WHY DID JESUS DIE? (Part 2)
We gave some insight into this question in part 1. We will give an additional insight into this question here. Keep in mind, this is a question that the best minds, the best theologians and scholars have asked, pondered and wrestled with for well over a millennium. We won’t pretend to have a full and exclusive answer here, but our goal is to give you further insight and to hopefully challenge you to search both your own heart and the scriptures so that God will give you a deeper understanding as to why Jesus died.
The question, “Why Did Jesus Die?” is often asked in the following ways:
Did He die to forgive my sins?
Did He have to die to appease an angry, vengeful and blood-thirsty god?
Why would a loving Father ever allow His Son to die?
If Jesus and God (Father) are both God, which one actually died?
These are some of the ways this question is often posed. Let’s look at one part of scripture – Jesus’ own words – that might help us gain a different insight into this question than what we might have thought of before.
Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Notice the word Jesus uses here to describe His purpose for coming and dying. It is the word ransom. What does this word imply? In our world, it usually refers to paying off kidnappers to get back or buy back someone very important to them.
In Jesus’ day it referred to buying a slave from a slave owner and then setting the slave free. No one gave a slave away, but if a person were willing to buy the slave from the slave owner for whatever price he set, then the new owner could give the slave his freedom by setting him free. And what Jesus meant with His words is that He was paying the ransom to “buy us back” by giving His own life and blood. That is what was required?
The question is, who required this payment? Was it angry god? What it a righteous god? Was it a vengeful and blood-thirsty god? How could a so-called loving God get any pleasure out of something so horrific?
But stop and think! Who requires a ransom to be paid? Kidnappers! People who are evil with bad intentions and motives. If you believe the God that is revealed in the bible to be loving and just, then you wouldn’t expect it to be God. But who does the bible describe to be a kidnapper of people’s minds, hearts and souls? Who does the bible describe as evil? Who does the bible describe to be a liar and deceiver? Who does Paul describe to be the one who blinds people to the truth of God and keeps men and women captive?
Yes, the answer is Satan. Jesus described Satan as a stumbling block to the will and purposes of God. And Paul described Satan as masquerading as an angel of light. In other words, Satan is the one who deceives people. He is the one who kidnaps the hearts and minds of people. Satan is the one who comes to steal and destroy the human soul and their relationship with God.
Satan’s purpose is to kidnap, enslave and trap us into a life without God. And according to Jesus he succeeded. We became so entrapped that we did not have a way out on our own. The debt that we owed for our freedom carried a far bigger price tag than we could ever pay. We had found ourselves in a cage without any way out. We didn’t have the key. But Jesus came with the key – the key being paying off the ransom demands with his own life!
Without Jesus, we look like this person stuffed into a cage with no way out. But because Jesus came to pay off the ransom demands of our captive, the devil, we have been set free from his enslavement, from bondage and our own addiction to sin and self.
WE HAVE BEEN SET FREE!!
Jesus’ death and the shedding of His blood met the ransom requirements of the kidnapper and deceiver, Satan. Jesus’ life was the price of our freedom. And He set us from many things, including the power of sin. We might still sin, but we are no longer addicted to it. It no longer rules our lives if we choose to follow the Lord. We are no longer under the power of the law, which according to Paul in Romans, never had any power to save us. In other words, keeping the laws and rules of God could never save us. At best they show us our weaknesses and propensity for sin. Trying to keep the law and failing only shows us our greater need for a Savior, Jesus Christ. Jesus has set us from trying to gain approval and acceptance of God our Father. The death of Jesus is the ultimate reminder that God loves us unconditionally – even when we disobey Him.
Ultimately, the death of Christ, which He offered without demand, set our world free from the tyranny of Satan (if people choose to live free) to love God and live the lives God created us to live!