[Willow Creek Association] 1998-03-27 - Why Christ Died

The What is the Gospel? Series - Part 2

With Easter coming up, I felt led to write about the first item on the list that Paul wrote to the Corinthians. Once again here is the "Gospel" list:

  1. Jesus died for our sins. (He did not just die, he died for us, in place of us)
  2. Jesus was buried.
  3. Jesus was raised on the third day.
  4. He appeared to many people.

I have often had non-Christians and even Christian friends ask me, "Just why did Jesus have to die?" It's a great question and one that we Christians need to be able to answer. Jesus died in place of us. It is you and I that should be on the Cross. Let's look at four reasons He died for us.

1-He died as our substitute.

Romans 3:25-26 (LB) For God sent Christ Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to end all God's anger against us. He used Christ's blood and our faith as the means of saving us from his wrath. In this way he was being entirely fair, even though he did not punish those who sinned in former times. For he was looking forward to the time when Christ would come and take away those sins. And now in these days also he can receive sinners in this same way because Jesus took away their sins. But isn't this unfair for God to let criminals go free, and say that they are innocent? No, for he does it on the basis of their trust in Jesus who took away their sins.

2-He died to be our Advocate to reconcile us to God or simply said, to make us right with God.

2 Corinthians 5:21 For God took the sinless Christ and poured into him our sins. Then, in exchange, he poured God's goodness into us!

1 John 2:1-2 My little children, I am telling you this so that you will stay away from sin. But if you sin, there is someone to plead for you before the Father. His name is Jesus Christ, the one who is all that is good and who pleases God completely. He is the one who took God's wrath against our sins upon himself and brought us into fellowship with God; and he is the forgiveness for our sins, and not only ours but all the world's.

3-He died to be our Mediator and to make us partners in the New Covenant.

Luke 22:20 After supper he gave them another glass of wine, saying, "This wine is the token of God's new agreement to save you-an agreement sealed with the blood I shall pour out to purchase back your souls.

4-He died to grant us grant us eternal life and defeat our number one enemy, death. Only through Christ is death defeated.

John 3:16 For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that anyone who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.


Dear Lord, thank you for taking our place on the Cross, thank you for taking the punishment we deserve. Thank you for being faithful to us at all times, even when we mess up. We praise you and honor you Lord and ask your forgiveness for our sins. In His name, Amen.

David