Thursday, 18 November 2010

Why did Jesus have to die?

John Stott, in his book The Cross of Christ, describes the need for salvation (and thus the need for Jesus to have died on the cross) by presenting four things Christ did through his actions on the cross.

 Firstly Christ died for us (Rom 5:8), he undertook it for our sake, not his own.

Secondly Christ died for us that he might bring us to God (1 Peter 3:18). This shows the beneficial function and outcome of the cross, that humankind might be reconciled with God.

The third notion, Christ died for our sins (1 Cor 15:3), shows that there was a distinct obstacle blocking our reconciliation with God.

Something had to be done to remove that obstacle before reconciliation could take place, which alludes to the fourth action of Jesus, that in dyeing for sins Christ died our death (Rom 5:18-19).

These four actions of Jesus – achieved on the cross – define the necessary requirement of salvation for humankind. They show that humankind is totally depraved and in desperate need of forgiveness and also that the law of God had to be satisfied because of God’s holiness and righteousness.

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