Living By Faith

Question 24: Why was it necessary for Christ, the Redeemer, to die?

April 28, 2022 Speaker: Josh DeGroote Series: New City

Topic: Jesus Christ Passage: Colossians 1:21–1:22

Question 24: Why was it necessary for Christ, the Redeemer, to die?

Answer 24: Since death is the punishment for sin, Christ died willingly in our place to deliver us from the power and penalty of sin and bring us back to God. By his substitutionary atoning death, he alone redeems us from hell and gains for us forgiveness of sin, righteousness, and everlasting life.

This gets to the heart of the gospel. This gets to the heart of the good news of Jesus Christ. Let me tease out a few of these phrases: 

Christ died willingly → he was not forced to do something he was not willing to do. The Father sent Jesus Christ into the world on this mission. The Father delivered Christ up to be crucified. And the wrath of God against sin was poured out on the Son. But that’s not the whole story. The Son came of his own accord. The Son gave his life as a ransom. The Son gave himself up for us. He did this willingly. 

“In our place”. This is the language of substitution. Twentieth century theologian Karl Barth once said that the most important word in all the New Testament is the word “huper”, when translated in our English bibles means “on behalf of”. Jesus died in our place or on our behalf. He took our place. We deserve death, but our Lord JEsus Christ took it for us. He made satisfaction for the debt of our sin, our enmity with God, and our guilt.

Christ's death delivers us from the power and penalty of sin. We often focus on the penalty of sin that Jesus delivers us from. It’s good that we do, but we don’t want to focus exclusively on that. Jesus does deliver us from the penalty of sin. Sin deserves death. And because of Christ we are not delivered from the power of death. We are given the gift of eternal life. And the fear of death has been removed, because Jesus delivers us from the penalty of sin. But we are also delivered from the power of sin. Meaning, we are not longer under sin’s dominion or we are no longer slaves of sin. That power has been broken, and we are free. This doesn’t mean we will never struggle with sin. It does mean we can have victory over sinning. 

Finally, the last phrase I want to focus on is that through his death, Jesus “brings us back to God”. There is only one way back to God. Through Christ. John 14:6.

Colossians 1:21-22 - And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him

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