Why Did Jesus Die?
Text scriptures: Hebrews 2:9-15; 2nd Corinthians 5:14-21; Romans 6:1-
10; Galatians 2:20,21
Easter is a christian festival that is celebrated annually. It is a season that commemorates the finished works (death, burial, and resurrection) of our Lord Jesus Christ. The theological origin of Easter stems wide with several Jewish parallels. However, in this article, we want to look at the significance of the death of Jesus – the core of Easter celebration.
The Fall of Man
The primary purpose of the coming of Jesus was to die. However, understanding the fall of Man is crucial in knowing why Jesus died. Romans 6:23 tells us that “the wages of Sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life...” death in this context primarily refers to eternal separation of our spirits from God’s Spirit. God is a spirit (John 4:24), and of course he created us in his image. Therefore, death simply refers to the disconnection of our spirit from God’s Spirit. This happened when the first Man Adam sinned. To better understand this, lets look at the first man and woman in Genesis 2:16-17 “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 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.“ God clearly told Adam that the day he eats of that fruit he will surely die. Certainly, you could see that in Genesis chapter 3 when they did eat of the fruit, they didn’t physically fall off and die. It took many years later before they died physically. However, the point here is that, the moment they ate of the fruit they died spiritually (they were separated from God who is the author of life – Acts 3:15).
Here’s another illustration to help buttress this point. Picture a tree with its branches and leaves. Now the tree and its trunk is the source of life for every branch and leaf. When a leaf is plugged off from a tree, it dies instantly because it is no longer connected to its source of life and nutrient. Now, it may take some days or weeks before the leaf begins to pale and finally decay, but the time it decays is not when it dies. Actually, the decaying process starts the moment it’s cut off from the tree, but it takes time before the effect of the cut-off manifest into different faces of decay as you see from the leaf-decay circle above. The decaying of a leaf is impossible if internally connected to the tree. However, the different stages of a leaf decay if proof that it died (plugged off). Similarly, Man was created and plugged into God. God is the author of life (See Acts 3:15 NIV) and as long as Man was connected to God spiritually, he stayed alive and wouldn’t wouldn’t die physically. However, when Man disconnected Himself from God through disobedience, he died! (Spiritual death). In essence, Man abandoned the nature of God (the Spirit of God) and picked up the nature of the devil, that is Sin which leads to death (Romans 6:23). Therefore, because man died spiritually, physical death became eminent just as the decaying process in a leaf is eminent once it is cut off. Man wasn’t created to die, the physical death is a result of spiritual death. Therefore, right from the time of Adam to date, everyone who came into this world through the lineage of Adam came as a [Spiritually] dead Man (Romans 5:12). In order words, humanity inherited a death nature from Adam. This lead us to one of our main point. That is, Jesus died to restore us back unto God and takeaway the death (Sin nature) we inherited from Adam.
Jesus lived as our example while He walked the earth, but in His death, He did not die as our example. Rather, He died as our SUBSTITUTE. Everything Jesus did in His death, burial, resurrection and His seated position at the right hand of God, He did “for us” (2nd Corinthians 5:1415; Hebrews 2:9). He died in OUR place.
The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus introduced a subject in our walk with God called IDENTIFICATION. Identification means we became one with Him and partook of all that He went through. When He died, we died with Him. When He was buried, we were buried with Him (Romans 6:2-4). When He was raised from the dead, we were raised with Him and we are seated with Him at the right hand of God the Father (Ephesians 2:5-6). This leads us to our first reason for His death:
1. Jesus died for us, implying that we died too.
2nd Corinthians 5:14 tells us “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: and that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again” Since Jesus died for all, then all died. We are dead to sin (The nature we inherited from Adam- This is true for only those who have been bornagain), and all the works of the devil (see Romans 6:1-3). We were crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20). When we were crucified with Christ, we were crucified to the world, and the world was crucified to us (Galatians 6:14). This means that as far as the world is concern, we are dead to the world, and the world is dead to us. A dead man is unresponsive. So for us, what sinners are responsive to, we are unresponsive to, because we are dead to the world. Also, we don’t fear what sinners fear, because we are dead to the world.
All the evil in the world have no place in us and should not affect us because we are dead to them (see Colossians 3:3).
2. Jesus died for us so we could live for him.
- 2nd Corinthians 5:14,15. He died for us, that we should live for him. This means we no longer own our lives, or decide to live our the way we want to, but our lives now belongs to Jesus.
Again, before the death of Jesus, man was not empowered to live a life pleasing to God, due to the sin nature we inherited from Adam. But because of the sacrifice of Jesus, that sin nature has been taken away, and we can now live our lives pleasing to God.
See also Romans 6:10. We died to sin, and now we live to God.
3. Jesus died to destroy the power of the devil and make his works of no effect in our lives.
- Hebrews 2:14; 1st John 3:8.
Through the death of Jesus, the power of the devil has been broken. The devil has been disarmed and defeated (Colossians 2:13-15). To disarm someone means to take away that person’s weapons/ammunition. That was literally what Jesus did to the devil – He took away the power Satan had over us. Today the devil is powerless as far as our lives are concerned. He CANNOT make any believer do anything against his/her will, or without his/her permission. So if you are listing out factors responsible for your failure in life and ministry, don’t mention Satan on that list, because he is no longer a factor. The greatest challenge many believers have today (which the devil uses to his advantage to get believers in bondage) is IGNORANCE.
See Hosea 4:6. The Lord said “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” He did not say “My people are destroyed because Satan is present/powerful.” This means the real problem of believers today is not the devil, but lack of knowledge.
4. Jesus died to deliver us from all the oppression of the devil.
– Hebrews 2:14,15
Jesus did not only destroy the power of Satan, but He has delivered/freed us from all forms of satanic bondage and oppression. We’ve been delivered from the fear of death and every other evil in this present world (See Galatians 1:4).
See also Colossians 1:13. He has delivered us from the authority of darkness. So Satan has no authority over our lives any longer. We are no longer slaves to sin, sickness, fear or any other evil.
See Obadiah 1:17 and Hebrews 12:22. These two passages tell us that in
Zion there is deliverance, and we have come to Zion. Therefore WE HAVE BEEN DELIVERED! So deliverance from Satan’s dominion is not something we are looking for. We have it NOW!
If we have been delivered from every oppression of the devil, how much more from ancestral curses? Do ancestral curses exist? Yes they do! But we must understand that by being born into God’s family, we have been ushered into a new genealogy, having God as our Father, Jesus our Elder brother, and all the heroes of faith mentioned in Hebrews 11 are our family members.
2nd Corinthians 5:17-18a tells us OLD things (including the old sinful family lineage) have passed away, ALL things have become new, and ALL things are of God. So any generational/ancestral curse that existed in our natural family lineage came to an end the moment Jesus died for us. However, ignorance of this truth can still enable the devil keep you captive in this area.
5. Jesus died to purchase our redemption from the curse of the law.
– Galatians 3:13
Jesus died to redeem us from the curse of the law. Because He died, it means we have been redeemed from the curse of the law.
To Redeem means to “buy back”. Christ has bought us back (by His blood) from the curse of the law.
What is the curse of the law? They are the curses that were pronounced upon man as a result of breaking the laws of God. In order words this were direct consequences, punishments, and repercussions that came as a result of breaking the Law of Moses (see Deuteronomy 28:15-18, 22, 27, 28, 30, 32, 35, 59-61).
All the curses of the law (in Deuteronomy 28) can be summarized into 3, namely; (i) spiritual death, (ii) sickness and disease, (iii) poverty and lack. This means that because Jesus died, we have been redeemed (bought back) from spiritual death, and now we are alive unto God (as we saw earlier). Secondly, we have been redeemed from sickness and disease, therefore our sick days are over. Thirdly we have been redeemed from poverty and lack, therefore our days of scarcity and famine are over, and we have been ushered into abundance, all because Jesus died!
The curse is also defined as an empowerment to fail. Anyone who is cursed does not succeed in what he does in life.
See Genesis 3:17-19. When Adam sinned, the ground was cursed, and as a result, the ground brought forth thorns and thistles.
See John 19:1-2. When the soldiers took the thorns from the ground and placed them on Jesus’ head, what literally happened was that the curse on the ground was lifted and placed on Jesus’ head. So for us today, the ground is no longer cursed, but the ground is blessed and fruitful for us because Jesus died.
Also see the following Scriptures that talk about our redemption through the blood of Jesus: – Colossians 1:14
- 1st Peter 1:18,19
- Hebrews 9:12
Notice how the Bible says again and again the we have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus. Our redemption is not a promise we are looking forward to. It is past tense, meaning it has taken place already.
6. Jesus died so that the blessing might come upon us.
- Galatians 3:13,14
When Jesus hung on the cross and took away the curse of the law, He did that so that the blessing of Abraham might come upon us. In other words, He died that we might have the blessing. The curse was taken away, and all we have left is the blessing. Jesus’ death qualified us for the blessing.
See Ephesians 1:3. We are blessed with ALL spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
The blessing is what empowers us to succeed in life. In all your endeavors in life (such as work, business, school, family, etc…), see yourself as the blessed. Be conscious of the blessing upon your life.
The blessing of God upon you will bring increase (see Proverbs 10:22). The blessing upon your life will also make you a blessing to others (see Genesis 12:2,3).
We are not blessed because we work hard or because we are intelligence or good looking. We are blessed because Jesus died.
7. Jesus died to provide remission of sins and forgiveness for us.
– Matthew 26:28
One of the most outstanding blessings we have as a result of the death of Jesus is the remission of sins. “Remission” means to wash away. The blood of Jesus was shed for the remission of our sins. This means our sins were washed away by the blood of Jesus.
When dirt or stain on a shirt is washed away by a good detergent, there will be no evidence that the stain was ever there. The shirt looks very clean. Likewise, after Jesus washed us by His blood, all our sins were wiped away. In the sight of God, there is no evidence that we had sin in our lives.
We must know that when Jesus died on the cross, He did not just wash away our sins, but he dealt with (took away) the ‘SIN’ nature and all its consequences (such as sickness, disease, poverty etc). The sin nature is what is responsible for every evil in this world. See John 1:29 and Hebrews 9:26.
Secondly, when He died, He paid for ALL our sins – past, present and future. See Hebrews 9:24-28 and Hebrews 10:10-12 (NKJV & NLT). By His sacrifice, He provided forgiveness for all our sins (see Colossians 1:14 and Colossians 2:13,14).
Thirdly, in remission, not only were our sins blotted out, the consequences (repercussions) of our past were also taken away. So you don’t have to live with the consequences of your past life and mistakes after you become born again. In Christ Jesus, we have a COMPLETE REDEMPTION. Old things are passed away, ALL things have become new (see 2nd Corinthians 5:17). Jesus has paid the price, so you don’t have to pay again.
8. Jesus died to make us Righteous
– 2nd Corinthians 5:21; Romans 5:18-19
By the sacrifice of Jesus, we have been made righteous!
Righteousness is simply defined as right-standing. It is the ability to stand before the presence of God without any sense of guilt, condemnation or inferiority.
Righteousness is a nature, not an act. Our righteousness has nothing to do with our works, but has everything to do with what Jesus did for us on the cross.
Because of this righteousness, we now have access to come boldly to God’s presence without any guilt, condemnation or inferiority. We are accepted in the presence of God (See Romans 5:1-2, Ephesians 1:6 and Hebrews 4:16).
Even when you’ve missed it, don’t run away from the presence of God. Rather, come boldly because it is with Him that you’ll find forgiveness.
Satan does not want you to know this truth because he wants to keep you sin-conscious, and sin-consciousness will hinder you from walking in victory and bearing the fruits of righteousness.
9. Jesus died so that we might have eternal life.
– John 3:16; John 10:10
Eternal life is the God-kind of life. It is the very nature of God.
There are different kinds of life –
- Plant life ii. Animal life.
2. Natural human life
3. Eternal life (Zoe – the very life of God)
Before Jesus came, men were spiritually dead, and no one had eternal life. At best, all that every man had was the natural human life.
Jesus said He came to introduce to mankind the life of God (John 10:10). He came that we may have life. That means before Jesus came, no man on earth had this life. But when He came and died, God quickened us together with Him by His Spirit (Romans 8:11). His death has made eternal life available to humanity. Now we who are born again have the same life of God in us. (See also John 5:26).
10. Jesus died to sanctify and Perfect us
– Ephesians 5:25-26; Hebrews 2:9-11
To sanctify means to “set apart”. It also means to “make holy”. (See NIV of Hebrews 2:11).
Jesus, through His death, sanctified us (made us holy and set us apart for the Master’s use). ,
We’ve also been perfected by the one offering of Jesus (Hebrews 10:14). “Perfected” doesn’t mean we are now faultless, it means “acceptable before God”. God sees us as perfect, and He accepts us, because we are in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 1:6). God does not accept us in ourselves, or because of our works, but our acceptance before God is Christ Jesus, and this is made possible because Jesus died for us.
11. Jesus died and took the sufferings that we might have the glory
– 1st Peter 1:10-11
For every glory, there’s a preceding suffering. No one enjoys glory in life without a price. So if you want to enjoy glory in your life, there must be a suffering.
But the good news is that the sufferings is OF CHRIST (1st Peter 1:11). He bore the sufferings in our place and gave us the glory that follows (see 1st Peter 1:21 and Hebrews 2:9-10).
We are witnesses of His sufferings and partakers of the glory (1st Peter 5:1). When He was crowned with glory and honour after He rose from the dead, the church was crowned together with Him (Ephesians 2:4-6).
Also, every aspect of the suffering of Christ has a corresponding glory that awaits us. For example, He suffered (and was made) sin so we could be made righteous (2nd Corinthians 5:21), He suffered humiliation and sickness so we could live in health (Isaiah 53:4-5), He suffered poverty so we could be made rich and prosperous (2nd Corinthians 8:9).
Therefore by reason of His sufferings, we’ve been ushered into health, wealth, wisdom, long life and every good thing in life, GLORY TO GOD!
12. Jesus died to enforce the new covenant.
– Proverbs 13:22; Hebrews 9:15-17
When a good man dies, He leaves an inheritance (in his will) for his children. Jesus is a good Man. He died and left us a will (His Word) which reveals to us our inheritance.
Whatever is revealed in a man’s will when he dies, the heirs/beneficiaries of the inheritance do not have to pay, work for, or earn it. It is theirs legally. The only requirement is for the owner (writer) of the will to die.
God has a will for us. Everything written in the scriptures reveal the will of God for lives. If you read the old testament for instance, you will see so many beautiful promises God gave to us. See the following examples:
- Exodus 23:25-26
- Psalm 5:12
- Isaiah 33:24
- Isaiah 60:1-3,15
- Obadiah v17
After God wrote His will, he couldn’t die as God. He had to come in human form so He could die (see NLT of Hebrews 2:14). Jesus’ death has enforced the will of God for our lives (Hebrews 9:16-17). So whatever we read in the Word (as the will of God) is not going to happen – it has happened and is already in effect, because the death of a man puts his will into effect.
See also Acts 13:32-33. Every promise in the Word is now a reality because Jesus died and rose again.
13. Jesus died to declare the year of Jubilee upon us
– Leviticus 25:8-13,28,31,39-41,47-55; Luke 4:18-19
The acceptable year of the Lord is the year of Jubilee! In Jubilee, every man returns to his possession. It is the year of restoration, a period during which everything we lost is restored back to us.
So whatever the devil took away from you when you were a slave to him and served him, now that our Jubilee (Jesus) has come, you are to return to your possession. The death of Jesus ushered us into our season of restoration. (See also Joel 2:25-27)
14. Jesus died to purchase favour for us with God and with men
- John 1:17 (Amplified); Luke 4:19 (Amplified)
- 2nd Corinthians 5:17-20 (Amplified)
We have been restored into favour with God. When God gave us grace, He gave us favour. God is no longer counting our wrongs against us. We now have peace with God (See Romans 5:1).
We also have favour with men because of what Jesus did for us (Proverbs 16:7; Luke 2:52).
15. Jesus died and rose again to give us authority over all devils.
- Matthew 28:18; Ephesians 1:19-23; 2:5-6 (See NLT)
When Jesus died and rose again, He (together with the church) was exalted and seated in a position of authority (God’s right hand). All principalities, all powers, including the devil and his demons, are under our feet. Satan no longer has power over us. Rather, we have the authority over him.
See also Philippians 2:5-11 and Luke 10:19.