Have You Ever Wondered Why Jesus Died On A Cross?
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- Version: KJV
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HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHAT HAPPENS AFTER SOMEONE PASSES AWAY?
In Hebrews 9:27, it says “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” and in Revelation 20, it shows us the event of judgement. “I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” The Bible tells us several books will be opened. One of them will be the Book of Life, and another book is the Law of God, which is the Bible (John 12:48; Romans 2:16).
Before sinning, Adam, the first man, lived a perfect life. But God said in the day you disobey Me, you shall die. God was speaking about a Spiritual Death which is a separation from God. Adam and Eve were also judged to die physically as sin had affected Nature.
CAN A MAN DIE AND GO TO HELL FOR JUST ONE ACT OF DISOBEDIENCE?
First, consider the law itself. God wrote over 600 laws but condensed the spirit of the law into 10 commandments. Let’s just consider a few of those 10, and take a moment to mark the ones you think you would be guilty of.
Commandment #1 “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). Have you ever put anything, or anyone before God?
Commandment #3 “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain” (Exodus 20:7). Have you ever used God’s name in a way that did not glorify Him?
Commandment #5 “Honor thy father and thy mother” (Exodus 20:12). Have you ever dishonored your parents?
Commandment #6 “Thou shalt not kill” (Exodus 20:13). Jesus said in Matthew 5 that even if you are angry at someone without a cause you’re guilty of the same.
Commandment #7 “Thou shalt not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14). Jesus again in Matthew 5 says if you lust after someone sexually in your heart that you are guilty of adultery.
Commandment #8 “Thou shalt not steal” (Exodus 20:15). Have you ever stolen anything?
Commandment #9 “Thou shalt not bear false witness” (Exodus 20:16). Have you ever lied?
Stopping there, if you are guilty of all these then you are a blasphemous, murdering, disrespectful, lying, adulterous, thief. But you don’t have to be guilty of all—you just have to be guilty of breaking one.
James 2:10 tells us that if you break only one of the over 600 laws, then you’re guilty of the whole law. God never calls them LAWS plural, but the LAW singular. The whole Law together represents the character of God Himself. If you break one law, then you have completely violated the character of God. This is important because Heaven is not just a better place, but a perfect place. Because of this, the requirement to go to Heaven is nothing less than perfection.
“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).
The Bible simply says that “There is none righteous … For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:10,23). Sin, few or many, must be judged. The Bible tells us that “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).
If you stand before God right now, will He find you guilty or innocent? If you’re guilty, then Heaven cannot be your future. Rather, Revelation 21:8 picks out the 9th commandment of not lying and says “… all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire.”
If you die being guilty of breaking just one of God’s laws, you will forever be separated from God to a place He had created for disobedient angels (Matthew 25:41). The place is called Hell.
WAIT! WHAT ABOUT MY GOOD WORKS?
They are not considered. Jesus said that at the Great White Throne of judgement “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not … done many wonderful works?” Christ’s response is “Then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:22-23). It is clear, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works” (Ephesians 2:8-9). In Isaiah, our works are compared to “filthy rags.”
THEN WHAT WAS THE LAW FOR?
The Bible declares “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:20). God told us that the law was our teacher “to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith” (Galatians 3:24). The law shows us that we have fallen short of God’s requirement (Romans 3:23).
It does not matter how much good you have done. Like all courts, the only matter that must be settled is if you are guilty of breaking the law. If you stand before God with even one law broken, then you will be cast out of God’s presence. “Your iniquities have separated between you and your God” (Isaiah 59:2).
HOW CAN I EVER GET TO HEAVEN?
God told Adam in the day you disobey Me you will surely die (Genesis 2:17). When Adam sinned, God spiritually and physically cast Adam from His presence (Genesis 3:23-24). It is only by God’s mercy and love that Adam did not physically die that moment.
“Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity … because he delighteth in mercy” (Micah 7:18).
To save Adam’s life from His judgement, God took the life of an innocent animal. This showed that in order for the guilty to be forgiven, the blood (life) of an innocent must be shed.
However, animals were not good enough. Hebrews tells us that the blood of these animals could only cover sin for a year, but could not WASH nor forgive the sins permanently (Hebrews 10:4). Every year, followers of God would sacrifice the innocent animal to cover their sins temporarily.
IF GOOD WORKS AND LAW CAN NOT SAVE ME, THEN HOW?
“For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us …” (Romans 8:3-4).
God sent His son to live among us. In that time, He kept the law perfectly. But He had come for one reason: to be the Innocent that would die for the guilty.
Jesus would suffer what Adam and all men should have: the wrath of God and complete separation from the Father.
“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed” (1 Peter 2:24).
“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Christ became sin so that we might become righteous. If Christ’s innocent sacrifice is put to our account, it permanently washes sin away (1 Corinthians 6:11) and we stand righteous before God the Father. This does not make you a perfect man physically, but spiritually, you become new and complete before God (Romans 4:11). Sin will never be put to your account again (Romans 4:8).
HOW DO I RECEIVE SALVATION AND HAVE MY ACCOUNT BEFORE GOD CHANGED?
Here is an example. The thieves on the cross next to Christ in Luke 23 blasphemed Christ. However, one of them came to himself, and realized that Jesus was indeed who He claimed to be: the only Lord and Savior of men. First, he said to the other thief who was still railing on Jesus, “Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds” (Luke 23:40-41). This thief realized he was a sinner, deserving of wrath and death. Jesus said if you do not repent, you will perish (Luke 13:3). You cannot be saved if you do not recognize that you need to be saved. A man who thinks he’s in shallow water does not call for a lifeguard and a man who thinks he’s not all that bad does not call on God to save him.
The thief on the cross then admitted several things. First he said about Jesus, “This man hath done nothing amiss,” realizing that Jesus was the innocent dying in his place. And then the thief called Jesus “Lord.” He realized that Jesus was God in the flesh, and it would be this Man who would eventually determine his fate. Then the thief asked Jesus to save him: “He said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom” (Luke 23:42). The thief, knowing he was about to die, repented and fully surrendered, confessing Jesus as Lord and asking Him to save him.
Jesus’ reply is astounding and unreligious. He did not ask if he was a good man, or if he went to church, or was baptized. He simply said to the thief “Verily [truly] I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43). Immediate and complete forgiveness was granted to the man that moment.
CAN IT BE THAT SIMPLE?
Romans 6:23 makes it so clear “… the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” It is a Gift of God. Again, Ephesians 2:8-9 says that salvation is by God’s grace and “not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works.”
The Bible tells us how we receive salvation: “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:9-10).
If you realize you need to be saved from your sin, then the Scriptures call you to repent. This means turning away from your sin and any other ideas about how to be right with God, and confessing that Jesus is Lord. Do this believing that He died and rose again to pay the price for your sin on the cross and that there is no other way to be saved.
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Go to God. Turn from your old life. Surrender and trust Christ alone for your salvation today. If you do, He promises to save you and make you righteous. One day, you and every other person will stand before Him. He is our Creator and Lord and Jesus told us to make ourselves right with the Judge before we meet Him.