Jesus Came to Die So That We Could Stop Sinning
A friend once told me about his experience visiting a deep underground cave while on a sight-seeing tour. My friend recalled that when they first entered the cave he couldn’t wait to leave. The tour guide had not turned on any lights. It was dark. It was cold. It was wet. And who knows what dangers lurked in the dark, wet cracks of the cave. But then, the tour guide flipped a switch, the lights came on and my friend beheld the wonder of this deep underground cavern. Suddenly it became to him a place of exploration, beauty, wonder and adventure. At first he didn’t want to be there. After the lights came on he didn’t want to leave.
This is what it’s like coming to the crucified and risen Christ in faith. Before you know him, you are as interested in him as my friend was interested in that cold, dark cave. But when you do know him – or, I should say, when he makes Himself known to you – the lights come on and you die to your old desires. You don’t want to leave him anymore. He’s right where you want to live.
1 Peter 2:24,
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed (ESV).
Many people think that coming to Christ is like having to admit that he’s in charge and, having coming to accept that he’s in charge, we must then “suck it up” and follow him. In other words, we don’t like the cold, dark, cave, but that’s where we have to live. But that’s not how Peter describes the Christian life. He tells us that the death of Jesus did something better than that for us.
Notice the Key Truths:
- Jesus took all our sins on himself at the cross. The penalty is removed. We are free from the punishment of sin. As far as God’s wrath is concerned, we died with him. “He” bore “our” sins.
- He did this so that “we might die to sin”. He died so that we could also die. This death is not the physical death that all flesh suffers. The death Peter describes is a death to the sins we once loved. Because of the death of Jesus it IS POSSIBLE to tell sin, “No.”
- He died also that we might “live to righteousness.” Perfection is still ahead of us, but Peter says, growth in holiness is now. Because Jesus died, we have died to sin, and now it IS POSSIBLE to say “Yes” to righteousness and holiness. We can be pure. We can act in joyful obedience to God.
In other words – the Christian has truly joined Jesus in his death and resurrection. Oscar Wilde once said that “the only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.” Of course, in a sense, he’s right. This works…until it doesn’t. That’s the problem. Temptation always returns. It never really leaves you alone.
But one hope and wonder of the cross is that God truly gives the power of the cross to the Christian. Because Jesus died – we have died. Because we have died with him we also live with him. And this life we live is a life that has the power to tell sin to “take a hike.”
Try that this week and invite someone to help you. Join us TODAY at 6:00PM for our GOOD FRIDAY SING at Meridian Bridge and then again on Sunday morning @9:30 for fellowship and worship!