We have all sinned, and the penalty had to be paid in order for God to be just. Christ has paid that penalty. Romans 5:6-10 says, "For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His love toward us, in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life". Such wonderful love for God and Christ to have paid our penalty.
Also, we read in I Peter 3:18, "For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God." Yes, Christ is the just, who had to die for us the unjust, so that it would be possible for us to be brought back to God. Because of the death and suffering of Christ for us, God can now be just in saving us.
The only way that man can be saved is through Christ. There is no other way. John 14:6 says, "Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: No man comes to the Father except through Me." The only way we can get to God is through Christ. We also read in Acts 4:12, "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." We cannot be saved by relying on Mohammed, Buddha, Judaism, Hindu gods or any other way. Neither can we devise our own system of "Christianity" as is being done today and expect it to save us.
Christ went through much suffering for our sins. It is beyond our imagination what he endured. Christ came to this earth for the purpose of dying for our sins. There are many Old Testament prophesies that foretell the inevitable death of Christ. For example, please read for yourself, Psalms chapter 22 and Isaiah chapter 53. Christ's death was no accident, because it was in God's eternal plan to redeem man.
Christ in his omniscience, fully knew what was soon going to happen. In Matthew 20:17-19 we read, "Now Jesus, going up to Jerusalem, took the twelve disciples aside on the road and said to them, Behold we go up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death, and deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge and to crucify. And the third day He will rise again". Christ went there willingly to die for us.
Christ was both divine and human. The human part of Christ dreaded his death on the cross as much as we would if we were on death row. He knew that it was going to happen. When Christ was in the garden of Gethsemane with his apostles the night before his crucifixion, we read in Luke 22:41-44, "And He was withdrawn from them about a stone's throw, and knelt down, and prayed, saying, Father, if it is your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but yours, be done. Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground". Yes, Christ was dreading the horrible death that he was about to endure for you and for me.
Also, we read in I Peter 2:24, "Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness: by whose stripes you were healed." Jesus has personally paid the price for our sins, so that we can be made righteous before God. When a person is made righteous, by obeying God's plan to save man, God will then save him.
The human side of Christ knows how we feel. He had the same feelings, the same sorrows, the same fears, and He experienced pain just like we do. He fully knows what it is to live a human life. On the Day of Judgment, no one will be able to point a finger at Christ and say, "You just don't know what it is to live as a human." Yes He does. The dread, the fear, the sorrow, the mocking, the spitting, the pain of scourging, and the crucifixion were all dreaded by our Lord. It hurt Him as much as it would us. He was the innocent dying for us, the guilty.
Crucifixion on a cross is the most cruel form of torture that has ever been devised by man. There is nothing worse. Our Lord hung there in pain and agony for six long hours in a slow death, enduring punishment, so that God could be just in saving us. What wonderful love beyond description that God and Christ have for us.
Questions Lesson 6
1) (Romans 5:6-10) If we are justified it will be by
Ramsey church of Christ - Meeting at the Rainbow Centre, Ramsey, Cambridgeshire, England
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