The Bible makes it clear that the death of Christ was necessary!
And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up (John 3:14).
Scripture says Christ’s death was part of God’s eternal purpose.
Then I said, ‘Here I am – it is written about me in the scroll – I have come to do your will, O God.” First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them” (although the law required them to be made). Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all (Hebrews 10:7-10).
Jesus Was The Lamb Of God…
At His baptism, when John the Baptist saw Jesus coming, He said.
Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29).
Jesus had come into the world for the purpose of dying on the cross. His death accomplished several things.
Jesus Paid The Penalty For Sin…
The death of Christ was the payment for sin-the ransom paid to God to satisfy His holy demands. The Bible pictures humans as sinners who had rebelled against God. Christ’s death on the cross paid the penalty for the sin of humankind. Jesus died in our place as our substitute, receiving the punishment that was due us.
The Bible says….
[Jesus Christ] was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification (Romans 4:25).
The writer to the Hebrews declared….
So Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many (Hebrews 9:28).
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3).
Because of Christ’s death, believers will not have to suffer eternally for their sins.
The penalty that Jesus paid for sin was not only for the human race; it was also for everything in the universe that had been marred by sin.
Because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God (Romans 8:21).
The demands of a holy God were satisfied by Jesus’ death on the cross.
His Death Brought About Redemption For Humanity
As we study the life of Christ we often come into contact with the term, “redemption.” The word, “redeem” means “to purchase.” When Christ died for our sins He paid the price for them with His own blood. Peter wrote,
Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot (1 Peter 1:18,19).
The Bible also speaks of Christ redeeming us from the curse of the law.
Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (Galatians 3:13).
What does this mean?
Two Important New Testament Terms Are Used
The New Testament uses two terms that shed light upon the full meaning of redemption, agorazo and lutro.
Jesus Bought Humanity Out Of The Slave Market….
The word agorazo, along with its variation exagorazo, has the idea of buying a slave out of the market and then taking him home. This term speaks of Christ buying us out of the slave market of the world. The price Jesus paid, with His own blood, was sufficient to buy every slave out of the market. His purchase also means that slave would never be sold again. We have all been slaves to sin, and if we allow Him to be our Master, then we need never be sold again, for He becomes our eternal Master.
Jesus Provided Freedom From Sin
The word lutro means “to buy and give freedom.” When Christ bought us from the marketplace of the world, he not only gave us our freedom, he made us part of His family. Those who receive by faith the benefits of the sacrifice Christ has provided become children of God, part of His eternal family.
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs-heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified together (Romans 8:16,17).
Redemption properly understood, means:
1.Jesus Christ bought humanity out of the slave market of the world.
2.The price He paid was His own blood.
3.When He bought us, He gave us our freedom.
4.We cannot be sold again as slaves.
5.We have become part of His family and participants in His rightful inheritance.
6.All this is obtainable if we choose to place our faith in the sacrifice He made on our behalf.
7.Jesus’ Death Showed The Love Of God….
8.The death of Christ upon the cross also demonstrated that God loves sinful humanity. The Scripture speaks of His death as an act of love toward humankind.
For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).
But God demonstrates his own love toward us, in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).
It was love that motivated Jesus to come to earth and die on the cross and take the punishment as our substitute.
He Was An Example To The Believer….
The Bible tells us the love of God that was demonstrated by Jesus should serve as an example for how we should treat one another.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another (John 13:34,35).
SETTING OUR MINDS ON THINGS ABOVE!
Colossians 3:1-4 3 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
After forty years of faithful service overseas, Henry Morrison and his wife were returning to NY due to age and failing health. As the ship they were on approached the dock in NY, they saw a huge crowd waiting and cheering and for a moment Henry thought maybe their labor hadn’t gone unnoticed, but they soon realized that the crowd was there for President Theodore Roosevelt who was on the same ship returning from a big game hunting trip to Africa.
As the missionary couple walked to the one room apartment their mission board had provided them, Henry was struggling with the contrast between their unnoticed return after decades of serving God faithfully and the fanfare President Roosevelt received for a couple weeks of hunting. “It doesn’t seem right” he said to his wife. Weeks later he was still so troubled by the thought that they had given their lives in service to the Lord and no one seemed to care or notice that his wife said to him, “Henry, God doesn’t mind if we honestly question Him, but you need to tell the Lord what’s on your heart and get this settled.”
So Henry went to his room and got on his knees and poured out his heart to the Lord. After awhile he came out and his wife could see by the peace on Henry’s face that the issue had been settled in his heart. “What happened?” she asked. “I told the Lord how bitter I was that the President received this tremendous homecoming but no one even met us at the dock when we returned home. Then the Lord spoke to my heart and said, ‘Henry, you’re not home yet!'”
The Bible tells us that for Christians, this world is not our home. We are pilgrims passing through. Hebrews 11 describes men and women of faith who looked forward to a “better country, a heavenly country”. As Christians we also should have a pilgrim mentality as we look forward to a better place, our eternal home.
But how do we long for a place we’ve never been? How do we live in such a way that the only world we’ve ever known isn’t our home, and a kingdom that we’ve never seen and can’t even imagine, is our home? The answer is faith. Like the men and women of Heb. 11, faith enables us to see what we can’t see, long for what we’ve never known, and look forward to a better country we’ve never set foot in. We see and long for Christ’s eternal kingdom with eyes of faith. What Paul is urging us as believers to do is to strengthen that faith by setting our minds and hearts on the eternal rather than the temporal!
Being heavenly minded doesn’t mean checking out on life or disengaging from the earthly relationships or responsibilities that God has given us. Paul certainly never did that – he lived an amazingly full life, carried tremendous responsibilities on his shoulders, and cultivated life-long relationships with many people. Checking out was the last thing on Paul’s mind.
Biblical heavenly mindedness isn’t escapism, but it does brings great strength and comfort to us in this life. In hard times, in severe trials, in suffering, knowing that this life isn’t all there is, knowing that we will live forever and that every wrong will be made right, and every tear wiped away by the hand of God Himself brings unspeakable comfort to our souls. When we arrive at the dock and no one is waiting for us and we feel like our efforts go unrecognized and question whether we’re making a difference at all, to remember that we’re not home yet is a tremendous comfort and encouragement to us.
1 John 3:1-3 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears[a] we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 3 And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
Having the hope burning in our hearts that we are beloved children of God and that Jesus is returning and when he does, we’ll be transformed into his perfect image, has a purifying effect in our lives. Paul’s admonition here from vs 1-17 is very practical:
Because we have been raised with Christ, we should live like we’ve been raised with Christ!
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. Col. 3:1-2
Since you’ve been raised with Christ – Paul is stating an accomplished fact, we have been raised with Christ, and since we’ve been raised with Christ this should change everything about how we live.
Paul is saying to cultivate a mindset that thinks of glorious things, of heavenly things. When we read the Bible, we are setting our minds on higher things, and we are able to think God’s thoughts after Him. If we are constantly filling our thoughts with earthly things, we are going to find our affections caught up with earthly temporal things.
Now, it could seem that seeking the things that are above, and setting our minds on things that are above could make us so heavenly minded that we’re of no earthly good. But the “things that are above” don’t have so much to do with whether we’ll be able to fly in heaven or whether our favorite pet will be waiting for us in heaven. It has more to do with the priorities and purposes of God becoming our priorities and purposes. So that we do, as Paul says in verse 17, everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Literally everything in life becomes an opportunity to glorify God and leave the fragrance of Jesus as we go.
We should always remember that our lives are hidden with Christ but one day very soon we will appear with him in glory
Col. 3:3-4 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
There is a degree to which the life of Christ in us and the hope of heaven is obscured in this world. Our lives are hidden with Christ. The world doesn’t see, rarely applauds, and often scoffs at the hope of heaven that burns in our hearts and the gospel work that we do. When the boat comes to the dock, there are no crowds to cheer us on. Many of us will live our entire lives in obscurity, no one noticing, no one cheering…on this side…on this world’s docks…but we aren’t home yet!!
In this the final hour….to the world things are falling apart to the believer things are falling in place just as scripture tells us in John 14:29 And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.
When Christ appears in glory – and all the world will look upon him whom they have pierced and mourn. When the scoffers will shake in fear, and the evil will beg the mountains to fall on them to cover them from his wrath, on that day we will appear with him in glory. We will be glorified, our bodies radiating the power and glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Our character instantly transformed to be like his perfectly pure character.
1 John 3:2-3 We know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 3 And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
This will be a glorious day! Live for that glory now, that’s what Paul is saying.
A body that has no aches, no pains, no tears, no hunger, and no need for sleep anymore. A body that has been freed from the vise grip of sin. Free to love passionately, and obey God perfectly. And we will live for God’s perfect will every moment of every day for all of eternity!!