THE DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST
Hebrews 2:9


"But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man."
The death of Jesus Christ involves the central act of all of human history. All of human history centers in this historic event. All other actions of human history fade into insignificance and obscurity when compared with this momentous activity. The eternal destiny of all human beings hinges upon this vital action concerning Jesus Christ. There are three significant facts we need to note aboutthe death of Jesus Christ.
(I)
The Death of Jesus Christ was a Voluntary Act
A.Christ's death was not the result of a demanded conscription on the Heavenly Father's part. It was also not the results of a last minute decision by either God the Father or the beloved Son of God. God doesn't do anything accidentally, but his actions are all the results of careful fore-planning. Rev. 13:8 states that Christ was "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."
The death of Jesus Christ on the cross was carefully planned before the atmospheric heavens were ever flung into existence by the mighty power of God. It was an event planned from eternity past, but executed in the realm of time.
B.Christ's death also was not the result of any delineated crimes. He had committed. Christ's birth was immaculate-a perfect conception, and his life was impeccable-a perfect life. Judas Iscariot, as contemptible as his betrayal actions were, had to honestly confess that "I have sinned in that I have betrayed innocent blood-Matt. 27:4."
C.Christ's death was also notthe product of any deserved chastening by God the Father. Heb. 4:15 says that He "was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." In John 8:29, Christ stated that He did "always those things which please him [His Heavenly Father]." Since He had no sin and was incapable of sinning, He did not die because of any "sin unto death" as some Christians do because of their disobedience-I John 5:16.
No, Christ did not die due to the Roman soldiers who crucified Him, or because of the despicable actions of the unbelieving Pharisees and Scribes who detested and hated Him, or because of the cowardice of the disciples who forsook him. Christ's death was strictly a voluntary death. Isaiah 53:12 says that "He poured out his soul unto death."
In John 10:17, Christ stated: "Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down, and I have power to take it again." The inspired words of the Apostle Paul clearly delineate Christ's voluntary act in laying down His life in Phil. 2:8: "And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."
Speaking to Peter, shortly before Peter's shameful denials, as He was being led away by the "chief priest and elders of the people," Christ said in Matt. 26:53: "Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?" The chief priests, scribes and elders were way off the mark when they falsely maligned him while crucifying Him as they defiantly exclaimed: "He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said I am the Son of God-Matt. 27:43."
(II)
The Death of Jesus Christ was a Vital Act
Apart from the atoning death of Christ on the Cross, there never could have been any forgiveness for sins committed, any deliverance from sin, and any hope of Salvation.
A.Christ's death was vital for the Redemption of Sinners:The Biblical theme of Redemption is one of the most important doctrines of Scripture. Multiple verses in the Scripture underscore this fact: Rom. 3:24 states: "Being justified by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus."
Gal. 3:13 repeats this great truth: "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree." I Peter 1:18-19 reiterates this Biblical dogma: "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot."
The word "redemption" deals with the deliverance from sin by Christ's payment on the cross. Christ has purchased us out of the slave market of sin, with the payment-purchase price of His sinless, sacrificial and substitutionary blood atonement.
Christ's blood atonement in His death confirms the veracity of the O. T. verse found in Lev. 17:11: "For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul." Bible students have rightly stated that the word atonement can be divided into three proper sections: at-one-ment, which is exactly what Christ did in his atoning death on the
B.Christ's Death was Vital for the Remission of Sins: In Matt. 26:28 Christ himself stated that "this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." Heb. 9:22 also emphasizes this truth when it declares "…and without shedding of blood is no remission." The word "remission" is a word that centers around the forgiveness, cancellation and forgiveness of sins. Eph. 1:7 accentuates this truth when it says: "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace."
This "remission" also involves a "removal" of sins-all sins-via the cleansing act based on Christ's shed blood in His death. John the Baptist was correct when he boldly proclaimed in John 1:29, "Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world." This remission also involves a spiritual cleansing of the heart: I John 1:7 reminds us that "…the blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son, cleanseth us from all sin."
C.Christ's Death was Vital for Reception as Sons: One of the most damnable religious heresies of all human history is the lie that all human beings, by virtue of their physical birth, are the children of God. By natural birth, we were "far off" from God as Eph. 2:13 states. As Eph. 4:18 says, we were "alienated from the life of God" and we were "estranged from God" via our idols-Ez. 14:5.
Because of Christ's atoning vicarious death on our behalf, we have been adopted as sons into God's family via faith-John 1:12. Gal. 3:26 declares that "we are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." Once under the curse of the law, we have now received the adoption of sons as Gal. 4:5 states.
(III)
The Death of Jesus Christ was a Victorious Act
A.The Death of Christ was Victorious over Separation. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ are inextricably related and cannot be separated. They are twins which are joined together in Scripture as the one solitary Gospel of Christ. I Cor. 15:1-4 presents these two great doctrines and historical realities together as the single, solitary and only Gospel of Christ.
Paul dogmatically states in those verses: "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand: By which also ye are saved…for I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures."
God the Father cannot look upon sin; it is totally abhorable to His holy nature. Thus when Jesus died on the cross and bore the complete and full load of all humanity's sin, God the Father had to turn His back in an act of separation, the only moments in all eternity that the Father and the Son have been separated from each other. Christ's sixth prayer on the cross was one no human being can fully comprehend as he cried out in Mark 15:34, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Yet, in a way that we cannot understand, Isaiah 53:10 states that it "pleased the Lord to bruise him."
However, that separation was brief and short! Theologians will probably quarrel until the end of time about the meaning of I Peter 4:19, but they cannot debate about the truth of I Peter 4:18 where it not only states that he was "put to death in the flesh" for our sins, but that he was "quickened by the spirit" in His resurrection and ascension. In Christ's resurrection and ascension, God the Father and God the Son were reunited, never to be separated again throughout all the eons of eternity!
B.Th. Death of Christ was Victorious over Satan. In John 12:31, the Apostle John declares one of the major reasons why Christ came to this world and died on the Cross was for the purpose of condemning and judging Satan: Christ stated: "Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out." On Calvary's Cross, sin's judgment was paid, and Satan's judgment was proclaimed!
It is now only a matter of time when all the works of Satan shall be destroyed as I John 3:8 pronounces, just prior to the Great White Throne Judgment-Rev. 20:10. In that divine act of retribution, Satan will cast forever into the lake of fire to be eternally tormented along with the two other members of his Satanic trinity, the beast and the false prophet. Because of Christ's victorious death over Satan, we likewise can have daily victory over this insidious foe-Eph. 6:10-18.
C.The Death of Christ was Victorious over Sin: No, not His Sin, for in John 8:29 Christ stated that "I do always those things that please him [His Heavenly Father]," but the assurance of OUR victory over sin as Rom. 6:6 declares: "Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin."
This is why in that same passage in Romans chapter six, the Apostle Paul writes: "Likewise, reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord." Rom. 6:18 says that we have been "made free from sin," and that now we are the "servants of righteousness," and that we have our spiritual "fruit unto righteousness-Rom. 6:22."
Praise God for the Voluntary, Vital and Victorious death of Jesus Christ-D. J.

Editorial - APRIL - MAY 2015 The Fundamentalist Digest; Permission granted for reprint, so long as proper credit is given.

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