Why Did He Have to Die?

Why Did He Have to Die?

Why Did He Have to Die?

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. –Isaiah 53:6

This verse opens with “all we like sheep have gone astray,” and it closes with “the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” When Christ died on the cross, He took upon Himself the sins of the world. Why? Because ‘“we have turned, every one, to his own way”—expressed in those three words is the basic problem with the human family today.

Scripture says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12). The Lord Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). When the human family turned away from God, it was then Christ became the sacrifice for the sins of the world: “The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”

At the crucifixion of our Lord, it wasn’t His suffering at the hands of man during those first three hours but His suffering during those last three hours in the darkness, that the cross became the altar on which the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world was offered.

Three times we are told in Isaiah 53 it was God who smote Him:

• “smitten by God, and afflicted” (verse 4)

• “the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (verse 6)

• “yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him” (verse 10)

Consternation fills our souls when we recognize it was God the Father who did it!

Christ was on the cross for six hours, hanging between heaven and earth from nine o’clock in the morning until three o’clock in the afternoon.

In the first three hours, man did his worst. He heaped ridicule and insult upon Him, spit upon Him, nailed Him without mercy to the cruel cross, and then sat down to watch Him die. At twelve o’clock noon, after Jesus had hung there for three hours in agony, God drew a veil over the sun and darkness covered that scene, shutting out from human eye the transaction between the Father and the Son. Christ became the sacrifice for the sin of the world. God made His Son’s soul an offering for sin. Christ Jesus was treated as sin, for we are told in 2 Corinthians 5:21 He was made sin for us—Him who knew no sin.

Why did He do it? He did it because He loves you. God so loved the world that He gave His Son. God made the soul of Jesus Christ an offering for your sin!

If you want to know if God hates sin, look at the cross. If you want to know if God will punish sin, look at the Beloved of His heart enduring the tortures of its penalty. That cross became an altar where we behold the Lamb of God taking away the sin of the world. He was dying for somebody else—He was dying for you and me.

Don’t feel sorry for Him. If you think He was caught between the upper millstone of Roman power and the nether millstone of religious greed, forget it. He was not. He says, “No one takes [My life] from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father” (John 10:18). The Book of Hebrews says, “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). He made adequate provision for the sin of the world. He is satisfied.

The cross is not an ambulance sent to a wreck. It is not first aid. It is not a temporary arrangement. The Lord Jesus is “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8). And when you look into eternity you see what John describes: “… behold, in the midst of the throne … stood a Lamb as though it had been slain …” (Revelation 5:6). Scripture tells us He sat down at God’s right hand, and do you know why? For the same reason God rested on the seventh day after He had created the heavens and the earth. He wasn’t tired—He sat down because He had finished the job. When Jesus went back to heaven, He had finished everything that was necessary for your salvation and mine. Everything.

How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? Do you have the answer to that? God has a remedy for every sin, except the sin of rejecting the Remedy: His Son.

God is satisfied with what Jesus did for you on the cross. Are you satisfied? “He shall see the labor of his soul, and be satisfied.” Oh, the restlessness of men and women today! My friend, rest in Him. ~ Excerpts from the late J Vernon McGee

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