Born to die

306 born to dieThe Christian faith proclaims the message that in due time the Son of God became flesh in a predetermined place and lived among us human beings. Jesus was of such a remarkable personality that some even questioned his humanity as such. However, the Bible emphasizes again and again that God Himself in the flesh, born of a woman, was indeed human, so in every respect apart from our sinfulness (Joh 1,14, Gal 4,4, Phil 2,7, Hebr 2,17). He was actually human. The Incarnation of Jesus Christ is usually celebrated with Christmas, even if it actually started with Mary's pregnancy, according to the traditional calendar on the 25. March, the Feast of the Annunciation (formerly called the Feast of the Incarnation or Incarnation of God).

Christ the crucified

As important as the conception and birth of Jesus may be, in our belief, they are not at the forefront of the message of faith that we carry into the world. When Paul preached in Corinth, he proclaimed a far more provocative message: that of the crucified Christ (1Kor 1,23).

The Greco-Roman world knew many stories of deities born, but no one ever heard of a crucified one. It was grotesque - something akin to granting people salvation if they believed only in an executed criminal. But how should it be possible to be saved by a criminal?

But that was the crucial point - the son of God suffered like a criminal the ignominious death on the cross and only then through the resurrection the glory again. Peter declared to the high council, "The God of our fathers raised Jesus ... He raised him by his right hand to become prince and savior to give repentance and remission of sins to Israel" (Acts 5,30-31). Jesus rose from the dead and was exalted to redeem our sins.

However, Peter did not fail to respond to the embarrassing part of the story: "... you hanged and killed the wood." The term "wood" has undoubtedly reminded Jewish leaders of the words in 5Mo 21,23: " A hanged man is cursed with God. "

Geez! Why did Peter have to raise this? He did not try to circumvent the socio-political cliff, but consciously included this aspect. His message was not only that Jesus died, but in that dishonorable way. This was not just part of the message, it was even their key message. When Paul preached in Corinth, he wanted to know as the central concern of his proclamation not only the death of Christ as such, but his death on the cross (1Kor 1,23).

In Galatia, he obviously used a particularly clear form of expression: "... whom Jesus Christ was painted before the eyes as the crucified one" (Gal 3,1). Why did Paul have to emphasize so dreadfully a death that Scripture saw as a sure sign of God's cursing?

Was that necessary?

Why had Jesus ever suffered such a terrible death? Paul had probably spent a long time studying this question thoroughly. He had seen the risen Christ and knew that God had sent the Messiah in this same person. But why should God let those anointed die of a death that the Holy Scripture sees as cursing? (Likewise, Muslims do not believe that Jesus was crucified, in their eyes he was a prophet, and God would hardly ever have allowed such a thing to happen to him.) They claim that someone else is crucified instead of Jesus Service.)

And indeed Jesus also prayed in the garden of Gethsemane that there might be another way for him, but there was none. Herod and Pilate only did what God had "foresaw that it should happen" - that he should be put to death in this cursed manner (Acts 4,28, Zurich Bible).

Why? Because Jesus died for us - for our sins - and a curse on us because of our sinfulness. Even our little transgressions, in their reprehensibility before God, are like a crucifixion. All humanity is under a curse because it is guilty of sin. But the good news, the Gospel, promises, "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, since he became a curse for us" (Gal 3,13). Jesus was crucified for each one of us. He incurred the pain and shame that we deserved to wear.

Other analogies

However, this is not the only analogy that the Bible points out to us, and Paul addresses this particular point of view only in one of his letters. More often, he simply says that Jesus "died for us". At first glance, the phrase chosen here merely looks like a simple exchange: We deserved death, Jesus offered to voluntarily die for us, and thus we are spared this.

But it's not that easy. For one thing, we humans are still dying. And from another point of view, we die with Christ (Rom 6,3-5). According to this analogy, Jesus' death was both representative of us (he died on our behalf) and participatory (ie, we share in his death by dying with him); Which makes it pretty clear what is important: We are redeemed through the crucifixion of Jesus, so we can be saved solely through the cross of Christ.

Another analogy chosen by Jesus Himself draws ransom as a comparison: "... the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many" (Mk 10,45) as if we had been held captive by an enemy and Jesus' death assured us freedom.

Paul makes a similar comparison by saying that we have been ransomed. This term may remind some readers of the slave market, others perhaps also of the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. Slaves could be ransomed from slavery, and so God also freely purchased the people of Israel from Egypt. By sending his son, our Heavenly Father bought us dearly. He took the punishment for our sins.

In Colossians 2,15 another picture is used for comparison: "... he completely disarmed the powers and powers and publicly displayed them. In him [in the cross] he held the triumph over them "(Elberfelder Bibel). The picture drawn here represents a victory parade: The victorious military leader brings the disarmed, humiliated prisoners in chains into the city. This passage in Colossians makes it clear that Jesus Christ, through his crucifixion, has broken the power of all his enemies and taken victory for us.

The Bible conveys to us the message of salvation in pictures and not in the form of firmly established, immutable beliefs. For example, Jesus' sacrificial death is ours instead of just one of many images of which the Holy Scriptures make use of to make the crucial point clear. Just as sin is described in many ways, Jesus' work to redeem our sins can be presented differently. If we regard sin as breaking the law, we can recognize in the crucifixion an act of punishment performed in our place. If we regard them as violations of God's holiness, we see in Jesus the atoning sacrifice. When it pollutes us, the blood of Jesus washes us clean. If we subjugate ourselves, Jesus is our Savior, our victorious liberator. Wherever she sows enmity, Jesus brings reconciliation. If we see in it a sign of ignorance or stupidity, it is Jesus who gives us enlightenment and wisdom. All these pictures are a help to us.

Does God's anger appease?

Godlessness calls forth God's wrath, and it will be a "day of wrath" on which He judges the world (Rom 1,18, 2,5). Those who "disobey the truth" will be punished (verse 8). God loves people and would rather see them change, but he punishes them if they stubbornly resist him. Who closes himself to the truth of God's love and grace, will receive his punishment.

Unlike a wrathful person who needs to be soothed before he can calm down, he loves us and made us forgive our sins. So they were not simply wiped out, but transmitted to Jesus with real consequences. "He made the one who knew no sin a sin for us" (2Kor 5,21, Zurich Bible). Jesus became a curse for us, he became a sin for us. Just as our sins were transferred to Him, so His righteousness passed to us, "that in Him we might become the righteousness of God" (verse itself). God has given us justice.

The revelation of God's righteousness

The gospel reveals the righteousness of God - that he lets justice be done to forgive us instead of condemning us (Rom 1,17). He does not ignore our sins, but takes care of them with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The cross is a sign of both the righteousness of God (Rom 3,25-26) and his love (5,8). It stands for justice, because it adequately reflects the punishment of sin through death, but at the same time for love, because the forgiver readily embraces pain.

Jesus paid the price for our sins - the personal prize in the form of pain and shame. He achieved reconciliation (the restoration of a personal community) through the cross (Kol 1,20). Even when we were still enemies, he died for us (Rom 5,8).
Justice is more than law-abiding. The Good Samaritan obeyed no law requiring him to help the wounded, but he acted right by helping.

If we have the power to save a drowning man, we should not hesitate to do it. And so it was in the power of God to save a sin-ravaged world, and he did so by sending Jesus Christ. "... he is the atonement for our sins, not only for ours, but also for the whole world" (1Joh 2,2). He died for all of us, and he did it even when we were still sinners.

By faith

God's mercy to us is a sign of His righteousness. He acts righteously by conferring justice on us, even though we are sinners. Why? Because he made Christ our righteousness (1Kor 1,30). Being united with Christ, our sins pass to Him, and we attain His righteousness. So we do not have our righteousness out of ourselves, but it comes from God and comes to us through our faith (Phil 3,9).

"But I'm talking about the righteousness of God that comes from believing in Jesus Christ to all who believe. For there is no difference here: they are all sinners and lack the glory they should have with God, and do justice without merit from their grace through the salvation that has been done through Christ Jesus. God has set this up for the faith as atonement in his blood for the proof of his righteousness, by forgiving the sins that were committed earlier in the time of his patience, to render his righteousness in this time, that he is righteous and just make him who is there out of faith in Jesus "(Rom 3,22-26).

Jesus' Atonement was for everyone, but only those who believe in Him receive the blessings that come with it. Only those who accept the truth can experience the grace. With this we acknowledge his death as ours (as the death we have suffered in ours in which we participate); and, like his punishment, we also acknowledge his victory and resurrection as ours. So God is true to himself - is merciful and just. Sin is overlooked as well as sinners themselves. God's mercy triumphs over judgment (Yak Xnumx).

Through the cross, Christ reconciled the whole world (2Kor 5,19). Yes, through the cross, the whole universe is reconciled with God (Kol 1,20). The whole of creation is given salvation because of what Jesus did! Does that really transcend everything we associate with the term salvation, does it?

Born to die

The point is that we are redeemed through the death of Jesus Christ. Yes, that's the reason he became flesh. To bring us to glory, God liked Jesus to suffer and die (Hebr 2,10). Because he wanted to redeem us, he became like us; because only by dying for us, he could save us.

"Now because the children of flesh and blood are, he too has received it equally, that by his death he might take the power of those who had authority over death, the devil, and those who were redeemed by fear of death as a whole Life servants had to be "(2,14-15). By God's grace, Jesus suffered death for each one of us (2,9). "Christ once suffered for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God ..." (1Petr 3,18).

The Bible gives us many opportunities to reflect on what Jesus did for us on the cross. We certainly do not understand in great detail how everything is "related", but we accept that it is so. Because he died, we can share eternal life with God in joy.

Finally, I would like to take up another aspect of the cross - that of the model:
"In it appeared the love of God among us, that God has sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we may live by him. That is the love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to atone for our sins. Dear Ones, God has loved us so much so we should also love one another "(1Joh 4,9-11).

by Joseph Tkach

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