Why Jesus Died

Most effective people, and all great leaders, have a clear life purpose. Jesus suffered much, in our opinion more than anyone else who ever lived. And in Isaiah's prophecy of his Passion we read, "He shall see the trouble of his soul, and be satisfied." To Jesus, all the pain was worth it. Why? Jesus died to bring life to the world. All the world. Jesus died to pay the price for sinners. That phrase is repeated often, but most explanations are not very clear. The Bible's explanation is simple and beautiful. The Just for the unjust - "an offering for sin" Jesus died as a just man "for the unjust" -- as a redeemer or ransom or substitute or "corresponding price" for father Adam. The 2nd Adam The passover lamb The daily sacrifice The bullock, a "sin offering" The Brazen serpent The Ransom for All The Suffering Servant The Good Shepherd The Mediator between God and Man The High Priest The Kingly Priest The Bridegroom What is the penalty of sin? The Common View- Augustine's view Augustine confused the world with his messed-up logic. He said that because God is infinite, every sin against his laws causes him infinite pain. Therefore, in Augustines view, every sin against God deserves to be paid for with infinite suffering -- eternal torment. Once he had swallowed this pill, he convinced himself that the redeemer of the human race had to be God, because "only an infinite God can atone for an infinite amount of sin." There's no doubt that millions of nice people have swallowed these ideas, and earnestly believed them. But like other popular ideas such as the flat earth or the divine right of kings, these views will die away. Augustine's view is doomed to death. Someday, no one in the world will believe the notion of a God-man on a cross, and of a hell of torment waiting to swallow up everyone who doesn't respond "in time". These ideas, while they seem to support the need for a church that claims to be doing God's work of bringing the entire world to Christ, actually innoculate the world against the true message of God's love. Augustine's notion, which became church dogma a thousand years ago and is the commonly held belief of most institutional churches today, results in a very sub-Biblical concept of God, and it results in a "redeemer" who actually fails to accomplish his stated goals. Oh, it sounds impressive -- a God-man who can deliver you from eternal hell -- but the real result is a failure of the plan (remember -- the birth of Jesus was supposed to be good news of great joy which will come to all people!) -- because most people are prevented from accepting this God-man by simple circumstances. They are aborted while a fetus, or they are stillborn, or they die in infancy, or they are born with mental defects, or their parents are atheists, or they are born into a Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish or Muslim, or Pagan family, or their dad is a Pastor who is unloving and hypocrical at home and they grow up resenting Christianity, or they are exposed to pornography and sexual abuse from the time they are two, or they were born addicte d to drugs or damaged by alcohol, etc. Are we exaggerating? Or is it not true that 2 out of 3 people grow up without any clear presentation of what Peter called "the only name given among men, whereby we must be saved." And is it not true that of the 1/3 born in so-called "Christian countries", the vast majority grow up in damaged surroundings, surrounded by many false ideas and seductive temptations to sin? The Bible says that God wills that all will be saved, and come to an accurate knowledge of the truth. I am not a Universalist, but I believe precisely what that verse says. Jesus said, "My flesh I give for the life of the world." I believe that means the world will gain life. Paul said that Jesus was indeed "a ransom for all", to be "testified in due time." I believe that "all" means "all", and that "in due time" means that when God is ready to do the testifying to all, it will happen. John said in his first epistle that Christ died, not for our sins only, (the sins of believers who follow Christ), but for the sins of the whole world. If I'm going to believe the Bible is true, I've got to believe that it means exactly what it says. The sins of the whole world includes the sins of Nero, and Hitler, and Stalin, and Saddam. If Christ's tremendous Passion -- "the travail of His soul" -- satisfied Him, it must be because there is a way for that painful death to compensate for all the sins of the world. So if you love Jesus but think millions and billions of people will die without Him -- please keep reading. We want to help you see that the Bible has better news than that. And if you think "die" means "keep on living in hell" -- keep on reading. I believe the Bible will convince you otherwise.