Jesus' Answer to Death is Jesus

Death is the horrible consequence of sin; it's the aftermath of speaking, thinking and acting in a way that is contrary to God's perfect plan for us. God created us to live; our willful rebellion ruined his plan.

Our creator God had every reason to give up on us, to wipe human beings off the face of the earth and start over. But he didn't. His love for us was too boundless. Instead of destroying us, he has mercy on us.

But it's important to understand that God's love for us is not inspired by something that we do or something that we are. God's love for us is truly unconditional. He loves us even though we don't deserve to be loved by him. That's important to remember because that means God's love for you and me is always certain - it's guaranteed - because he loves us with no strings attached. God loves us and all the world for one reason only: because he is love (1 John 4:8).

And how can we know with certainty how much God loves us? There's only one way. We can only see and understand God's amazing love for us by getting to know Jesus, God's only Son. This is why we teach about Jesus at Jerusalem Church and School. Only Jesus unveils God's true love for us and for all the world because Jesus is God.

"This is love," St John tells us, "not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins" (1 John 4:10). St Paul explains, "God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

Ponder for a moment what the Bible teaches about God's love for us in Jesus Christ! God's love for us is so great and so deep that he was willing to sacrifice his only Son for us. He did this even though we are by nature his enemies because of our sinful rebellion against his perfect creation. He loves us even though we don't deserve his love!
But what does Jesus' death mean for us?

Only the Bible teaches us what Jesus' death means for us. St Paul tells us, "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Corinthians 5:21). Unlike us, Jesus was perfect; he "had no sin." As God's Son, he came into this world and always lived according to the perfect blueprint that God had established for human beings. He never rebelled against the will of God. He did what his heavenly Father asked him to do.

And what did God ask Jesus to do? To willingly take the sins of the world on himself. John the Baptizer (in the painting above) once pointed to Jesus and said, "Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). Jesus "became sin for us." In other words, God took the sins of the whole world and dumped them on Jesus, just as the prophet Isaiah predicted when he wrote about Jesus: "He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each one of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Isaiah 53:5,6).

That was Jesus' mission from God, to take our sins - and the punishment that came because of those sins - on himself. Jesus was asked to love us perfectly, even when we didn't deserve his love. Jesus owed us nothing, but he sacrificed everything for us. It wasn't easy, but Jesus did it willingly and without complaint. He "became obedient to death, even death on a cross" (Philippians 2:8).

Why would Jesus willingly take our sin and death on himself? Remember again what St Paul tells us, "God made him who had not sin to be sin for us" - why? - "so that in him [Jesus] we might become the righteousness [perfection] of God." Jesus willingly takes our sin and death on himself and then willingly gives us his righteousness, his perfection. In other words, Jesus trades places with us! He came into this world "not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28).

Jesus died for the world because he loves the world. He loves you. He wants you to live ... forever! That's why you and I were created in the first place, to live! When our sin messed up God's perfect plan for us, he sent his Son to answer the problem of sin and death. Jesus is the answer!

But how can we know that Jesus is really the answer to death? Click here to find out.