The movie, “The passion of the Christ” by Mel Gibson has raised a red flag in the minds of some people. They are asking, “Who killed Christ?” as though wishing to blame someone, perhaps. The answer, of course, has been stated by many (Christians), “We all killed Christ”. But unfortunately, I think this particular answer has left a huge, gaping, hole, in the minds of some people that still can’t identify with Christ’s sufferings, and the reasons why he had to die on a cross.
While it is true that humans put Jesus Christ to death, yet that is only one vantage point, and not the whole picture at all. Jesus Christ himself, in fact, made this rather striking statement, when he declared, “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” (John 10:17-18)
Here Jesus states plainly that he laid his life down voluntarily – that he, in fact, desired to lay down his life and give it up. He is saying that he didn’t have to die if he didn’t want to – but that he actually chose to give up his life voluntarily. Jesus’s death, therefore, was not as one who happened to be “caught off guard” but as one who actually had power over everyone else but who chose freely to give up his life. Why? Why would Jesus do such a thing? Why would he give up his life voluntarily? This, I think, is an exceedinly much more important question.
So why did Jesus give up his life voluntarily? The Bible says that it was because of our sins. Not the sins of Jews, or the sins of Romans. But the sins of the entire human race – from Adam all the way to the last man. What effect did Jesus’s death on the cross have? The effect was that his death paid the price for our sins. In other words, God, being a just God, requires payment for sins, in the same way that a thief must pay for what he stole and make restitution, or go to prison, the Bible says that the “wages” or “payment” for sin is death – eternal death.
God “became” sin for us by sending Jesus to die for us on a cross. No, it was not the Jews or the Romans that are responsible for Christ’s death on the cross. God chose freely to send his Son Jesus Christ, God in human form, to die for us on the cross, so that we might have the chance of being pardoned for our sins. It’s really as simple as that. But how do we receive this forgiveness? The Bible says that it is by faith. In other words, we must believe that Christ died for us on the cross. We must receive him into our hearts, by faith. In so doing, we become children of God.
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” (John 1:12) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” (John 11:25-26)
Have you put your faith in Jesus yet, for the forgiveness of your sins?