Jesus died, so what? Why did Jesus have to die?
Why is Jesus’ death a big deal? Okay, so a man in his thirty- or forty-something was crucified over 2000 years ago. But why are people commemorating this death, even centuries after it happened? What is so significant about this? Why should I even care? Did it affect my life in any way? How could someone’s death save me from my sins?
I’ve asked these questions countless of times and I could not understand why the death of Jesus should matter to me until I found out the following.
The first thing to know is that…
Jesus died because sacrifice is necessary.
Romans 6:23a For the wages of sin is death…
Sin is a debt against God’s justice and righteousness, and all debts must be paid. In this case, a debt must be paid with death.
To sacrifice something for the atonement of sins is already a practice since the beginning of time.
When Adam and Eve disobeyed and sinned against God, the Lord God made garments of skin from an animal to cover Adam and Eve from shame brought about by sin (Genesis 3:7). These “garments of skin” came from an animal that died and shed blood on behalf of the couple.
Eventually, Moses documented this law (Leviticus 1). The Israelites were required to sacrifice yearly an animal that is male and without defect (verse 3) to cover their sins.
However, the blood of bulls and goats are not able to provide perfect cleansing for sinners; animals’ blood could not perfectly wash away humanity’s sticky sins! These drops of blood only cover our sinful stains; perfect, powerful blood is needed to wash it all away. Imagine a white cloth with a lot of mess, animals only cover the table with other clothing; while a better, powerful blood will wash it all off.
Hebrews 10:4 For it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. 5That is why, when Christ came into the world,
Jesus died because ONLY HIS sacrifice is satisfactory
If these animals, though perfect and without defect, are not able to completely blot out our unrighteousness, then no man on earth, an imperfect, defective being, is able to buy God’s salvation. All men have sinned against God, thus we’re all imperfect (Romans 3:23). And if we are all imperfect, none of us can suffice the salvation requirements of a perfect God; ONLY HE CAN. AND. HE. DID. Jesus’ sacrifice satisfactorily met God’s righteous standard that Hebrews 10 said:
10For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time. 14For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy.
Many of us try to do many things so God can forgive us – we pray at specific hours, we try to do good things, we avoid doing bad things, we even wound ourselves as penitence – but the sad news is that God cannot be bribed! No matter what we do, we could not remove our sins away; only Jesus can. God’s forgiveness is not earned by anything we do or don’t do because His forgiveness is not for sale! It is a gift freely given, all we need to do is accept it!
Ephesians 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—
That is why once you receive God’s gift of salvation – no more sacrifice is needed from you. In fact, if you think your sacrifices will earn God’s forgiveness – you are operating in pride as if telling Jesus what he did was not enough!
Hebrews 10:18 And when sins have been forgiven, there is no need to offer any more sacrifices.
Jesus died and his death brought victory!
What happened 2,000 years ago was so historic! You see, it’s like this. God holds time right, so He’s able to collect all of humanity’s sins done in the present, past and future and throw it all on Jesus’ body.
If Jesus did not pay it all, Jesus did not pay anything at all! One sin was enough to open hell’s gates so Jesus died a death that killed all of humanity’s sins. And when he rose up – his resurrected life is our receipt that a payment was made. Our sins have been paid.
Our greatest enemy – death – has been defeated. The death that separates us from God has been overcome by a death that now reconciles us back to God! We can now live fully and freely because Jesus died and paid for our sins. We can now have a relationship with God because the sin that has been hindering us to come to God is now removed!
I love how Hebrews ends its topic:
19And so, dear brothers and sisters,f we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. 20By his death,g Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place.
Jesus died and it means everything to us! Jesus’ death was a game-changer! We’re all doomed to hell because of sin, but his death now grants us eternal life!
Have a great holy week and don’t forget to share this wonderful news! Read this poem about this too.
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