Study 8 THE SIGNIFICANCE OF HIS DEATH
THE PERSON AND WORK OF CHRIST
by Francis Dixon
Scripture Portion: John 19:16-37
In this study we are to consider what to every Bible-loving, born again, saved person is the most precious of all themes - the death of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; and we are to pay particular attention to the unique nature and the special significance of His death. That He died is an historic fact; but there are many views, ideas, interpretations and theories as to why He died, and yet how wonderfully explicit the scriptures are! We cannot pretend to comprehend fully the deep significance of the death of the Lord Jesus upon Calvary’s cross, but we can believe that He died for us and we can rejoice in the blessings which are ours by virtue of that unique and saving death. One verse of one of our most popular hymns is helpful in this connection. Meditate upon it:
“He died that we might be forgiven, … This gives us PARDON for the past
He died to make us good; … This gives us POWER for the present
That we might go at last to Heaven, …This gives us PROSPECT for the future
Saved by His precious blood.” … Look up 1 Peter 1:17-21
This is deep theology, and yet it is so simple and clear that even a child can understand the fact that our Lord Jesus Christ died and shed His precious blood to save us all. Look up and prayerfully study the following references:
- (1) Isaiah 53:5-6.
- (2) John 1:29.
- (3) John 3:14.
- (4) John 10:18.
- (5) Romans 5:6,10
- (6) 1 Corinthians 15:3.
- (7) 2 Corinthians 5:21.
- (8) Galatians 3:13.
- (9) Hebrews 9:26.
- (10) 1 Peter 3:18.
These scriptures (and many others) summarise the teaching of the Word of God concerning the death of the Lord Jesus; and it is clear from these references that His death was unique and that it was deeply significant. Now notice the following:
The death of the Lord Jesus was:
- (1) Predetermined in eternity - look up Acts 4:26-28; 1 Peter 1:19-20 and Revelation 13:8.
- (2) Predicted in the Old Testament - look up Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 53; Luke 24:25-27 and Acts 10:43.
- (3) Pictured in the types - look up Genesis 22 and Exodus 12.
- (4) Prominent in the Gospels - look up Matthew 27:45-50; Mark 15:33-41; Luke 23:44-49 and John 19:30-37.
- (5) Predominant in the Epistles - look up Romans 5:6; 1 Corinthians 1:23; Galatians 1:4; Hebrews 9:26 and 1 Peter 2:21-24.
- (6) The Principal Theme in Heaven - look up Revelation 1:5-7 and Revelation 5:6-12.
- (7) The Permanent Theme-song of the ages - look up Revelation 5:9-12.
But let us ask the all-important question: Why did the Lord Jesus die? This must be answered negatively and positively.
- (1) He did not die a suicide’s death - look up Isaiah 53:8.
- (2) He did not die of old age, accident or disease - look up John 10:18.
- (3) He did not die as a political hero - look up Luke 24:21.
- (4) He did not die simply as an example - look up John 15:13.
- (5) He did not die simply as a martyr - look up Acts 7:54-60.
- (6) He did not die simply to show God’s love - look up Romans 5:8.
- (7) He did not die because He was a criminal - look up Luke 23:4.
Here are five very important truths in connection with our Saviour’s death:
1. The Lord Jesus came into the world to die
His death was a necessity (Hebrews 9:22). Moreover, He knew He had come to die (Matthew 16:21; Matthew 17:12; Luke 9:51; John 3:14 and John 10:11). These scriptures make this quite clear. He was not, as has been blasphemously suggested, ’surprised and disappointed when He found He must die!’ It was planned in eternity past that He should come into the world to die for us - look up Revelation 13:8 again!
2. The Lord Jesus died willingly, voluntarily
As the sinless One, there was no cause of death in Himself. See what John 10:18 and Matthew 26:53 say. See also Psalm 40:8; Mark 14:41; Luke 22:53; John 7:30 and John 8:20. He voluntarily laid down His life for us because it was the will of His Father that He should do so and because He loved us so much!
3. The Lord Jesus died as a sacrifice for sin, to put away sin
How clear the scriptures are! Look up and meditate upon Isaiah 53:5-6; John 1:29; 1 Corinthians 15:3; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 9:26 and 1 Peter 2:24. Why did He die? He died to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
4. The Lord Jesus died as our Substitute, bearing our penalty
Yes, ”we believe it was for us He hung and suffered there”. He died instead of us, in our place, and He bore the punishment which was due to us - look up Isaiah 53:5; John 10:11 and 1 Peter 3:18. Thus we see why God has not dealt with us after our sins (Psalm 103:10). He has fully, finally and justly dealt with our sin (and our sins) in the Person and through the sacrificial death of His Son. So the innocent victim took the place of the guilty sinner and bore away his sin in His body on the tree (1 Peter 2:24). It is by believing this great fact - look up Acts 16:30-31; and accepting this loving Saviour - look up John 1:12; that I am saved and able to say, ‘He loved me, and gave Himself for me’ - look up Galatians 2:20.
5. The Death of the Lord Jesus was victorious
At Calvary He provided salvation for all mankind - look up John 3:16 and 1 John 2:2. His death is sufficient for all, but it is efficient only for those who believe. His death was victorious in that He rose again, and thereby demonstrated that all the claims of divine justice had been met by His death and that salvation had been procured for all who would believe - look up John 9:35.
Do you believe? Can you say, ‘It is enough that Jesus died, and that he died for me’?