Why Did Jesus Christ Shed His Blood And Die – Spiritual Reading.
1. First of all, the Bible distinctly and repeatedly tells us by direct statement, and by countless typical reference in the Old Testament, that He died as a vicarious offering for sin; that is, that He, an absolutely perfect, righteous one, who [deserved to live, died in the place of unjust men who deserved to die.
For example, we read in Isa. 53:5, “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.” And in the eighth verse we read, “By oppression and judgment He was taken away; and as for His generation, who among them considered that He was cut off out of the land of the living for the transgression of my people to whom the stroke was due?”
And in the 11th and 12th verses we read, “He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied: by the knowledge of Himself shall my righteous servant justify many; and He shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong; because He poured out His soul unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors: yet He bare the sin of many. And made intercession for the transgressors.”
In I Peter, 3:18 we read, “Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God; being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit.” And in 1 Peter 2:24 we read, “Who His own self bare our sins in His own body upon the tree, that we, having died unto sins, might live unto righteousness; by whose stripes ye were healed.”
Now the meaning of these verses and many other verses, is inescapable. They teach in language the meaning of which no one can [misunderstand (unless he is determined not to see) that the death of Jesus Christ was a vicarious atonement, that is, a just one, who deserved to live, dying in the place of unjust ones who deserved to die. It was, to use the language of the Los Angeles minister who denied his belief in it, “an atonement of blood and recompense.” This is God’s doctrine of the Atonement versus the Unitarian and Christian Science doctrine of the Atonement.
2. But this is not all. We are further taught that He died as a ransom, that is, His death was the price paid to redeem others from death. He Himself says so. His own words are, “The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”
If His life was not a ransom, that is to say, if He did not redeem others from death by dying in their place, then He was the greatest fool in the whole history of this universe. Was He a fool or was He a ransom? No one who in any real sense can be said to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ can hesitate as to his answer.
3. But even this is not all. The Bible distinctly tells us that He died as a sin offering, i.e., it was on the ground of His death, and on this ground alone, that forgiveness of sin is made possible for and offered to sinners. This we are told in the 53rd chapter of Isaiah, to which reference has already been made.
In the 10thverse it is written, “Yet it pleased Jehovah to bruise him; He (i.e., Jehovah) hath put him to grief (literally, [made him sick): when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of Jehovah shall prosper in his hand.” Now the meaning of “offering for sin” is unquestionable to any one who has studied the Old Testament offerings.
An “offering for sin” or a “guilt offering,” which is the exact force of the Hebrew word translated “an offering for sin,” was a death of a sacrificial victim on the ground of which pardon was offered to sinners (Lev. 6:6-10, R. V.).
The Holy Spirit says expressly in Heb. 9:22, in words the meaning of which is unmistakable, and the force of which is inescapable, “Apart from shedding of blood there is no remission,” and the whole context in which the passage is found shows that the blood, to which all the blood of the Old Testament types as sacrifices pointed forward, was the blood of Jesus Christ.
So then the Word of God declares that apart from the shedding of the blood of Jesus Christ there is absolutely no pardon for sin. There is absolutely no forgiveness outside the atoning blood of Christ. Without Christ’s atoning blood every member of the human race must have perished forever.
4. Fourth and further yet, the Bible teaches that Jesus Christ died as a propitiation for our sins. God the Father gave Christ the Son to be a propitiation by His blood. That is to say that Jesus Christ, through the shedding of His blood, is that by which God’s holy wrath at sin is [appeased.
We read in 1 John 4:10, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” And we read in Rom. 3:25, 26, “Whom God set forth to be a propitiation, through faith, in His blood, to show His righteousness because of the passing over of the sins done aforetime, in the forbearance of God; (26) for the showing, I say, of His righteousness at this present season: that He might Himself be just, and the justifier of Him that hath faith in Jesus.”
The meaning of these words also is as plain as day. The two Greek words in these two passages are not exactly the same words (hilasmos and hilasterion) but are from the same root. The word used in 1 John 4:10 is hilasmos and the word used in Rom. 3:25 is hilasterion. The definition given of the first in Thayer’s Dictionary of New Testament Greek, the standard work, is “a means of appeasing.”
The definition given in the same lexicon of the second word is “an expiatory sacrifice.” So the thought that is in both passages is that the death of Jesus Christ was a “propitiation,” “an expiatory sacrifice,” the “means of appeasing” God’s holy wrath at sin, or in other words, that Jesus, through the shedding of His blood, is that by which the wrath of God against us as sinners is appeased.
God’s holiness and consequent hatred of sin, like every other attribute of His character, is real and must manifest itself. His wrath at sin must strike somewhere, either on the sinner himself or upon a lawful substitute. It struck upon Jesus Christ, a lawful substitute. As we read in Isa. 53:6, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and Jehovah hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”
The word translated “hath laid,” according to the margin of the Revised Version, means literally, “hath made to light.” More literally still it means, “hath made to strike.” Reading it this way, what God says is, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and Jehovah hath made to strike on him (i.e., on the Lord Jesus) the iniquity of us all.”
And in the eighth verse of the same chapter we are taught that “the stroke due” to others fell upon Him, and He was consequently “cut off out of the land of the living.” The death of Jesus Christ has its first cause in the demands of God’s holiness. This is the Bible doctrine versus the Unitarian and Christian Science doctrine of atonement.
The doctrine is often misrepresented and caricatured as being that “God, a holy first person, took the sins of man, the guilty second person, and put them on Jesus Christ, an innocent third person,” and it is objected that this would not be just.
No; this would not be just, and it is not for a moment the doctrine of the Bible, for the Bible clearly teaches that Jesus Christ was not “a third person,” but was Himself God, and that He was Himself man, so He is not a third person at all, but both the first person and the second person, and the doctrine is that God Himself, the offended first person, substitutes His atoning action whereby He expresses His hatred against sin, for His punitive action whereby He would express the same thing; that God, instead of visiting the sins of the sinner upon the sinner, takes the punishment upon Himself. This certainly is something more than just, it is wondrous love.
5. Further yet, the Bible teaches us that Jesus Christ died to redeem us from the curse of the law by bearing that curse Himself. We read in Gal. 3:10, “As many as are of the works of the law are under a curse, for it is written: Cursed is every one who continueth not in all things that are written in the Book of the Law, to do them.”
So then, every one of us is under the curse of the broken law, for not one of us has continued “in all things that are written in the book of the law, to do them.” But we read in the 13th verse, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (literally, in our behalf): for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.” By His death by crucifixion He redeemed us from the curse which we deserved by taking that curse upon Himself. This certainly is “an atonement of blood and recompense.”
6. The Bible puts essentially the same truth in still another form, viz., that Jesus Christ died as our Passover sacrifice—that is, that His shed blood might serve as a ground upon which God would pass over and spare us. We read in 1 Cor. 5:7, “For our passover also hath been sacrificed, even Christ.”
Now what a passover sacrifice was and signified we learn from Ex. 12:12, 13, where our Lord told the children of Israel at the inauguration of the passover, “For I will go through the land of Egypt in that night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the Gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am Jehovah, and the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and there shall be no plague upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.”
And again we read in the 23rd verse of the same chapter, “For Jehovah will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when He seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side-posts, Jehovah will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you.”
Paul wrote his words with all this in mind, and in saying that Christ is our Passover sacrifice beyond a question he meant that the shed blood of Jesus Christ serves as a ground, and the only ground, upon which God passes over and spares us.
Excerpt From – The Fundamental Doctrines Of The Christian Faith By Reuben Archer Torrey.
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