Basics of Salvation
Why did Jesus have to die?
Death was the consequence of sin. The apostle Paul wrote, “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23) Death demonstrates just how terrible sin really is; no other consequence would suffice to show this. This may be difficult for us to understand, especially when we tend to downplay the problem of sin. Yet death shows that we cannot afford to downplay it; sin brings death and we need to know this.
Yet Paul did not just say that the wages of sin is death. He also said, “but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” How is it that God makes this offer of eternal life when we are guilty of sin?
He makes this offer on the basis of the death of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. By dying for our sins, He is able to take death upon Himself and then, through being raised from the dead, offer life. In order to offer this salvation and eternal life, Jesus had to first die. The Hebrews writer put it this way:
“Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery” (Hebrews 2:14-15).
Through dying for us and being raised again, Jesus destroyed the power that death held over us. We no longer need to be afraid of what death will bring, for we now know that in the end, life is ours.
“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” (1 Peter 2:24-25)
God be thanked that He loved us enough to die for us (John 3:16)!