Why Did Jesus Have to Die? (The Gospel: Part 2)

Why Did Jesus Have to Die? (The Gospel: Part 2) [TRANSCRIPT]

The Bible says in Romans 1:16:
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek."
 
Again, the Bible in 1 Corinthians 1:18 says,
"For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."

Later on, 1 Corinthians 1:23 it says,
"but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block, and to Gentiles, foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God."

Romans 6:23 says,
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gracious gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

And then in John 3:16-18 the Bible says this,
"For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. Anyone who believes in Him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the One and Only Son of God."

These Scripture verses speak to one thing in particular, the Salvation offered by God through Jesus Christ. That salvation has come through Jesus dying on a cross for our sins.

Jesus died for our sins? “Why?” Someone may say. Why did He have to die? How does His dying on a cross pay for our sins?

Let’s look at why this Truth Matters.

This is the second part of Truth Matters dealing with the subject of the Gospel, the story of Jesus. As I mentioned earlier last week, this Gospel, this story of Jesus is in fact the culmination of God’s work to rescue humanity. All of history before His coming and everything that happens afterwards draws significance from what He has done in this story, this Gospel.

Last week we looked at the question of why Jesus came. He came to save sinners, that’s us.

He showed us the way to God. He Himself provides that way.

The Scriptures that I read earlier tell us that the means of that salvation came through His dying on the cross. That brings us to the second question I said that we’d look at, “Why did Jesus have to die.

I mean, of all the ways that God could have rescued us, why did He have to do like that?

The answer to that question is important.

And the truth behind that answer matters. That’s why we’re looking at it.

Let’s look at the Scripture I have selected to look at this question. I read them earlier.

Paul in Romans 1:16 says it like this,
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek."

Paul is saying, listen, I’m not ashamed, I’m not hesitant to tell the story of Jesus and His salvation. God wants to rescue us and this is God’s way that He saves us. His ability, His power to do this is in this manner. And it’s for everyone to believes in. To the Jews and also the Greek. In a bit we’ll look at these two groups or categories. But trusting in God’s way and ability to rescue us in this way is available for everyone who believes in what God has done through Jesus.

Now, Paul mentioned the Jews and the Greeks. These were the two primary audiences that Paul dealt with in his time. In our context though, these also represent of two examples or two groups which are very much alive in our day.

In Romans 1:23 Paul says, “but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block, and to Gentiles, foolishness.” Paul said that he wasn’t ashamed of the message of Jesus, this message of His dying on the cross. This is how God is saved those who believe. But when certain people hear this message of the cross, they react differently.

You see, the Jews hear the message of the cross and they stumble over it he says. The Greeks hear it and think it foolishness. What is Paul describing here?

Well, let me describe it like this. You see, the Jews had it all figured out how and how to do religion. They had taken the commands of God and worked it all out a formula. Do certain things, and it’s all right between you and God.

The Jews represent the Religion way to God. Whether it’s talking about organized religion or self-styled religion, it turns out the same. You have a set of do’s and don’ts and as long as you follow them you’re Ok with God. It basically comes done doing something. Your works, your life performances have the ability on their own to make it Ok between you and God.

One writer put it this way.
"Whenever people think of God, a god or God to whom they are accountable, because usually they are prepared to entertain the notion of God, a divinity, they immediately assume that God will be good, good in a way that they’re not good. And so, they’re aware of this fact that somehow or another they have to close the gap between where they are and where that God is. And so routinely what we do is that they seek a way to manage this gap, try to fix the situation by our own efforts and by their own offerings."

This is what religions always attempts to do, to fix and manage the problem. And then along comes Jesus and He reveals that we can’t fix it on our own. It has to be fixed but the only person who can fix it is Him. And He does this by offering Himself as a payment for our offenses. He dies to reconcile the dilemma of our sins that we create. He offers us a free gift which cannot be substituted by anything we do. It’s Him and only Him. And the religionists they stumble over this.

Then there are the Greeks. They hear the Gospel of salvation through Jesus dying on the cross and they scoff. I mean, such a person listens to that idea and it’s foolishness to them. They say, “Really, what does some man dying on a cross 2,000 years ago have anything to do with me. I mean that’s nonsense. It doesn’t make any sense at all.” And what they say begs the question, “Why did Jesus have to die?

But this is exactly the way that God has chosen to accomplish rescue, our salvation. It sounds foolish to some, but in fact it is the means that fixes the problem.

And what’s the problem? I talked about it last week. We are sinners, everyone of us. I read it to you earlier in Romans “The wages of sin is death.” That’s a problem.

There’s a short story that I often told or tell that describes our problem and answers the question of why Jesus had to die. I don’t have time to cover it here, but let me invite you to go on my You Tube channel and watch it. It’s called the Story of George. I have shared this Story of George in cultures all around the globe and everywhere I’ve shared it, people understand the point the story makes and how it applies to them and to us all. The Story of George. Look it up.
 
But for now, let me illustrate it with what I call the four realities. What’s interesting about these four realities is that people sometimes use them as arguments against God.

The first reality is the Reality of Evil.  Some people will say as an argument against God, “Listen, if God is so good, why is there so much EVIL in the world?” You’ve probably heard that? That question is openly admitting of the reality of the existence of evil. It’s all around us. We see. We read about it in the News. We see it everywhere. It saddens us, it angers us. There’s no denying it. Evil exits.
Now, this reality of Evil is inevitably, mathematically demands what I call the second Reality – Justice. You see, you can even see it in the child. A little brother takes away a toy and immediately he runs to Momma and he pleads for her to fix it. “Momma, Billy took my toy.” And he wants something to be done about it. We see evil occur and it raises within us a stirring, something needs to be done. This is wrong and somebody needs to be made right. For instance, we watch a movie and the arch villain in the movie terrible and evil things. We don’t want them arrested and put on trial. NO. No we want him to get it We want them to be punished. We want Justice.

But then everything changes when we are the offender. When we are the ones who have done the wrong, we turn to a third reality. That Reality is Love. We sense our guilt and then it’s not Justice we demand. We have a sense guilt and we say, “Well God is love. How could He punish us? How could there be a hell? I may be guilty, but I’m not that bad. God is Love, so how can he punish me?
And just as Evil demands Justice, Love cries out for the fourth reality, Mercy. The guilty want, need, desire mercy.

But here’s the problem. How do you reconcile the demand for Justice and the need for Mercy? We’re Guilty and the guilty deserve punishment, Justice. But God is Love and love exercises Mercy. How do you reconcile Justice and Mercy? If God executes Justice, since we’re guilty, He shows no Mercy. But if He shows Mercy, He does it at the expense of Justice. How do reconcile these?

Well, here’s the answer. God reconciled it in this way. He displayed His Mercy, but not at the expense of Justice. He did it through Justice. That Justice was on the Cross. Jesus died as the justice payment for our sins, satisfying both Justice and displaying God’s Mercy. So that anyone who believes and accepts what Jesus did on the cross could have forgiveness.

Jesus said it in this way in John 3:16-18,
"For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. Anyone who believes in Him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the One and Only Son of God."

The Son of God who was sent to save us. You see, we’re guilty already. No amount of good works can change the reality that we are guilty or it can’t make us innocent. And because we are guilty, the payment for that guilt is death. But we can be forgiven. It is a gift from God. You can’t earn it. Jesus purchased that forgiveness on the cross. Only there can we find forgiveness.

For those of us who have received this gift from God, we know it’s true. We know it’s real. Our sins are forgiven through Jesus.

But, maybe that’s not you though. Maybe you believe you can pay your own way to heaven. You believe that you can somehow make it Ok between you and God by what you do.

Truth is, you’re guilty. I’m guilty. You’re guilty. I don’t know what you’re guilty of, but I know you’re guilty. No use hiding or denying it. You can’t say you’re innocent. God doesn’t say it. That’s the truth. And Truth Matters.

So, what are you going to do?

You want to be rescued?

Maybe it’s time for the truth. The truth about you and the Truth about God.

One song writer said it this way…
Some people don't find out till it's too late, that someone has to pay the price.
You can pay it yourself or let someone else. But who would be that nice,
to pay a debt that isn't His.
Well, I know someone like that.
And He's your best friend, He really is. He really loves you.
Most people don't find out till they're half dead, that they need another life.
You say you've heard everything that's ever been said, about the Way, the Truth, the Life.
You say you've heard lots of preaching before, so many times.
But did you ever open your door?
Give Him a chance, to prove Himself. Well, He's real, you know.
I hope you find out before it's too late, that there's really nobody else.
You know it's breaking His heart the longer you wait.
'Cause you've only been lying to yourself.
'Cause no one believes a thing you say. Not even you.
You know you're gonna find out that He's the way, no matter which way you choose. But I pray you find out by His love for you.

Maybe it’s time for the truth.

The Bible says, “AND IT SHALL BE THAT EVERYONE WHO CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.” Acts 2:21

Rescued by God.

Maybe it’s time for you to call on the name of the Lord and be rescued. There’s no magic formula. It’s just a simple, honest, truthful conversation with God. The truth.

The truth is, you’re a sinner and you need a Savior. He is that, Savior. Call upon Him.

The truth is, we need forgiveness. His death on the cross provides that forgiveness. You need to ask Him to forgive you based on what He did, not anything else.

The truth is, He saves those who call on Him and trust in Him to save them.

You need to talk to Him, honestly, truthfully. He’s as close as the mention of His name.

What else can I say. It’s the Truth.
And the Truth Matters.

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