Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Friday, June 06, 2008

How Traditionalists explain why Christ died

The Adult Teacher’s Guide for the Sabbath School Lesson asked the following question:

Jesus died on the cross to save us. How can someone dying save anyone?How would you explain Jesus’ death and the purpose of His death to a tenyear-old? How would you explain it to someone who has never heard of Jesus Christ before? See 1 Peter 1:3–9.

I was curious to see how this question would be answered on various internet sites. Here are some quotes from the various sites, the question we need to ask is do these answers make sense, do they answer the question above in a way that is satisfactory to a questioning child. As you read these think of what they are saying. Justice of Jesus paying the penalty is a common thread. Yet know where does God say justice is ever arrived at by punishing the innocent or substituting one person to be punished for the actions of another, or for that matter that punishment is needed in order to forgive. This first one is most interesting because it wants to teach Substitutionary punishment. Though I can’t imagine any child wanting to sign the purposed agreement or thinking it was fair or just.

One of the consequences of our sins is that Jesus died for our sins so we could have an eternal life with God.

However, before a person can have eternal life with God, that person must trust in Jesus as Savior and repent from a sinful life.

Punishment Sharing Agreement. Use this activity to help the students understand that Jesus, having never sinned, took on himself all of our sins and all the punishment for our sins when He died on the cross.

Circulate the Punishment Sharing Agreement

Explain that a person who signs the agreement is agreeing to take the punishment for any wrong acts done during the week that person signs up for by anyone who signs this agreement.

For example, Billy agrees to take the punishment for Week 1. Billy does no wrong during Week 1. But Sue lies to her mother. Her punishment is no TV for a week. Since Billy agreed to take the punishment for Week 1, Billy cannot watch TV for that week, but Sue can.

After everyone has an opportunity to sign the agreement, explain that this is similar to Jesus dying on the cross for all of our sins.

He died on the cross in our place for our sin, then rose from the dead.

Why Did Jesus Die On The Cross For Me?

Purpose: Help the children understand why Jesus died on the cross.
Objective: Teach the children that God sent Jesus to earth as man to die on the cross for the sins of the world. His death provides a way to have forgiveness of sin and a personal relationship with God.

He came as a substitute. The Old Testament said, Ezekiel quoting, "The soul that sinneth it shall die." Paul said, "The wages of sin is death Now sin by virtue of the justice of God is punished by death. If I then sin I will die. If I bear by own punishment and I die I die physically, spiritually and eternally and am sentenced into eternal hell without God. And God looked into this world and He saw men.

He saw men who were going to die because of sin. And He said because of His love, I will not ‑ I will not allow all men to die in their sin, I will send someone else to bear their punishment to die their death. And thus did Jesus come. He came to be my substitute and when He was nailed on the cross He died for me and He died for you.

He died my death, paid my penalty. See, that's the only alternative God had. Either He punishes you for sin and me for my sin and that's eternal punishment in hell or else He substitutes someone else in our place and they pay our penalty. And that's exactly what Jesus came to do, be our substitute. The exalted second person of the Trinity, the divine Son ot God, God in flesh, humbled Himself, came to earth to die my death to provide for me an escape from eternal hell. The sinless one became sin, the living one died, the perfect one became the punished one. And not because He deserved it but because I deserved it and He was my substitute.
God is a perfect God and yet has chosen to allow sin. He is also a holy God who must show His wrath against all sin. At the same time God has accepted the payment that Christ made for the sins of every person when Christ died on the cross. This means that Christ took the wrath of God against sin for every person. As a result, God must show His wrath by bringing judgment on every person that does not repent and turn to Christ. That way God is not unfair. He accepts the payment for sin by Christ for all those who turn to Christ. To be fair He also judges all those who reject the payment of Christ and choose to pay for their own sin.

Jesus Christ’s life could pay the penalty for all sin for all time because His divine life is worth more than the lives of all humanity before or since. Only by the sacrifice of a life of enormous worth could the enormous penalty for all sin be paid.

Why the Son of God had to die

Why did Jesus have to die? He had to die because of the sins of humanity and the death they demand—to make possible a relationship between the Father and all men and women, who are invited to become children of God; to make possible the resurrection to eternal life; to defeat the awful penalty of eternal death.

Why did Jesus have to die? Jesus had to die because He chose to die for each of us in a decision of pure love made with His Father. If They are willing to pay such a price to gain a relationship with us, what are we willing to do to have a relationship with Them?

Sin is the transgression of the law of God (1John 3:4) - which amounts to living contrary to God's way of life, a way of outflowing love and concern for others. God's law is so important that He has decreed the penalty of eternal death for its violation.

God's perfect justice demands that the penalty for sin be paid. It is vital that the seriousness of the matter be made that clear. And yet God is supremely merciful - so it was determined that God the Father would give up His only Son (who would Himself lay down His own life) in sacrifice to atone for the sins of all mankind - those who would rightly accept it. The Father, it should be understood, had actually created mankind through Jesus Christ (Ephesians 3:9; John 1:1-3). Thus, as our Creator and God, His life was worth more than that of all humanity. When He died for us, the penalty for all human sin was more than paid.
Jesus died to take the punishment for your sins.
In other words, the punishment for our sin which is ours by right was transferred to Jesus Christ. He died our death, in our place, so that our sins might be forgiven and we night know fellowship with God. The chastisement which we deserved was laid upon him. And he had to do it, because our salvation could be achieved in no other way.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Amen! I'm SO Glad that i'm reading this! Jesus Christ, the one that created the heavens and the earth (John 1:1-3,10; Col 1:15,17)with his own hands, Came down and made himself like dirt, and even died for me!?!?

Man, that kind of love, that kind of mercy, is something i'll never forget.