Memory Verse: “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
INTRODUCTION: The death of Jesus Christ is the pivotal point upon which the rest of the Bible hinges. From the very beginning when Adam and Eve sinned until the beginning of eternity, all mankind has needed a savior to rescue them from the lake of fire.
We may enjoy contemplating the pleasures in store for us in God’s kingdom. We may love to discuss doctrine or study prophecy. We may receive a blessing by recalling what the Lord has done for us in our daily lives, but without the blood of Jesus Christ these other things are purely academic.
“Spectators at the crucifixion challenged Jesus to save Himself. The common crowd cried in derision, ‘Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself, and come down from the cross’ (Mark 15:29-30). The Jewish rulers mocked, ‘He saved others: himself he cannot save’ (Mark 15:31). Superstitious ones who thought Jesus was calling Elias said, ‘Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come to take him down’ (Mark 15:36). The soldiers said, ‘If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself’ (Luke 23:37). One of the malefactors who were crucified with Him said, ‘If thou be Christ, save thyself and us’ (Luke 23:39). Everyone cried, ‘Save thyself.’ They should have cried, ‘Save us.’ It was not that Jesus could not save Himself; it was that He would not save Himself. Jesus could have saved Himself from crucifixion, but He did not want to save Himself. He wanted to give Himself in death as a sacrifice for sinners. Jesus knew that if He saved Himself, He would save no others. He was determined to die for the sins of the world.
“Christ’s sacrificial death revealed the love of God and Christ for sinners. It was an act of grace that God planned salvation for men through the sacrifice of His Son. It was an act of unparalleled love that Christ consented to bear men’s sins. The Father was not obligated to provide a sacrifice for sinners, and the Son was not obligated to be that sacrifice.
“Sinners do not deserve to be saved; they are worthy of death. God could have destroyed every sinner and they would have received what they deserved. God through love, however, gives men what they do not deserve. He oﬀers them salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ. This is grace! Grace is God’s freely given love in its relation to the needs of sinful men” (Alva G. Huﬀer, Systematic Theology, The Restitution Herald: Oregon, Illinois, 1961, p. 279).
- What was Jesus’ primary purpose while on earth? John 1:29; Galatians 1:4.
- Was the circumstance of His death prophesied in the Old Testament? Psalm 22:1, 7-8, 16-18.
- What Old Testament passage explains the purpose of His death? Isaiah How many references are there in this passage to the fact that Jesus bore our sin?
- Why was it necessary for Jesus to die? Romans 6:23; Hebrews 9:22.
- Describe the agony involved in a crucifixion. Matthew 26:67-68; Matthew 27:26-31.
- What would have been our fate if Jesus had not died? Ephesians 2:12.
- What transaction takes place as we accept His atonement? 2 Corinthians 5:21.