Resurgence Roundup, 3/7/14
Fri Mar 07, 2014
How to Replant a Church, Part 5: Rally Your Troops
Thu Mar 06, 2014
by Bubba Jennings
The 4 Pillars of Pastoral Work
Thu Mar 06, 2014
by Dave Bruskas
10 Ideas For Keeping Lent
Wed Mar 05, 2014
by Winfield Bevins
How an Executive Pastor Frees the Lead Pastor to Do What Only He Can Do
Tue Mar 04, 2014
by Sutton Turner
Why Jesus Had to Die, Part 1
The Cruciality of the Crucifixion
The crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ—next to his arrival in Bethlehem, these are, without question, the most important events in history.
- It was here that God and humanity were reconciled once again.
- Here at the cross, God’s righteous demands were satisfied.
- Here, what was lost in the Garden was regained again.
- Here, a crippling and decisive blow was dealt against Satan and his minions.
- It was here at the cross that our salvation was purchased.
We can never talk about it too much or contemplate it too often. Because of these historical events, we know there is truly life beyond the grave.
This is what sets our faith apart from all others—Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and all the rest. You can go to the tombs of their prophets and gurus and pay your respects, but if you go to the tomb of Jesus, you will find it empty! He is alive!
There Must Be Blood
But the question begs to be answered: Why did Jesus have to die? Why did he have to be beaten, suffer, and die such a cruel death? Because there was no other way to satisfy the righteous demands of God. God plays by his own rules, and he said, “The soul who sins shall die,” and “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.”
In the Old Testament, all those animal sacrifices only foreshadowed something to come, someone to come: Jesus.
Calvary shows how far people will go in sin and how far God will go for our salvation. Jesus knew he was going to die from the very beginning and spoke of it often. In fact, technically, no one took his life from him. He laid it down of his own accord. He lived in the shadow of the cross from the moment he entered our world.
Pleased by the Cross
For some, the cross seems like an aberration, a mistake, a tragic turn of events. That is how it must have seemed for the disciples as Jesus was arrested and murdered. How could this be a part of any plan? How could something so senseless, so cruel, have any purpose?
Answer: It was to have the ultimate purpose and meaning. God was the master of ceremonies at the cross.
- “It was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief.” (Is. 53:10)
- “[God] did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all.” (Rom. 8:32)
- “[God put Christ] forward . . . by his blood, to be received by faith.” (Rom. 3:25)
In the New King James version, Isaiah 53:10 says, “Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him.” In what sense was God the Father “pleased” by the death of God the Son?
- He was pleased by the redemption that was accomplished.
- He was pleased by the plan of salvation that was fulfilled.
- He was pleased by the sacrifice of his Son, who died so others might have eternal life.
The Greatest Good Ever
For all the evil in the crucifixion, it brought about an infinite good. In fact, here was the most evil act ever perpetrated by sinful hearts—the sinless Son of God, tortured, slaughtered, heartlessly murdered in cold blood—and yet, from it came the greatest good of all time: the salvation of countless souls . . . your salvation and mine.