Part Two of The Atonement

Why did Jesus come to die?

This might sound like a simple question until you start to explore what the Bible has to say. For most people who are familiar with evangelical reasoning, the answer is simple: Christ died to forgive me of my sins. And this is true – and only partial in its explanation. When we start to explore what the Bible has to say, we discover that the cross of Christ deals with the many problems that sin created.

First, the Bible offers many God-centered reasons why Christ came to die. Jesus died to please his Father and fulfill perfect obedience because he was an offering to God (Isa. 53:10; Eph. 5:2; Heb. 5:8). Christ became a propitiatory sacrifice – which is the theological way of saying that Christ came to absorb the wrath of God by becoming a curse for us (Rom. 3:25; 1 Jn. 4:10; Gal. 3:10). The law that God gave had its demands that God needed satisfied (Col. 2:13). If we cringe at the God-centered reasons why Christ died, we may fail to appreciate how holy God is and how wretched sin is.

Second, sin is so pervasive that we need God to do a deep rescuing work. We are ransomed from sin (Mk. 10:45) and justified (Rom. 5:9). We are forgiven (Eph. 1:7) and exchange our sin for his righteousness (2 Cor. 5:21). All condemnation is removed (Rom. 8:34) so that we might have a clear conscience (Heb. 9:14) and be blameless and purified (Col. 1:22), kept faithful to the end (Jude 24-25). This is the gift of eternal life (Jn. 3:16) that rescues us from this present evil age (Gal. 1:4) and reconciles us to God (Rom. 5:10).

And in this is what the cross accomplishes – we are brought to God (1 Pe. 3:18; Eph. 2:13) so that we would belong to God (1 Cor. 6:19-20; Acts 20:28). As a result of the cross, we can pray boldly (Heb. 10:19), live righteously (1 Pe. 2:24), and bear good fruit (Rom. 7:4) through good works (Titus 2:4).

Now the power of sin, death, and the devil has no hold over us (Col. 2:14-15; 1 Jn. 3:8) because the power of God is displayed in the crucified Christ (Rom. 1:16; 1 Cor. 1:18). There is no fear of future judgment (Heb. 9:28) and secure eternal joy (Heb. 12:2; Matt. 5:11-12).

So why did Jesus come to die? The reasons abound, which ought to cause us to rejoice in the Lord greatly! So delight in the cross of Christ! Consider his majestic work and be amazed at the grace and mercy and love of God!

Clinging to the Cross,


Prepare your heart for Sunday by reading the passage and listening to the songs we’ll sing.