proverbs 8:22-30. There you will find these very remarkable statements:
"From everlasting I was established (Lit. "consecrated").
From the beginning, from the earliest times of the earth. When there were no depths I was BROUGHT FORTH
(Lit. "Born"). When there were no springs abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, Before the hills
I was BROUGHT FORTH (Lit. "Born"). While He had not yet made the earth and the fields, Nor the first
dust of the earth" (Prov. 8:23-26).
What in the world does that mean - He was "Brought forth" or "Born"?! Some people have taken this to mean that Christ was "Created, but this is COMPLETELY UNBIBLICAL and does a Great Injustice to the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was, in fact, GOD, and existed as God Long before the Creation of any Intelligent Life. But when God decided to create intelligent life forms (i.e. angels, Humans, etc.) God had to have a way of communicating with and interacting with these life forms (who would be created with the "Freedom of CHOICE) in a way that would permit them to make Mistakes without being IMMEDIATELY CONSUMED by an infinitely PURE and HOLY God! And the ONLY way that God could accomplish this is if Christ consented to "Become" like the creatures He was about to create. This would provide a "Being" that could communicate the Will of God to His created beings AND who could communicate (and exist in the very presence of) God Himself. But in order to accomplish this, Christ would have to undergo a very DRASTIC CHANGE in the NATURE OF HIS "BEING"! Christ would have to "Empty" Himself of much of His Divine Attributes in order to exist with and communicate with the beings He intended to create. Otherwise, His OWN DIVINE PURITY and OMNIPOTENCE would consume any of His created beings that made any mistakes, immediately. So Christ consented to being "BROUGHT FORTH" from the Father to become a "MEDIATOR" between God and His created beings. This action of being "Brought Forth" involved a very substantive change in HIS very being. It involved His taking on the very "nature" of the beings He was about to Create! So that, while He did maintain His "DIVINE CHARACTER" and His "DIVINE ORIGIN", He consented to accept most of the limitations of the beings He would Create. This is why the Bible describes HIM as being the "Firstborn of all Creation" (Col. 1:15). But we must never forget that, although He voluntarily accepted this humiliating limitation, He was most assuredly "The SON OF GOD" -- with all the AUTHORITY and RESPECT and HONOR deserving of God.
It is because Christ had accepted these limitations that Lucifer had the AUDACITY to think
that HE should be EQUAL WITH CHRIST. Lucifer didn't clearly understand WHO Christ was!
And even after it had all been made clear to him, he still persisted in thinking that he was as
good as Christ and that he should be included in all the councils of God. And this is what brought about his Fall.
The question must be asked then, "Why would Christ consent to do such a thing?" Why would He consent to
leave the glory of His original Nature and take on a nature that was far inferior to His original Nature?
Why would He consent to "Give Up" the Power and Glory of His Own, Inherent, Nature and become a being that looked
very much like the beings He intended to Create? Why would Jesus do such a thing?
First, we must realize that if Jesus had NOT consented to "humble Himself" and take on the form of
His Created beings - NOTHING (that is None of His Intelligent created beings) could have been Created in the
first place! Had He maintained His original Nature and Glory, it would have consumed any of His Created
beings the moment they doubted or made any mistakes. And, although He created all of His intelligent created
beings "PERFECT, they not only still had to "LEARN" of God and GROW, they also had to have
been created with the FREEDOM OF CHOICE. In order to experience LOVE, in order to experience GOD
(who IS Love), they HAD to be created with the Freedom of Choice (because Love IS a choice). The
Bible, speaking of Lucifer, states: "Thou wast perfect
in thy ways from the day thou wast created, till (or until) iniquity was found in thee"
(Eze. 28:15). In other words, Lucifer was a perfect being until he became PROUD and SELFISH.
In order for God to be FAIR to Lucifer (and later to Adam and the whole human family - you and me included),
He had to provide a means for him to become educated (or re-educated) and preserve his life. There
ABSOLUTELY HAD TO BE A MEDIATOR between God (and His absolute purity) and the beings He intended
to Create. And this is where we find CHRIST stepping in and fulfilling that role.
But in order to fulfill that role Christ had to "lay aside" some of His original glory (or divine nature)
and humble Himself and partake of the very nature of the creatures He intended to Create! In other words, Christ
had to DIE TO SELF - that is, He had to die to the "SELF" that, before the creation had existed both
"WITH GOD" and "AS GOD". He had to "give up" His original existence as GOD in order to mediate between God
and His Creations! Now I don't want to be MISUNDERSTOOD here: Christ was of DIVINE ORIGIN even when He
humbled Himself and was "BROUGHT FORTH" from the Father in order to mediate between the Father and His Created
Beings. Christ was NOT Created! And His DIVINITY remained as His Birthright. But He did NOT
continue to have ALL of His divine attributes remaining WITHIN HIMSELF in His Brought-forth Nature.
He simply COULDN'T! It would have been IMPOSSIBLE for Christ to have maintained the FULLNESS of His
TOTALLY DIVINE NATURE and act as a MEDIATOR between God and His Created Beings. Had He done so, He
would have CONSUMED them just as surely as the Father's presence would have consumed them. So Jesus
"emptied Himself and took upon Him the FORM of a bond servant"
(Phil. 2:7). THIS is why Christ is described as the
"Lamb SLAIN FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE EARTH"! (Rev. 13:8). And it is THIS death that comprises
the "Rest of the Story" which we have almost TOTALLY MISSED!
We must remember that God is OMNISCIENT (that He is ALL-KNOWING, knowing the End from the Beginning) and that He KNEW that Satan would be successful in causing the Fall of the Human race. He KNEW that man would become "SINFUL" and that he would "SEPARATE" himself from God. He also KNEW that HE was going to do something about that and that He would Make a way possible for Man to RETURN to a RIGHT RELATIONSHIP with Him and Live Eternally. And this was one of the PRIMARY reasons that Christ consented to, and was "Brought-forth" from the Father prior to the Creation in order that He could serve, not only as a "MEDIATOR" but also as a "SACRIFICE for Man. There is TREMENDOUS LOVE in all of this!!! God Himself (Christ) would consent to become ONE OF US in order to pay the penalty for our transgression AND in order to bring us back into a right relationship with God! This required a TREMENDOUS SACRIFICE on the part of Christ (and on the part of the Father!). And here is WHY this "SELF-SACRIFICE" was necessary.
As I stated at the beginning of this study, most of us understand, at least partially, the NECESSITY of Christ's Sacrifice in giving His Life a ransom for man. Christ HAD to become a MAN and He HAD to DIE in our place in order to pay the penalty for OUR sin and make Forgiveness POSSIBLE for us. But Christ had to "DIE" for another reason. Christ had to make it possible for us not just to be FORGIVEN, He had to make a way possible for us to STOP SINNING!! Christ had to make a way possible for us to OVERCOME our SINFUL NATURES. And Christ Knew that this would require us to receive a NEW NATURE from above. That "NEW" Nature, is CHRIST'S NATURE (His DIVINE NATURE) which is to be imparted to us through the "New Birth" experience.
Christ incarnated Himself into the Human Family in order that He might rightfully become the HEAD of that family. He also incarnated Himself into the Human Family in order to SHOW US that it is POSSIBLE to Live Without Sin! Christ adopted HUMAN NATURE in order to show us what a MAN can do through COMPLETE DEPENDENCE upon God. Christ, as a Man, depended TOTALLY upon His FATHER in order to receive the Wisdom, Strength and POWER that He needed to defeat the Devil and Live a SINLESS Life! He could NOT use HIS OWN Divine Power in order to accomplish this, or He would be asking US to do something that it is NOT IN OUR POWER TO DO! The Fact that Christ ACTUALLY DID THIS can be found in the Bible. Christ said: "I can of mine own self do nothing" (Jn. 5:30). Now, if Christ's OWN DIVINE POWER were residing within Himself at this time, He would have to be LYING! Christ also said, concerning His Second Coming: "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father" (Mk. 13:32). If Jesus had maintained His Omniscience within Himself, then He would have to be lying in this statement also! Christ also made it clear that it was to the Disciples ADVANTAGE that He return to Heaven in order for the Holy Spirit to be with them (see Jn. 16:7). Christ, when He left this world left in His HUMAN NATURE. It is in that HUMAN NATURE that the both Stephen and the Apostle John saw Jesus "IN HEAVEN"(see Acts 7:56; Rev. 1:13; 14:14), and who the Apostle Paul makes it clear is "interceding" on our behalf there: "For there is One God, and one Mediator also between God and man, the MAN JESUS CHRIST" (1 Tim. 2:5). In Matthew 16:28 it is clear that Jesus is also going to RETURN to this earth a Second Time and that He is going to return AS A MAN! So Christ clearly has taken on Human Nature and has carried that Nature to the Throne of God. It was in THAT NATURE that He overcame the Devil, lived the victorious life, and died for our sins - and He STILL RETAINS THAT NATURE!
Jesus, as a Human Being -- as a MAN, partook of His FATHER'S DIVINE NATURE and was able to live
a life of perfect obedience and victory! This is the victory and obedience that Christ wants to give US! But
Christ could only provide us with the DIVINE POWER needed for us to live the victorious life by SHARING
HIS DIVINITY with us. And the only way that He could do both (pay the penalty for our transgression and leave
us a perfect EXAMPLE of what we must do - AND give us the POWER of His own Divine Nature) was for Him to
SEPARATE Himself from His own Fully Divine Nature so that it could be GIVEN TO US. By partaking of
HIS DIVINE NATURE we may overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies toward SIN and may live a life
truly and WHOLLY UNTO GOD. In becoming "HUMAN", Christ could pay the penalty for our Sin and could give us
a perfect example of what WE may become by partaking of HIS divine nature. This "Divine Nature",
which Christ "gave up" in order to become Human and take our place (and become the rightful HEAD of the Human
Race which Adam had sacrificed), is what we commonly refer to as THE HOLY SPIRIT! It was the Sacrifice of
BOTH His Body and His SPIRIT that enables man (US) to be RECONCILED to God. Christ
accomplished our JUSTIFICATION through His Death on the Cross in our place, and He accomplishes our
SANCTIFICATION through the impartation of HIS SPIRIT within us, that enables us to live a life of
HOLINESS. Our JUSTIFICATION is our "Title" to Heaven, our SANCTIFICATION is our "Fitness"
for Heaven. And BOTH are the work of CHRIST through His Humananity and through His Spirit, that were
"sacrificed" for you and me!
This is WHY CHRIST HAD TO DIE. This is the LOVE that passes understanding! And this is what
He has done because He LOVES YOU and because He wants YOU to be WITH HIM throughout ALL ETERNITY!
Will you accept His invitation? Will you accept His Sacrifice?
For those of you who would like to study more about the "INFINITE SACRIFICE" that Christ has made in order to SAVE you, and for those
of you who would like more Biblical PROOF that the HOLY SPIRIT is, in fact, CHRIST'S SPIRIT: please take the
time to read through these Studies on the Holy Spirit or
get a copy of my book "Are We Missing Something Here" which is currently available through
Xlibris Publishers Here.
Back to "Guilt & Forgiveness"
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