Monday, October 13, 2014

Why Did Jesus Die? - Martin Wiles

Series: Hey God…I Have a Question

For it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Hebrews 10:4

As a grammar instructor, I teach my students four types of sentences: imperative, exclamatory, declarative, and interrogative. Imperative sentences give a command or directions. Exclamatory sentences express excitement. Declarative sentences are normal sentences, and interrogative sentences ask a question. Imperative and exclamatory can occasionally be confused because both can end with an exclamation mark. Interrogative are perhaps the easiest to identify because the ending punctuation is always a question mark and because they begin with the infamous “w” words: why, what, where, when. 

Where God and religion are concerned, I’ve heard and asked many of the “w” questions myself…why being the most common. Why did I lose my job? Why did my marriage disintegrate? Why did my child turn away from God? Why have I been afflicted with this sickness? Why, why, why. Among the most important why questions is why did Jesus have to die. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:17 NLT)

When I question why Jesus had to die I’m really asking why God couldn’t have provided for the forgiveness of my sins by another means. The entire Old Testament record demonstrates the need of a substitute if the sinner is to go free. Sins were covered by the blood of animals—animals that as far as the worshiper knew were free from defect. When the sacrifice was made, God overlooked the sin. Yet these animals could never provide true cleansing. 

A perfect sacrifice was required, and God decided to let his Son be that offering. Could God have provided salvation by another avenue? I suppose he could have, but God decided blood must be shed for the forgiveness of sins. Thankfully, it’s not mine that must be spilled. His Son accomplished this as my substitute. Accepting his offer is all God requires from me. I, like all others, must answer the interrogative question: What will I do with Jesus?

Prayer: Most gracious God, our hearts are overwhelmed with gratitude that You would provide for our deepest need. Thank You for the salvation You offer.

Martin N Michelle
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