Why Did Jesus Die?
BIBLE TEXT: JOHN 3:16, COLOSSIANS 1:14
As obvious as the answer to this question may seem, many do not know why Jesus would forsake His glory above to die for mankind. One of the answers can be found in the book of John 3:16 which says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” From this Bible verse, it can be deduced that one of the reasons why Jesus died is to save the world from perishing and to offer everlasting life to those who believe in His mission.
REASONS WHY JESUS DIED
There are numerous reasons why Jesus died for mankind. In this write-up, we will be looking at six out of the numerous reasons why Jesus died. These are:
- Jesus died to reconcile us back to God (1 Peter 3:18): “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.” The above Bible verse highlights one of the cogent reasons why Jesus died. This is to bring us back to God, since our sinful nature has separated us from God. Jesus died to carry out the ministry of reconciliation. Man would have remained far away and eternally separated from God if Jesus had not died for us. The death of Jesus therefore gave us a hope of being reconciled to God.
- Jesus died to pay the price for our salvation (Romans 3:25): “Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.” God Himself paid the price for our salvation by sending Jesus Christ to die for us. The Bible does not say that Jesus paid propitiation, but that He “is” a propitiation for our sins (Romans 3:25, 1 John 2:2; 4:10). This means that He, being God, bears the hurt in order to give mercy and forgiveness to mankind. In this way, man receives salvation from the power of sin.
- Jesus died for God to deal with the injustice of sin: God is too holy to behold sin or to overlook it. Sin has a natural consequence that eventually results in death to the sinner. The Bible says in Romans 6:23 that the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. When Jesus the Judge died on the cross, He assumed the consequence (that is, death) of sin on the part of man, rather than inflict death upon the sinner. By this act of Jesus, God dealt with the injustice that sin brings once and for all.
- Jesus died for the forgiveness of our sins: Colossians 1:14.
God created the first human, Adam perfect, without sin. However, he chose to disobey God when he listened to his wife and ate the forbidden fruit. Adam’s sin of disobedience, affected all his descendants. The Bible explains in Romans 5:19, “Through the disobedience of one man, many were made sinners.”
Jesus was also perfect, but he never sinned. Therefore, he could be used as “an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 2:2) Just as Adam’s disobedience brought contamination of sin to the human family, so Jesus’ death removed the stain/contamination of sin from all who exercise faith in Him.
Conclusively on this point, we can say that Adam sold the human race into sin, while Jesus, by willingly dying on our behalf, repurchased or redeemed humankind as his own. As a result, “if anyone does commit a sin, we have a helper (Advocate, or Lawyer) with the Father, Jesus Christ, a righteous one.”—1 John 2:1.
- Jesus died so that we might have everlasting life (John 3:16): One of our opening passages talks about how God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son to die in order to give those who believe in Him eternal life. Even though God created Adam to live forever, his sin brought upon him the penalty of death. “Wherefore, as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”
On the contrary, the death of Jesus not only eliminated the blemish of sin but it also canceled the death sentence for all who exercise faith in Him. The Bible summarized it this way: “That as sin has reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 5:21). God also promised the righteous everlasting life and raise up all those who died in the Lord; even though man has limited life span.
- Jesus died in order to prove that we can be obedient unto God in all things (Philippians 2:8): “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Jesus Christ has set an example for us to follow when He demonstrated by His death that man can be obedient to God in any trials or test he finds himself. There is no situation we find ourselves in which we cannot be obedient to God. A person can remain faithful to God irrespective of whatever test or trial he may be going through.
Although there are other reasons why Jesus died, the above points have been enumerated just for the purpose of this study. The overall reasons behind Jesus’ death are to enable us obtain forgiveness of sin, be reconciled back to God and to obtain salvation through the price paid by Jesus. Additionally, Jesus died to give us everlasting life and to prove that we can be obedient to God in all things, even unto death. The death of Jesus is what gives us Christians hope in the life to come.