Why Did Jesus Have to Suffer for the Sins of Other People?
By Jeanne Dennis
It never seems fair when someone has to suffer for what others have done wrong. Innocent people become injured or die because of drunk drivers, terrorist bombers, or angry mobs. Innocent children die as the result of war, poverty, abuse, or neglect.
Those who suffer because of the sins of others do not usually choose their fate, but Jesus did. He did not want to face pain and agony, but He chose obedience to His Father over His own desires. Jesus knew that the only way for humankind to be saved was for Him to give His life for them.
Why would God ask His own Son to suffer such a horrible death? It was because only the perfect Son of God could pay the price for the sins of the whole world.
Why was this necessary? The Old Testament sacrificial system provides a model to help us understand why Jesus had to shed His blood for us. In that system designed by God, a perfect blood sacrifice had to be offered to atone (or make up for) sin. The sacrifice had to be perfect, a healthy animal without blemish. This sacrificial system satisfied God’s requirements for that time, but it was not a permanent solution to the problem of sin.
From the beginning, Satan wanted to ruin mankind, the highest and best of God’s creation. So he entered a serpent and tempted Eve to disobey God. Then she convinced her husband to join her. At that moment, Adam and all his children through the ages became slaves to sin and were condemned to separation from God.
But God promised to settle that account with the devil. God told the serpent, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel” (Gen. 3:15 NIV).
You will notice that God referred to the woman’s offspring, not the man’s. Jesus was born of a virgin. When He died on the cross, He defeated the devil and the power of sin by offering Himself as the perfect and final blood sacrifice. His shed blood atoned for the sins of the whole world and satisfied the justice of God, once and for all.
No longer would people be powerless against sin and the devil’s schemes. No longer would they have to be separated from God. As a physical reminder of that, at the moment when Jesus died on the cross, an earthquake shook Jerusalem. In the holiest part of the temple the huge, thick curtain separating people from the presence of God tore in two from top to bottom. It was as though God was saying to us, “Now you may come to Me, because my Son has opened the way.“
The way is open for you now, if you will ask Jesus into your heart. Give Him all that you are, both the good and the bad, and ask Him to help you live for Him. Believe in Him, and you will be saved.
When Jesus hung on that cross dying, He suffered for your sins, not because He had to, but because He wanted to.
“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13 NIV).
Do You Want a Relationship with God?
If you want to have a relationship with God, and know that the shed blood of Jesus will cover your sins, pray this prayer right now:
Lord Jesus Christ, I believe that you took the pain of the cross to give me new life. I ask you to come into my life and to give me your peace and joy. I confess that I am a sinner -- that I have gone my own way and have done wrong. Please forgive me for my sins. I receive you now as my Lord and Savior. Please fill me with your Holy Spirit. Help me to follow you and to serve you all my life. Thank you, Lord Jesus. Amen.
If you prayed that prayer, you are now a child of God. The things of your old life have passed away and He has made all things new.
We want to join you in celebrating your new life. Please send us an e-mail to let us know that you prayed to receive Jesus as your Savior. Or you can call our Prayer Counseling Center at (800) 759-0700. A caring friend is available to talk with you and send you some resources to help you begin your walk with the Lord.
Learn more about new life in Jesus Christ
Gordon Robertson: What does it mean to be 'born again?'
A Higher Calling: Guide to Christian Life
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Living by the Book: Learn more about being a Christian
CBN Teaching Sheets
Learn more about the Bible at our Spiritual Life section
As an award-winning author, national speaker, and BreakPoint Centurion, Jeanne Dennis partners with Christian families to pass on the heritage of faith. She is the author/co-author of eleven books, including Running Barefoot on Holy Ground: Childlike Intimacy with God. You can e-mail her at : firstname.lastname@example.org
More from Jeanne at www.jeannedennis.com.
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