Wednesday, April 25, 2012

✟ Believe in GOD ✟

✟ Believe in GOD ✟

To many people God is a concept. He is an idea, a theory, a way of understanding the world. Since He cannot be seen it is hard to believe in Him. After all, how can you trust something you can’t even touch? We learned that gravity exists by observing that every time we let go of an apple it falls. But there is no such ‘drop test’ to prove the existence of God. Yet, despite this lack of “proof”, many intelligent people do believe in God. Thousands of people throughout history have devoted their lives to serving Him, despite the fact that they have never seen His face. Ultimately this may lead us to wonder, does it really matter? Does a belief in God really change anything about our lives? Is a belief in the existence of a higher power solely a theoretical idea; something to be discussed at the dinner table with friends?
The Bible is clear about the answer to this question. It tells us that believing in God changes everything about our lives. Accepting God’s existence is a life-altering belief, not only in the hope that it gives us for the future, but in the way God’s presence can change our lives now.
A Promise of Eternal Life
In the most basic way, a belief in God saves our life. God tells us if we believe in Him, and in His son, Jesus Christ, we will be saved from perishing. John’s gospel tells us,
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
The Apostle Paul later reinforces this message saying,
But now [God] has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. (Colossians 1:22-23)
Our belief in God gives us a hope of eternal life. If we believe in God, He will give us life. If we turn our back on Him we will inherit death as the deserved consequences of our actions.
“See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the Lord you God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase and the lord your God will bless you…But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient…I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed…I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” (Deuteronomy 30:13-19)
What is this eternal life God promises? God promises that there will be a time in the future when His son, Jesus Christ, will return to earth to establish His kingdom. At that time those who have believed in him and are found faithful will be given immortal life and will live with Christ forever. The Apostle Paul says:
We do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him…For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God and the dead in Christ will rise first. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-16)
Other scriptures confirm this future hope:
“Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:3-4)
A Difference in Our Lives Now
But the change that occurs in our relationship with God is not just in our future. While a belief in God gives us great hope for a wonderful eternal life there is a very real way in which a belief in God also changes our lives in the present. The Apostle Paul explains a present day difference between those who believe in God versus those who do not. He reminds the believers in Ephesus of how their lives changed once they believed:
At that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus, you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ…through him [Christ] we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household…And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. (Ephesians 2:13-14,18,22)
Before the Ephesians believed in Christ they were “foreigners” to God’s promises. They were “without hope” and “without God,” with no inheritance and nothing to look forward to. But what a difference once they were “in Christ”! Where they were once estranged, they are now “brought near,” no longer foreigners, but “citizens” and family members in God’s house. A citizen is someone who can partake of the full rights of membership in a society, with privileges a foreigner cannot claim. Likewise for us: once we are a member of God’s family we are grafted in to the great promises God has given His people both for the future and for the present. And when we are in Christ, we become a place in which God’s Spirit dwells. What a wonderful change both in terms of our future, and our present!
The Picture of a Loving Father
What does it mean to have God as our father and to be known as His child? Does this really change our daily experience?
Accepting God as our father brings with it all of the blessings of a human family. God promises to those who love Him that He will care for them like a father cares for his children. For example, in the Old Testament, the Bible records how God brought His people out of slavery in Egypt. He had promised them He would bring them to a beautiful land, a new country they could call home. While on their journey, the people faced many obstacles, such as enemy nations, that made them afraid. But God told them:
“Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. The Lord your God who is going before you will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the desert. There you saw how the Lord our God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went till you reached this place.” (Deuteronomy 1:29-31)
God cares for His people in real and meaningful ways by providing for their needs and protecting them from harm. Just as a little child needs his father to provide him with food, shelter and safety, once we are a part of God’s family, He will provide for all of our needs in a parental way. For example, God tells the Israelites, “During the forty years that I led you through the desert, your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet…I did this so that you might now that I am the Lord your God.” (Deuteronomy 29:5-6) God’s promises of hope are not just for the future, but make a real difference in our lives right now.
Jesus reiterates this truth in the New Testament:
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened unto you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:7-11)
What an amazing promise! The Creator of the universe invites us to ask Him for help, and He promises that He will hear and answer! Who wouldn’t want God’s help in navigating this difficult and often confusing experience of life? All God is saying we have to do is ask!
The Place of Suffering in Our Lives
So does this mean that once we believe in God we will get everything that we want? Does a belief In God mean that life will be easy? Even a superficial look at the lives of believers makes it clear that the answer to this question is “no.” It isn’t true that once we believe in God our lives will be free from trial. There are many examples within the pages of scripture of righteous men and women struggling through terrible hardship and trial. How can this be if God promises to answer our prayers and love us as a father? Well, it is because God loves us like a father that He allows us to experience hardship in order to grow. King Solomon writes:
My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves as a father the son he delights in. (Proverbs 3:11-12)
Just as in our own parenting there are times we allow our children to experience difficulty in order for them to grow, God likewise permits us to endure times of trial for our own good. We, just like little children, need both praised when we do well and rebuked when we make mistakes. But experiences of suffering are more than just God’s disciplining us in order to teach us lessons. The trials he allows us to undergo build our character. James tells us:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4)
We are to face trials because they are good for us. They build character, faith and maturity. And no matter how difficult the challenge, God promises He will carry us through. God will demonstrate to us over and over again that He is the source of all life and that His blessings are abundant enough to meet all of our needs. There is nothing He cannot do, nothing He does not understand. And it is through these experiences that we will come to understand how high and wide and deep the love of our Father truly is.
If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? … Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? …No, in all things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:31-32,35,37-39)
Because of this relationship the believer has with God, he should therefore have confidence that everything in his life is under God’s control. A belief in God should change our daily experience. We no longer need to spend time wrestling with the anxieties of life. God has promised to care for us in all ways, both in times of plenty and through times of trial. Our every day life should feel much easier because of this belief. We are relieved from the burdens of stress and worry that heavily weigh upon those who do not believe in God.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap; they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet, I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed as one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire. How much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom and these things will be given to you as well. Do not be afraid little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:22-32)
It should give us an enormous sense of relief and a peace to know that God is actively involved in every aspect of our life.
What God Asks of Us
What does God ask from us in order for us to receive these life altering blessings? Firstly, that we the have faith that He is the creator of the universe. That He does love us and has a plan of salvation for mankind. Paul tells us, “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who diligently seek him.” (Heb 11:6) God promises that if we are willing to put our faith in Him as more than just a concept, believe that He is living powerful Father, we will see evidence of His existence in our lives.
Secondly, as our act of faith, we must become a part of God’s family through baptism into His name. In order for God to become our Father, we need to become His children. Baptism is the way God has created for us to be “reborn” into a new family, one with God as its Head.
You are all sons of God through your faith in Jesus Christ, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourself with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs to the promise. (Galatians 3:26-29)
Through baptism we leave our natural family allegiances behind and adopt a new family name through God’s son. We are no longer known as Jews or Gentiles, Americans or Africans or Asians, wealthy or poor. Instead we belong to a new family, God’s family, and can enjoy the privileges that God showers upon His children. God makes the pathway to Him plain.
“Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.” (Mark 16:16)
So, does believing in God really matter? Does it really change anything about our lives? The resounding answer from scripture is, yes! God promises to those who love Him a hope far greater than anything this world can offer us. Paul tells us, “God our Savior…wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4) If this is God’s hope for us all, what are we waiting for?
Do you want to know more about God? These 20 Bible facts about God will give you insight into the nature and character of God.
  1. God is eternal.
    (Deuteronomy 33:27; Jeremiah 10:10; Psalm 90:2)
  2. God is infinite.
    (1 Kings 8:22-27; Jeremiah 23:24; Psalm 102:25-27; Revelation 22:13)
  3. God is self-sufficient and self-existent.
    (Exodus 3:13-14; Psalm 50:10-12; Colossians 1:16)
  4. God is omnipresent (present everywhere).
    (Psalm 139:7-12)
  5. God is omnipotent (all powerful).
    (Genesis 18:14; Luke 18:27; Revelation 19:6)
  6. God is omniscient (all knowing).
    (Psalm 139:2-6; Isaiah 40:13-14)
  7. God is unchanging or immutable.
    (Psalm 102:25-27; Hebrews 1:10-12; 13:8)
  8. God is sovereign.
    (2 Samuel 7:22; Isaiah 46:9-11)
  9. God is wise.
    (Proverbs 3:19; Romans 16:26-27; 1 Timothy 1:17)
  10. God is holy.
    (Leviticus 19:2; 1 Peter 1:15)
  11. God is righteous and just.
    (Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 11:7; Psalm 119:137)
  12. God is faithful.
    (Deuteronomy 7:9; Psalm 89:1-8)
  13. God is true and truth.
    (Psalm 31:5; John 14:6; John 17:3; Titus 1:1-2)
  14. God is good.
    (Psalm 25:8; Psalm 34:8; Mark 10:18)
  15. God is merciful.
    (Deuteronomy 4:31; Psalm 103:8-17; Daniel 9:9; Hebrews 2:17)
  16. God is gracious.
    (Exodus 34:6; Psalm 103:8; 1 Peter 5:10)
  17. God is love.
    (John 3:16; Romans 5:8; 1 John 4:8)
  18. God is spirit.
    (John 4:24)
  19. God is light.
    (James 1:17; 1 John 1:5)
  20. God is triune or trinity.
    (Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14)

✝ Fall in Love with JESUS ✝ ❤

✝ Fall in Love with JESUS ✝ ❤

According to church tradition St. Valentine was a priest near Rome in about the year 270 A.D. At that time the Roman Emperor was imprisoning Christians for not worshipping the Roman gods. During this persecution Valentine was arrested. Some say he was arrested because he was performing Christian marriages, but others say it was for helping Christians escape prison.
During the trial they asked Valentine what he thought of the Roman gods Jupiter and Mercury. Of course Valentine said they were false gods and that the God that Jesus called Father was the only true God. So the Romans threw him in prison for insulting the gods.
While in prison Valentine continued to minister. He witnessed to the guards. One of the guards was a good man who had adopted a blind girl. He asked Valentine if his God could help his daughter. Valentine prayed and the girl was given her sight. The guard and his whole family, 46 people, believed in Jesus and were baptized. Because these people had come to know Jesus, Valentine praised God right there in his prison cell. When the emperor heard about this he was furious that Valentine was still making converts even in prison, so he had Valentine beheaded.
Valentine knew that he might get caught in his Christian activities. He knew that if he told the court the truth about the Roman gods that he would be thrown in prison. And he knew that if he continued to witness to Christ in the prison he would make his captors angry. But he continued, because he loved the Lord and his fellow humans. He was willing to risk his life to free the prisoners and spread the Good News of Jesus Christ to those who needed to hear it.
The Bible Says: “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”(John 15:13) God showed us this love by coming in Christ to die for our sins. And St. Valentine demonstrated this love when he died for his friends. This is the kind of love that Valentine’s Day is really about.
1 JOHN 4:10
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
On Valentine’s Day we try to think of new and creative ways to show our love to our spouses, children, and others who are dear to us. Hearts, flowers, cards with cute sayings, heart-shaped cakes, balloons–there are all kinds of ways to let these special folks know just how much they mean to us. The greatest demonstration of love, of course, came from God the Father when He sent His only Son from the splendor of Heaven to the limitations of earth to become our Savior. In essence, Jesus is God’s Valentine to us.

God’s Love can be Seen in Creation: Not a cunningly devised fable, as with evolution or other man made inventions of creation, but the fact that God created the heavens and the earth and all that are therein. He made Adam and Eve in his image and placed them in the garden and walked with them and talked with them. We may not feel that we are very lovely or lovable, but the Lord of creation has created you in his image. He made you to be you. God doesn’t do trash. You are the special creation of an all wise loving heavenly Father. To understand the value of you is to know the master creator.
God’s Love can be seen in Christ: The best valentine gift is the gift of yourself given to the one who is loved. God gave of himself in his son. He declared his love of his Son on the mount of transfiguration. “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.” If God looked at us would he be able to describe as his beloved child in whom I am well pleased? If we have come to God through the one who said I am the way the truth and the life, and no one can come to the father but through me then he does say that we are his beloved child in whom I am well pleased.
This is divine love: Jesus loved not only His friends but also His enemies–the God-hating, Christ-murdering world.
Jesus said in John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” That is as high as human love can go, to die for your friends and your own loved ones.
The Bible states, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” (Rom. 5:8-10).
God’s Love can be seen in his Covenant: His word was given to us to remember the God of Love that created us and comes to us to live with us and be with us. The scripture is not a few well educated individuals with a private interpretation, but the word of God has been given to all in this day and in this time so we might come to know, to love and experience God. The God of Love has made every provision for us to believe, receive, and choose to follow him, accept him and Love him.
God’s Love can be seen in his children: The Apostles are the first generation of eyewitnesses who have seen and testify of the God who Loves them. These Apostles spread the word and now it is passed onto us who have been saved by him to give this God of Love to the world.
We, as God’s children must resemble our God’s love in our lives.
How closely do we resemble our Heavenly Father? When people look at us do they recognize us as His children?
Scripture says there is one thing that identifies us as followers of Christ – our love.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)
People will identify us as Christians, if our lives reflect our Father’s love. What does this love look like? It is resting in God’s peace during times of stress. It is forgiving our enemies and praying for them rather than seeking revenge or harboring anger. It is being kind and patient with others even when they are not. It is putting the needs of others before our own.
1 Corinthians 13 paints a clear picture of this type of love in action.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
When we exhibit this type of love, people notice these qualities because they are not the world’s typical responses. These behaviors do not originate from our sinful natures. On our own, we could never love others as God does.
God loves us infinitely and unconditionally. His love and grace are imparted to us in an ongoing flow, by the second, by the minute, by the hour, by the day. Most of us would love to have someone in our lives who loves us like this. Someone who is always patient with us, who isn’t envious of us; who thinks of us first, who believes in us, who hopes for the very best for us, who endures hard times with us. What a wonderful thing to be loved like that. The truth is that God loves us just like that. God is the one who brings us through periods of struggle, hardship, and sorrow. God has a master plan for all of creation, and you are a part of it. That plan is unfolding bit by bit even this very day.

7 Last Words of Jesus

7 Last Words of Jesus

Jesus Christ made seven final statements during his last hours on the cross. These phrases are held dear by followers of Christ because they offer a glimpse into the depth of his suffering to accomplish redemption. Recorded in in the Gospels between the time of his crucifixion and his death, they reveal his divinity as well as his humanity.

1) Jesus Speaks to the Father

Luke 23:34
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
In the midst of his excruciating suffering, the heart of Jesus was focused on others rather than himself. Here we see the nature of his love—unconditional and divine.
It makes sense that the first word of Jesus from the cross is a word of forgiveness. That’s the point of the cross, after all. Jesus is dying so that we might be forgiven for our sins, so that we might be reconciled to God for eternity. As we read the words, “Father, forgive them,” may we understand that we too are forgiven through Christ. As John writes in his first letter, “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness” (1 John 1:9). Because Christ died on the cross for us, we are cleansed from all wickedness, from every last sin. We are united with God the Father as his beloved children. We are free to approach his throne of grace with our needs and concerns. God “has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west” (Ps 103:13).

2) Jesus Speaks to the Criminal on the Cross

Luke 23:43
“I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”
As Jesus hung on the cross, he was mocked by the leaders and the soldiers. One of the criminals being crucified with him added his own measure of scorn. But the other crucified criminal had recognized who Jesus was and expressed faith in him as Savior. After speaking up for Jesus, he cried out, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom”. Jesus responded to this criminal, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise” (v. 43). Thus we have encountered one of the most astounding and encouraging verses in all of Scripture. Jesus promised that the criminal would be with him in paradise. Here we see grace poured out through faith, as Jesus assured the dying man of his forgiveness and eternal salvation.

3) Jesus Speaks to Mary and John

John 19:26-27
The presence of Mary at the cross adds both humanity and horror to the scene. We are reminded that Jesus was a real human being, a man who had once been a boy who had once been carried in the womb of his mother. Even as he was dying on the cross as the Savior of the world, Jesus was also a son, a role he didn’t neglect in his last moments. We’re reminded of the prophecy of Simeon shortly after Jesus’ birth, when he said to Mary: “And a sword will pierce your very soul” (Luke 2:35). When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.”
Jesus, looking down from the cross, was still filled with the concerns of a son for the earthly needs of his mother. None of his brothers were there to care for her, so he gave this task to the Apostle John. He was a real man, true flesh and blood, a son of a mother, dying with unbearable agony. His suffering was altogether real, and he took it on for you and for me. Here we clearly see Christ’s humanity.

4) Jesus Cries Out to the Father

Matthew 27:46 (also Mark 15:34)
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
In the darkest hours of his suffering, Jesus cried out the opening words of Psalm 22. In the words of the psalmist Jesus found a way to express the cry of his heart: Why had God abandoned him? Why did his Father turn his back on Jesus in his moment of greatest agony? This side of heaven, we will never fully know what Jesus was experiencing in this moment. Was he asking this question because, in the mystery of his incarnational suffering, he didn’t know why God had abandoned him? Or was his cry not so much a question as an expression of profound agony? Or was it both? What we do know is that Jesus entered into the Hell of separation from God. The Father abandoned him because Jesus took upon himself the penalty for our sins. In that excruciating moment, he experienced something far more horrible than physical pain. The beloved Son of God knew what it was like to be rejected by the Father. As we read in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” And although much has been suggested regarding the meaning of this phrase, it was quite apparent the agony Christ felt as he expressed separation from God. Here we see the Father turning way from the Son as Jesus bore the full weight of our sin.

5) Jesus is Thirsty

John 19:28
Jesus knew that everything was now finished, and to fulfill the Scriptures he said, “I am thirsty.”
No doubt Jesus experienced extreme thirst while being crucified. He would have lost a substantial quantity of bodily fluid, both blood and sweat, through what he had endured even prior to crucifixion. Thus his statement, “I am thirsty” was, on the most obvious level, a request for something to drink. In response the soldiers gave Jesus “sour wine” (v. 29). John notes that Jesus said “I am thirsty,” not only as a statement of physical reality, but also in order to fulfill the Scripture. Though there is no specific reference in the text of the Gospel, it’s likely that John was thinking of Psalm 69, which includes this passage: Their insults have broken my heart, and I am in despair. If only one person would show some pity; if only one would turn and comfort me. But instead, they give me poison for food; they offer me sour wine for my thirst.

6) It is Finished

John 19:30
… he said, “It is finished!”
Jesus knew he was suffering the crucifixion for a purpose. Earlier he had said in John 10:18 of his life, “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” These three words were packed with meaning, for what was finished here was not only Christ’s earthly life, not only his suffering and dying, not only the payment for sin and the redemption of the world—but the very reason and purpose he came to earth was finished. His final act of obedience was complete. The Scriptures had been fulfilled. Because Jesus finished his work of salvation, you and I don’t need to add to it. In fact, we can’t. He accomplished what we never could, taking our sin upon himself and giving us his life in return. Jesus finished that for which he had been sent, and we are the beneficiaries of his unique effort. Because of what he finished, you and I are never “finished.” We have hope for this life and for the next. We know that nothing can separate us from God’s love. One day what God has begun in us will also be finished, by his grace. Until that day, we live in the confidence of Jesus’ cry of victory: “It is finished!”

7) Jesus’ Last Words

Luke 23:46
Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.
Here Jesus closes with the words of Psalm 31:5, speaking to the Father. We see his complete trust in the Father. By quoting a portion of Psalm 31, therefore, Jesus not only entrusted his future to his Father, but also implied that he would be delivered and exonerated. No, God would not deliver him from death by crucifixion. But beyond this horrific death lay something marvelous. “I entrust my spirit into your hands” points back to the familiar suffering of David in Psalm 31, and forward to the resurrection. Jesus entered death in the same way he lived each day of his life, offering up his life as the perfect sacrifice and placing himself in God’s hands.

Why Did Jesus Have to Die †

Why Did Jesus Have to Die †

However, before we answer the question, “Why did Jesus have to die?” it’s also important to understand that Jesus clearly understood his mission on earth involved laying down his life as a sacrifice. In other words, Jesus knew it was His Father’s will for him to lay down his life for the mankind.
He proves his foreknowledge and understanding of his death in these passages from Scripture:
Mark 8:31
He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. (See also Mark 9:31)
Mark 10:32-34
They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid. Again he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him. 33 “We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, 34 who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.”
Mark 10: 38
“You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?”
Mark 10:43-45
Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Mark 14:22-25
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.” 23 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it. 24 “This is my blood of the[a] covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them. 25 “Truly I tell you, I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
John 10:17-18
The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
This last verse also explains why it is pointless to blame the Jews or the Romans—or anyone else, for that matter, for “killing” Jesus. Jesus, having the power to “lay it down” or “take it again,” freely gave up his life. It truly doesn’t matter then, who “killed” Jesus. The ones who nailed the nails only helped carry out the destiny he came to fulfill by laying down his life on the cross.

God is Holy

Though God is all merciful, all powerful and all forgiving, God is also holy, righteous and just.
Isaiah 5:16
But the LORD Almighty will be exalted by his justice, and the holy God will be proved holy by his righteous acts.

Sin and Holiness are Incompatible

Sin entered the world through one man’s disobedience – Adam, and now all of us are born into this “sin nature.”
Romans 5:12
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned
Romans 3:23
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

Sin Separates Us from God

Isaiah 35:8
And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness; it will be for those who walk on that Way. The unclean will not journey on it; wicked fools will not go about on it.
Isaiah 59:2
But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.

Sin’s punishment is Eternal Death

God’s holiness and justice demand that sin and rebellion be punished. The only penalty or payment for sin is eternal Death.

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 5:21
so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Atoning Sacrifice

Our death is not sufficient to atone for sin because atonement requires a perfect, spotless sacrifice, offered in just the right way. Jesus, the one perfect God-man, came to offer the pure, complete and everlasting sacrifice to remove, atone, and make eternal payment for our sin.
1 Peter 1:18-19
For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.
Hebrews 2:14-17
Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. 16 For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. 17 For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.

Only Through Jesus Christ

Only through Jesus Christ can our sins be forgiven, thus restoring our relationship with God and removing the separation caused by sin.
2 Corinthians 5:21
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
1 Corinthians 1:30
It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.

The Messiah – Savior

The suffering and the glory of the coming Messiah was foretold in Isaiah 52 and 53. God’s people in the Old Testament looked forward to the Messiah that would save them from their sin. Though he did not come in the form they expected, still their faith looking forward to his salvation saved them. Our faith, looking backward to his act of salvation, saves us. When we accept Jesus’ payment for our sin, his perfect sacrifice washes away our sin and restores our right standing with God. God’s mercy and grace provided a way for our salvation.
Romans 5:10
For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
In Summary, when we are “in Christ Jesus” we are covered by his blood through his sacrificial death, our sins are paid for, and we no longer have to die an eternal death. We receive eternal life though Jesus Christ. And this is why Jesus had to die.