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<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - Apr. 11, 2009

  • 2009 Apr 11

Why Did Christ Die?

God's Word captures many amazing, miraculous and profound events, but none are more precious than the marvelous record of Christ's Resurrection.. All other words spoken, deeds done, promises made by Jesus and His Apostles are secondary to this the greatest event of all—Christ's Resurrection from the dead! 

Without the resurrection, Christianity is like all the other false religions—all promises and no power. With Christ's bodily resurrection Christianity and its God are the absolute truth to believe and the absolute power to live! 


It all comes down to death. Death is the greatest enemy, and has overpowered everything in the world except one man named Jesus Christ. No matter how wealthy or wise, no matter how strong or smart none can elude the onslaught of death. No wealth can buy endless life, no strength can keep endless life, and no wisdom can unlock endless life. Death always comes and the bodies of all eventually turn to dust. 

Man is not alone in the losing struggle with death. All animals and plants no matter what their size or habitat eventually die. Even entire species succumb to extinction. Man's cities, civilizations, and all their monuments spring up, flourish, decline and eventually fade away. Even the universe as vast and incomprehensible as it may seem—is running down and would face an ultimate "heat death" if God did not step in as He promises He shall, and make all things new. 

Humanity is suffering under the dreadful curse the Bible calls the “bondage of corruption” and every part of the physical universe is awaiting liberation by God.

  • Romans 8:21-22 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. NKJV 

Because death has smitten all who ever lived, Christ's conquest of death sets Him apart from all others. Every religious leader except Christ merely died, none rose again--not Buddha, Mohammed, Zoroaster, Confucius, Caesar, or Marx. They died and their bodies stayed in the grave; any human who made a profound impact on the world in one way or another--died. 

But Jesus Christ is alive!  

It is true that He died and was buried, in common with all other men, but unlike other men He returned from Hades, resurrected His own dead body, made it henceforth immortal, and emerged from the tomb, alive forevermore!  

This was the greatest of all miracles, and could have been accomplished only if Jesus indeed is God, as He had claimed to be.”

So we must never underestimate the importance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  


The world believes that Jesus died, but the world does not believe that He arose from the dead. Even in the church there is often a lack of genuine hope because of mere historic assent to the facts. Take the test that the Bible offers to us. Sort out the truth you cling to. There is only one hope of eternal life and that is saving faith.  

  • Historical faith says, “Christ lives!” 
  • Saving faith says, “Christ lives in me!” 

Which one describes you? Do you have saving faith? 

So Jesus Rose Again, most of us here are absolutely convinced of that.  

But there is another vital truth that Resurrection Sunday makes us ponder, and that is Christ's death on the cross. We could reduce Christ's death to seven words: forgiveness. justification! regeneration! reconciliation! adoption! redemption! sanctification 

And what do those seven truths accomplish? We could say that Christ's death for us gives to us His-- 

  • forgiveness. A Sinner stands before God as a debtor and that debt is forgotten by His payment. Have you experienced the relief of knowing that all your sins, everyone of them—past, present, and future, are GONE?
  • justification! A Sinner stands before God as accused and is declared righteous by His imputed righteousness. Have you experienced the peace of justification, all guilt removed, all punishment forever taken away from God’s sight?
  • regeneration! Have you experienced the power of an endless life, and every day partaking of the powerful presence within of the very Lord God Almighty?
  • reconciliation! A Sinner stands before God as an enemy and is made a friend  by His peace. Have you experienced the wonder of friendship with God?
  • adoption! A Sinner stands before God as a stranger and is called a Son by His choice. Have you experienced the joy of being adopted into Christ's family?
  • redemption! A Sinner stands before God as a slave and is granted freedom by His ransom. Have you experienced the thrill of being liberated, set free, rescued by God forever?
  • sanctification!  So Christ died to take our soiled and spotted lives that always get wasted and make them clean, focused and fruitful 

Why did Jesus have to die?  

That is the most important question each of us must consider this Easter season. The simple answer is—for sin. Now most humans do not consider themselves very bad sinners or even sinners at all.  

Because we are in God’s sight all sinners going our own way. We are so unlike God, so distant, so bad, so lost, and so evil. Someone has used a comparison to help us see why. Though none of us would ever think of ourselves as bad as Hitler, he stands in for a picture of us all.  

Listen to this contrast between all that man can do in all his power and what Christ did in all His weakness— 

Adolf Hitler spilled the blood of millions for his own sake.  Jesus Christ shed his own blood for the sake of millions.  Hitler set himself up as a god and the masses succumbed.  Jesus Christ was God in the form of lowly man.  Hitler created a living hell for the masses.  Jesus endured hell to save the masses.  Hitler’s name is synonymous with power, evil, and genocide.  Jesus’ name with love, peace, and life. 

So the answer for why Jesus had to die is that we all were sinners and that is what Christ's death was for, sin. 

  • Why would God the innocent die for me the guilty?
  • Why would God the offended die for me to offender?
  • Why would God the Holy die for me the sinful?
  • Why would God the Just die for me the unjust? 

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