What does the death of Jesus mean for the world?

For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh. Romans 8:3

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. Colossians 2:13-14

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit. Galatians 3:13-14

But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5

Because Jesus died, sin has been defeated, and all who believe can receive forgiveness for their sins and be reconciled to God.

Imagine you’re following the story of a hero—an exciting drama filled with love, adventure, and mystery—one that keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time and it just keeps getting better. Excitement is around every corner. Then, all of a sudden…the hero dies! What in the world?

How on earth can the story go like that? How on earth can this ever be considered a good story?

And, even more shocking…what if the story presents the hero’s death as the great moment of victory, of love, of salvation?

What sense could that possibly make?

But that is, of course, the story of the Bible. The great moment of victory, of love, of salvation, happens when Jesus dies on a cross.

But why does the story go like that? What does Jesus’ death accomplish?

It’s very difficult to understand how Jesus’ death could be good news if you miss one particular key to the story. While books and movies today have stories filled with heroes conquering problematic villains and evil empires, the main problem in this story, in our story, is sin. And the only solution for sin is for someone to deal with it. Specifically, the only solution for sin is for God to condemn or put it to death in a human.

And that’s what happened at the crucifixion. That’s what happened in the death of Jesus: he substituted himself for us. As Paul puts it in Romans 8:3, God condemned the sins of the whole world in the person of his son, Jesus, so that all who believe in Jesus could be forgiven of their sins and have eternal life!

That’s how death can become the best news. That’s how death can be triumphant.

Spend some time today thanking God for the gift of his son.

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