Many of us don't understand why Jesus died. Let's be honest. If you ask someone about baptism, you get several answers, if you ask someone why Jesus died, you get more. And, if I'm honest with myself, if I look at how I've treated Jesus' death, I've acted as if I want all the benefit without the consequences. Why did Jesus die? Many of us will say "for our sins" and we'd be right. And yet it goes much deeper than that. The first church, the Jewish church, had a greater understanding of what this meant. You see, every day before God, there'd be sacrifices on the altar, in the morning, and in the evening. There were laws for purity before God. Why? Because humanity had a tendency to fail before God, and often. The sacrifices and purity rituals existed as a way, not of appeasing God's anger, but asking for forgiveness, atonement for sin. In order for that atonement to take place, something pure and innocent, a spotless lamb, or other acceptable sacrifice, would die in your place. For our modern sensibilities, this may seem barbaric, but let's face it, the more we scale back and tone back discipline, in our homes and in society at large, anyone who calls out our wrongdoing seems unfair. Because of OUR sin, something must die. It's either us, or a sacrifice. And God, since the beginning, has been trying to restore broken relationship with His creation. Yet, God is perfect in all ways. the sacrifices are not a once and for all, but a daily, monthly, and yearly thing! So God paid the price Himself. He sent His son, Jesus Christ, to be that sacrifice. Jesus fulfilled every point of purity, every part of the law of Moses. He did what we could not, and when He died, His blood, once and for all paid the penalty of death for our failures. That carries some weight, does it not? So, I think we have to ask this question: did Jesus die in vain? What I mean is this: are you living as if you're sorry that an innocent man died in your place? Are you living as if you owe Him everything because He gave everything for the sake of your relationship with the Father? I say Jesus did not die in vain, I have seen His grace abound daily. Do you live so that His death means something? 1 John 2:1- 6
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.