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The Testimony Of Jesus Christ

Chapter Seven

The Death of Jesus Christ

Until now, we have considered subjects which bless the human heart and lift the spirit of man. There is great joy in the pre-existence, deity, birth, love, grace and power of Jesus Christ. However, we now consider His death, a subject which may well stir the emotion of sorrow. It reminds us of our mortality and may call to mind the sorrowful scenes of a funeral service. But far more importantly, it causes us to think about the horrible scenes of the crucifixion of Christ and the accomplishments of His death.

This is one of the pre-eminent doctrines of the Christian faith. While Christians have often debated the proper mode of baptism or the method of obtaining salvation, almost all Christians agree that Christ died for sinners. It is such an important and central doctrine that the Apostle Paul put it first on his list. He said, “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3). Apparently the death of Christ was very important to Paul, but how important is it to you?

Consider this fact: you could not, indeed, would not be saved apart from the death of Christ. Even if we do not fully understand its importance, God certainly did. Our heavenly Father knew that because of the awful consequences of sins, He must provide a remedy. If it had been possible for man to save himself, there would have been no need for Calvary, the cross, or the death of God’s only begotten Son. But because God knew there was no earthly solution, He sent His Son from heaven. Since Jesus was born of a virgin, He was the only person to live without sin.

The Bible is clear on this matter; all of us are sinners. God says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). According to 1 John 3:4, sin results when the laws of God are disregarded and broken. Since all of us have broken God’s laws, we have sinned; and that includes everyone from Adam onward. Paul said, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12). Some may deny this fact, supposing that somehow they have escaped sin. However, in God’s sight, all are concluded as “under sin” (Romans 3:9).

In the beginning God revealed that the penalty of sin is death (Genesis 2:17). God created Adam pure and without sin. He gave Adam permission to eat and enjoy all the trees of the Garden of Eden, with the exception of one tree. The Bible records, “ But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Genesis 2:17). God commanded Adam not to eat the forbidden fruit, declaring that he would die (in sin) when he did. Death in sin is a fact that has not changed throughout the ages of time. Even today, the Bible continues to remind us of the consequences of sin. Paul wrote, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). The first half of the verse is indeed frightening, even though we rejoice in the promise given in the last half.

Because sin brings death, Christ came to give us eternal life. He had no sins of His own (1 Peter 2:22); therefore, He could die for our sins. By His sacrificial death, Jesus paid our sin debt and became our Savior. We are not saved by our works (Ephesians 2:9), but by His death on the cruel cross. He loved us so much that He allowed Roman soldiers to nail Him there. As God, He could have refused to be subjected to the suffering and shame. He could have called for the angels of glory (Matthew 26:53), and they would gladly have released Him from the agony He endured on the cross. Instead, Jesus willingly and freely gave His life in order to remove the penalty of sin from us.

That is precisely the reason the death of Christ is so important. To explain its importance, Peter described exactly what happened when Christ died. He said, “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). He reminded us that Jesus took our sins and died for them, thereby preventing us from suffering their eternal punishment. Such a glorious truth can never be adequately proclaimed, even by those of us who are the objects of divine love and grace.

The main reason we cannot sufficiently declare it is because we do not fully comprehend it ourselves. Hopefully, the words of Jesus will help us better understand the benefits of His death. He said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit” (John 12:24). You see, unless you plant seed, you will not have a harvest. But when the seed is planted in the earth, it germinates, sprouts, and a plant grows. As the plant matures, it yields fruit so that many grains or seeds will be produced. Yet, it all started with the death of the first grain of seed. So, like the seed, Jesus died and out of His death grew the redemption of all God’s elect. From the singular death of Christ, an innumerable host of people have been eternally redeemed.

To increase our appreciation of His death, Christ gave us another illustration. He described Himself as a Shepherd who attends to the needs of sheep entrusted to His care. Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep” (John 10:11). During the ancient times in which Jesus lived on earth, shepherds were willing to defend their flocks with their very lives. Their sheep were in danger from bears, wolves, and sometimes thieves. On some occasions the shepherds were killed while protecting the flock. In like manner, Jesus died to protect and deliver us from the horrible eternity to which we were doomed by sin. Satan is a great threat and a dangerous enemy (1 Peter 5:8), but Christ saved us from his destructive power when He died for our sins. Oh, what a wonderful Savior and Shepherd!

We have a great deal to think about as we ponder the words of Jesus and the significance of His death. As we do this, let us consider one final passage found in the last book of the Bible. The final book of the Bible is, of course, the Book of Revelation. It contains the revelation given to John, and it certainly sheds additional light on our subject. Look at the beautiful words recorded in Revelation 5:9. It says, “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.” This scripture has been called “The Song Of The Redeemed.” The wonderful thoughts these words invoke have long blessed those who are chosen in Christ and redeemed by Him. Through His shed blood and sacrificial death, we are saved from sin and condemnation. For all God’s elect, whom He chose out of all races and nations, heaven is sure and certain. He was slain, He redeemed us, He is worthy of all praise and glory, forever!


Thoughts of death are usually unpleasant. However, when we think of the death of Christ and its accomplishments, lives are blessed and hearts are filled with hope. But as we remember Christ died for us, let us also acknowledge that we should live for Him. Let us willingly live for Him, Who willingly died for us. Recognize that Christ is worthy of our best and give Him nothing less. Pray daily for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as you endeavor to worship, honor, and praise our Lord Jesus Christ.

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This page last updated on November 1, 2015