All the Bible’s teaching points to the death of Jesus. Neither his perfect life nor his marvellous teaching nor his powerful miracles are the focus of the Bible’s message. These are all important, but above all else Jesus came into the world to die. What makes his death so important? The answer is that he died as a Substitute, a Sin bearer and a Savior.
Jesus the Substitute. This demonstrates the love of God. Sinners are guilty, lost and helpless in the face of God’s holy law, which demands punishment for every sin. How can they possibly escape God’s righteous wrath? The Bible’s answer is this: God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). As part of an amazing rescue plan God the Son volunteered to take the place of sinners and bear the just penalty for their sin. The sinless Son of God willingly suffered and died for them, the righteous for the unrighteous (1 Peter 3:18).
Jesus the Sin bearer. This demonstrates the holiness of God. There was nothing ‘faked’ about Christ’s death. The penalty for the sins of others was paid in full by the death of God’s sinless Son. As he hung on the cross he cried out, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me’? (Mark 15:34). At that terrible moment God the Father turned his back on his beloved Son, who then endured the penalty of separation from God. Notice how this shows God’s perfect holiness. All sin, every sin, must be punished — and when Jesus took the place of sinners he became as accountable for their sins as if he had been responsible for them. The one man who lived a perfect life suffered the double death penalty of the guilty.
Jesus the Savior. This demonstrates the power of God. Three days after his death, Christ was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead (Romans 1:4). He gave many convincing proofs that he was alive and he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him (Acts 1:3; Romans 6:9). In raising Christ from the dead, God powerfully demonstrated that he accepted his death in the place of sinners as the full and perfect payment of sin’s penalty and as the basis on which he can offer a full and free pardon to those who would otherwise be doomed to spend eternity in hell.
But how does all this apply to you? How can you get right with God? How can Christ become your Savior?