Why Was Christ Crucified?

apr06Continuing on with this month’s theme, I need to explain why Christ was crucified. Jesus himself explained why in John 3:16 (KJV). “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

From the beginning, God’s plan of salvation called for his son to be the substitute to take the punishment of those who would put their lives in his hands. He promised this way back in Genesis 3:15. The King James Version reads, “And I (God) will put enmity between thee (Satan) and the woman, (Eve) and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” This “seed” is none other than Jesus Christ. The “him” in that passage is the Devil.
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Isaiah 53:5 (KJV)foretold Christ’s atoning work.  “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”

Furthermore, Jesus was no hapless victim, as some folks believe but a willing saviour who died and rose to save his followers. John 10:18 (KJV) reads, “No man taketh it 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 commandment have I received of my Father.”

Being human as well as divine, Jesus still had his qualms about being our spiritual whipping boy. John 12:27 (KJV) records him as saying, “Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour:’ but for this cause came I unto this hour.”

Jesus could have easily chickened out but he staid the course. John 18:37 (KJV) describes how he was resolute in his purpose. “Pilate therefore said unto him, ‘Art thou a king then?’ Jesus answered, ‘Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.'”

Christ knew what his sacrifice would eventually accomplish. Hebrews 12:2 (KJV) explains, “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 is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

In addition to having all power and authority in heaven and earth, Christ is our go-between, advocating our case to his heavenly Father. As Hebrews 9:15 (KJV) explains, “And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.”

Additionally, Christ always had the long view in mind. 1 Corinthians 15:28 (KJV) shows this when Paul wrote, “And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.”
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What an awesome truth this is! From before creation, the Trinity agreed on this mighty plan to provide Christ a gift, meaning those who would believe in him, so he could lay us at the Father’s feet as a token of his love.

I hope to write much more on this mind-boggling rescue mission and gift of love in a book called You Think You’re Going to Heaven? If people could have even a glimpse of how comprehensive the Lord’s plan is, it would astonish them and even cause them to surrender to Christ’s will.

Why Does God Hold Me Guilty of Adam and Eve’s Sin?

jan12Because I wrote in my previous post that one’s salvation doesn’t depend on the righteousness of one’s parents and that we all are responsible for our eternal destiny, why are we punished as a result of what Adam and Eve did? It seems unfair that we have to suffer for the gullibility of our race’s progenitors.

I liken our fallen nature to a corrupted operating system. The writer of the program wrote it perfectly but a hacker inserted bad code into it. Every copy of that program contains the virus and it passes on from one copy to the next.
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So it is with sin. Adam was responsible as the head of humanity but he went along with Eve in disobeying God’s only commandment to them. Consequently, Satan’s rebellion is an integral part of our characters. As we have children and grandchildren, this virus of disobedience transfers itself to our offspring.

But God didn’t abandon us in our fallen condition. Look at what Genesis 3:15 (KJV) says. “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” This shows that a saviour will come from a woman who will defeat Satan, though it will cost him his life.
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This, by the way, is why Christmas and Easter are such special occasions to those of us who love and obey Christ. He fulfilled all the prophecies regarding his birth, life, death, and resurrection.

The sin virus is still in those who believe in Christ but it’s being dealt with by the antivirus program of sanctification. Check out what the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:45 (KJV). “And so it is written, ‘The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.'” So are all of those folks who place their trust made eternally alive, though the sin virus trips us up at times.

I’ll be writing more about this in my next book called You Think You’re Going to Heaven? Far too many people assume that their parents’ faith  somehow makes them God’s children. I hope Christ will rescue some readers through my writing.

Why is Christ’s Birth Like Apollo 11’s Launch?

dec15I realize that this sounds like a strange comparison. Even so, the Birth of Jesus is like the launching of three American astronauts to the moon and back.

Firstly, both were promised beforehand. President John F. Kennedy declared America’s intention to land a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s.

The Old Testament is filled with God’s promises to send a messiah to save those who believe in him. The first mention of the “seed” who would be born as messiah was in Genesis 3:15 (KJV) Where God said to Satan in picturesque language, “And I will put enmity between thee and the  woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy  head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” The Word “his” indicates a single person, namely Jesus.
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As Matthew 1:21 (KJV) reads, “And she(Mary)  shall bring forth a son, and thou (Joseph) shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”

What we call Christmas is only the beginning of Jesus’ mission to save humanity from eternal damnation. He did so in part by fulfilling the law through living a perfect life for thirty-three years. As Hebrews 4:15 (KJV) explains, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”
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Furthermore, Jesus knew that he was sent to die for whosoever repents and believes in him. As Mark 8:31 (KJV) reads, “And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.”

Just as Jesus completed his mission on earth, so the Apollo 11 astronauts blasted off, landed on the moon, and returned safely. As the launch of the rocket started that historic voyage, Christmas is only the beginning of the greatest mission in history.
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I greatly hope that readers of my blog have yielded their lives to Christ. God’s Word says that the only other destination for souls after death is hell. This is why I feel constrained to write my book called You Think You’re Going to Heaven? Far too many people assume that most everybody goes to heaven when the truth is that most won’t.