Category Archives: Death of Christ

He Became Poor – We Became Rich

Paul used the example of Christ to encourage the Corinthians to give more liberally: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich” (2 Cor 8:9). Jesus “became poor” in that He willingly left His place at the Father’s side in Heaven to come to this world of sin and sorrow to live as a humble Servant. He made the ultimate sacrifice by offering His body to suffer and die on the cross (Phil 2:5-8). It is through this great sacrifice that we can “become rich.” There are many reminders of that in Paul’s letter:

  • We can have comfort in our afflictions (2 Cor 1:3-7).
  • Though our outward man is perishing, our inward (spiritual) man is being renewed daily (2 Cor 4:16).
  • Despite our temporary sufferings, we have an eternal weight of glory awaiting us (2 Cor 4:17); an eternal home in heaven (2 Cor 5:1).
  • We have unending fellowship with Christ (2 Cor 5:8).
  • We are a new creation in Christ (2 Cor 5:17).
  • We are reconciled back unto God through Christ (2 Cor 5:18-20).
  • Though we are guilty of sin, we can have righteousness through Christ (2 Cor 5:21).
  • We are God’s people; His sons and daughters (2 Cor 6:17-18).
  • God will furnish us to be able to do every good work (2 Cor 9:8).

If Jesus was willing to give everything when we had nothing, are we not able to follow His example and give what we can to further the cause of Christ and help our brethren who are in need? — By Heath Rogers

Three Questions that Beg to be Answered

The theme of Scripture is “good news” to all who know and accept it. But why did God carry out His plan to redeem us – from sin – in the way that He did? What are His reasons? We all need to know the answers to these three questions.

I. WHY REQUIRE DEATH?

A. Suitable penalty for sin (1 John 3:4; Gen 2:17; 3:7-8, 19, 23-24 – Isa 59:1-2; Rom 6:23)
B. Atonement for sins (Lev 17:11-12; Heb 9:22)

1. Only One would do (Heb 10:4-10; Psa 40:6-8; Heb 2:9)

II. WHY REQUIRE HIS SON?

A. Perfect man for a perfect man (1 Pet 2:22; Isa 53:9)
B. Unblemished sacrifice restores unblemished state (1 Pet 1:18-19)

III. WHY REQUIRE A CROSS?

A. Physical torture
B. Mental anguish: betrayal, denial, forsaken, mocked, blasphemed, rejected, stigma

1. Proof of divine love (Rom 5:8; John 15:13)
2. Curse of sin (Deut 21:22-23; Gal 3:13; Rom 3:23)
3. Suffering for the right (1 Pet 2:18-25)
4. Power over Satan (Heb 2:14-16; Acts 2:22-24; Rom 4:25)
5. Power to draw us to God (John 12:32)

Have you received the benefits of Jesus’ death (John 1:10-13; Eph 2:4-8; Col 1:5)?
Are you yet, a son or daughter of God (Gal 3:26-27)?

“What Must I Believe To Be Saved?”

There is a lot of emphasis in Scripture on doing something to obtain salvation (e.g., conversions in Acts; Heb 5:9).  But “…we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers” (1 Tim 4:10).  “What Must I Believe To Be Saved?” (Luke 23:40-42).

I.    JESUS DIED BETWEEN 2 ROBBERS

A.    Foretold 750 years beforehand (Isaiah 53:12).
1.    To overpower Satan (Matt 12:29; Luke 11:22; Heb 2:14).
a.    To intercede for transgressors (53:12; Rom 8:34; 1 John 1:7-9; 2:1-2; Heb 7:25).
2.    To be humble and obedient (Phil 2:6-8).
a.    To die for the evil works of others, and to die with them.

II.    ATTITUDES OF THE 2 ROBBERS

A.    They insult the suffering Savior (Matt 27:39-44).
B.    One changes his heart (Luke 23:40).
C.    “What must I believe to be saved?”  (Luke 23:40-42).
1.    God is to be feared and respected (40).
2.    There is a day of judgment coming (40).
3.    I am a sinner and stand condemned before God (41).
4.    Jesus is innocent or sinless (41).
5.   Jesus has a Kingdom, and as King He has the authority to forgive sins (42).

III.    GRACIOUS WORDS

A.    Jesus said, “Today you shall be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43; 16:22-23).
1.    Jesus did not remain with him (Acts 2:30-31).
B.    The penitent believer saw Jesus again.
1.    Jesus came into His kingdom (Acts 1:3; 1 Pet 3:22; Eph 1:20-22; Dan 7:14).
C.    The penitent believer:
1.    He lived under the Old Law (Heb 9:16-17).
2.    He was forgiven by One with that authority (Mark 2:10).
3.    He could he have been baptized of John (Matt 3:5-6).
4.    He pled for God’s mercy and grace.
a.    New Testament baptism is just such a plea (1 Pet 3:21).

— By Boyd Jennings

“God Will Provide For Himself The Lamb”

To appreciate the memorial of Jesus’ death we need to see that ALL Scripture anticipated it.  Only then can we see God’s eternal purpose unfolding in the Old Testament.  The Lord’s Supper reminds us that Jesus’ death provides a perfect deliverance from sin and an eternal restoration to God (1 Pet 3:18; 2 Cor 5:21; Matt 26:26-29), which the Old Covenant Jews did not obtain.

Many aspects of salvation from sin in Jesus Christ were only dimly visible in the Old Testament, but they are gloriously manifested in the cross of Christ.  Let’s notice one example.

I.    BINDING OF ISAAC (Genesis 22:1-19)

A.    Was God unsympathetic or capricious (impulsive)?  No!
B.    God tested Abraham.
C.    Abraham leaned on God’s trustworthiness (Gen 22:8).
D.    Abraham proved faithful to God.
E.    God commended Abraham’s faith.
F.    God presented a substitute sacrifice.

II.    WAS GOD FAIR TO ABRAHAM?

A.    Abraham was asked to give up his son.
B.    God gave up only a ram.
C.    Ultimately, God gave up Himself (Phil 2:5-8; John 13:13-15; Heb 9:11-14).
D.    God’s requirements only appear foolish to foolish men (1 Cor 1:23-25).

III.    SIMILAR: ABRAHAM / ISAAC — FATHER / SON

A.    Obedience tested through suffering (Gen 22:1; Heb 5:8).
B.    Commended for not holding back (Gen 22:2, 12; Matt 3:17; John 3:16; Rom 8:32).
C.    Mount Moriah: animal sacrifices for sins (Temple).  Golgotha: final sacrifice for sins (Heb 10:12-14).
D.    Bearing the instrument of death (Gen 22:6; Matt 27:32).
E.    Sacrificial lamb (Gen 22:10; John 1:29).
F.    Bound, to be killed (Gen 22:9; Matt 27:2, 35).
G.   A substitute sacrifice (Gen 22:10; Rom 5:8).

God and His Son relived the experience of Abraham and Isaac.
He did what He demands of us (Heb 4:15; 2:18).
The Lord’s Supper is a reminder:
“God has provided for Himself the Lamb”

— Outline by Boyd Jennings

Our Memorial Day

Each year our nation sets aside a Memorial Day to remember those who fell in battle fighting in defense of our nation. Many people will have picnics or cookouts, or perhaps go fishing. But others still remember those who have gone before. In 1868, veterans of the Civil War began decorating the graves of those who died in that bloody conflict on what they called Decoration Day. Over time the name was changed and the scope broadened. Now, many take the day to honor those in their family who have passed, whether they were veterans or not.

Sadness at the death of a loved one is not inappropriate. Even Jesus wept at the death of Lazarus even though He knew Lazarus would not be long in the grave. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, however, that our grief should not be as others: “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope.” What should prevent that grief? “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus”(1 Thess 4:13-14). Those with loved ones who have died in Christ can look to the resurrection; our grief ought to be assuaged by that knowledge.

On the night prior to His death — the death with the power to remove our sins – Jesus anticipated it with instructions to His disciples: “He broke the bread and said, ‘This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, ‘this cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me’” (1 Cor 11:24-25).

We’ve all been reminded of a loved one by an item of theirs, perhaps. Seeing it causes a flood of memories that leads to a full appreciation of what the person meant to us. When we partake of the Lord’s body we ought to think of Him. It is His memorial. Flooding our mind should be thoughts of His life, and also, of course, His death.

Have you ever wondered how those who have caused another’s death remember it? Did David think of Uriah every time he saw Bathsheba? His sin was ever before him. Remembering Jesus through the Lord’s Supper ought to keep our sin before us, making us realize that it was my actions that made His death necessary. But when I think of His death it is not simply the hopeless guilt of my sin that should enter my mind, but it is the power that death brings to that guilt, the power to take those sins away.

Another desire we often have when it comes to a loved one who has died is finding a way to let others know about them. We see scholarship funds established, wings of schools or hospitals dedicated. We want others to know how wonderful our loved one was! Through our weekly “Memorial Day” observance of the Lord’s Supper we have the perfect opportunity to tell others about our Savior: “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.” The world needs to know about the death of Jesus, and through the institution of the weekly Lord’s Supper Jesus gave us His approved method of proclaiming it. Every single first day of the week since Pentecost, there have been Christians who have kept that memorial. They have proclaimed His death to a lost world.

This Sunday I can continue that unbroken line of remembrances. I can think on the power of Jesus’ life, and the power of His death. I can think on how choices I have made led to His death, and on the spiritual condition I would be without it. And I can let the world know: Jesus Christ died for you! Maybe, just maybe, they will want to know why.

Alan Cornett writes from Wilsonville, Alabama.