Hi, I’m teaching a group of singles in about 3 weeks on the concept of “Why Christ had to die?” part of this is to explain why death and blood and suffering specifically were required by God? I.e. one can understand death, for that would be what he died to save us from (i.e. spiritual death). But I would like some input on why blood and suffering were so key. Needless to say the OT talks about both, and they were symbolic of what was to come, but why were they required in the first place? Any insight would be excellent. Thanks.
When you work for an employer, you receive wages — money. That is the payment for your services. Because we have sinned, we also have wages coming to us — only these wages are not good news, because the Bible says in Romans 6:23, “For the WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH…”
This death is more than just a physical death, although that is included in it. Revelation 20:14,15 says, “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is THE SECOND DEATH. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
Those who die without Jesus Christ will be physically resurrected at the Great White Throne Judgment, and will suffer the “second death” for all of eternity, as they are cast into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:11-15 says, “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
We often talk about the glorious resurrection of the saved, but there is also the terrible resurrection of the lost, as they face Almighty God, and they are unprepared. Acts 24:15 says, “And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be A RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD, BOTH THE JUST AND UNJUST.” Daniel 12:2 says, “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, SOME TO EVERLASTING LIFE, and SOME TO SHAME and everlasting contempt.” John 5:28,29 says, “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto THE RESURRECTION OF LIFE; and they that have done evil, unto THE RESURRECTION OF DAMNATION.” When an unsaved person dies, it will not be the last time. That person will be physically resurrected and cast into the lake of fire. May it move us to reach them before they suffer such things.
Jesus had to die if He was to pay the penalty for our sin, because that was the wages that were required. I Corinthians 15:3 says, “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS according to the scriptures.” Romans 5:8 says, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, CHRIST DIED FOR US.”
As to why Jesus had to suffer, many Scriptures refer to that. Luke 24:44-46 says, “And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that ALL THINGS MUST BE FULFILLED, WHICH WERE WRITTEN in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand THE SCRIPTURES, And said unto them, THUS IT IS WRITTEN, AND THUS IT BEHOVED CHRIST TO SUFFER, and to rise from the dead the third day.”
Very simply, Jesus had to suffer to fulfill the Scriptures. If that was the only reason, then that was reason enough. Christians do not place enough emphasis on obeying the Scriptures today. Many people who claim the name of Christ have never even read through the Bible one time. They treat it like the “fine print” in documents. They expect the lawyer to read through it all for them in legal matters. They expect the Realtor to read through it all in land and house sales and purchases. They expect the banker to read through it all in mortgages. People just seem to think that they cannot understand such important documents, so they do not even try.
The same plight exists in the church to a great extent. People hear the preacher say, “The scholars say that this word would be better translated…” or “Experts agree that the latter half of this verse should not be here…” It has the average person thinking that you need a master’s degree in Bible to understand it. What the average Christian really needs to do is just READ IT. II Timothy 2:15 says, “STUDY to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, RIGHTLY DIVIDING the word of truth.”
A Christian should never blindly follow someone who is teaching the Bible. That does not mean that they should go to church with a negative attitude trying to pick apart the Sunday School teacher’s lesson or the preacher’s message, BUT IT MEANS THAT THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE TO READ THE FINE PRINT. Acts 17:11 says, “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that THEY RECEIVED THE WORD WITH ALL READINESS OF MIND, AND SEARCHED THE SCRIPTURES DAILY, WHETHER THOSE THINGS WERE SO.”
It is highly unlikely that a person can research everything that the Preacher and Sunday School Teacher say on Sunday morning, during Sunday afternoon; and it is unlikely that the Christian can research the whole Sunday evening message after church that night. Notice what that Scripture says, “SEARCHED THE SCRIPTURES DAILY, WHETHER THOSE THINGS WERE SO.” In other words, FROM A DAILY READING of the Scriptures, people will understand whether they are being taught the truth or not, because they will come across verses that either CONFIRM or else REFUTE what was taught and said.
As to why Jesus suffered, it was to fulfill what the Scripture said that He must fulfill. Matthew 26:51-54 says, “And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest’s, and smote off his ear. Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. THINKEST THOU THAT I CANNOT NOW PRAY TO MY FATHER, AND HE SHALL PRESENTLY GIVE ME MORE THAN TWELVE LEGIONS OF ANGELS? BUT HOW THEN SHALL THE SCRIPTURES BE FULFILLED, THAT THUS IT MUST BE?” Oh, that we were willing to show such obedience to the Scriptures today, even though it might bring personal suffering or loss.
As to the necessity of the blood being shed for our sins, Leviticus 17:11 says, “For THE LIFE OF THE FLESH IS IN THE BLOOD: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for IT IS THE BLOOD THAT MAKETH AN ATONEMENT FOR THE SOUL.”
Man has taken great strides in the medical realm, by the grace of God. He can replace a faulty hip joint with stainless steel and plastic parts. He can correct some eye problems with laser surgery. He can treat and help many diseases. But there is one thing that man cannot do — give life. The Bible tells us that “THE LIFE OF THE FLESH IS IN THE BLOOD.”
You will notice that hospitals and blood banks still plead for blood donors on a regular basis. If you have a problem and need blood, then someone else’s blood must be found to give to you. Man has not come up with an artificial substitute for blood — and he never will. The life of the flesh is in the blood. If man could create an artificial blood, then man could create life, but only God can give life.
Remember, “the wages of sin is death.” That, then, would require the shedding of blood, because the life of the flesh is in the blood. So Jesus had to shed His blood for our sins, if we were to be saved.
While Jesus and the two thieves hung there on the crosses, the soldiers were dispatched to hasten the death of the men on the crosses. John 19:31-37 says, “The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, THEY BRAKE NOT HIS LEGS: BUT ONE OF THE SOLDIERS WITH A SPEAR PIERCED HIS SIDE, AND FORTHWITH CAME THERE OUT BLOOD AND WATER. And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.” (Notice the importance, once again, on fulfilling the Scriptures.)
This incident proves that Jesus was indeed dead. When a person dies, the blood is no longer pumped and circulated through the body, and it begins to separate into its basic parts — one of which is water. Jesus was dead, and His blood had separated into those parts. This proves that He did not just pass out on the cross, and later revive in the coolness of the tomb three days later. He had indeed died and given His blood for our sins, because His blood had separated — the life of the flesh was gone from His physical body.
Jesus had given His pure, innocent, perfect, blood for our sins. I Peter 2:24 says, “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree…” I John 1:7 says, “…THE BLOOD of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” Ephesians 1:7 says, “In whom we have redemption through HIS BLOOD, the forgiveness of sins…” Revelation 1:5 says, “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in HIS OWN BLOOD.”
Teach your class the importance of the blood of Jesus Christ, which was shed for our sins. Teach your class the importance of obeying the Word of God. If you can encourage them to be daily Bible readers, then you will be an instrument whereby they will learn many new things, and will be kept from being led away into error.