The Hearing of Faith
The death of Christ on the cross was the most monumental event in human history. Believers understand that this death was more than merely the death of a martyr for his cause. Christ’s death was the great payment for the sins of all mankind. Through His vicarious death, Christ redeemed man from the curse of the law, which prescribed death as the penalty for sin. He paid the price in full! This is indeed a tremendous truth. Christ died as the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world (John 1:29).
Although most believers are familiar with Christ’s sacrificial death as the Lamb of God for the sins of mankind, the Bible tells us that His death accomplished many other wonderful things. Thus, we may call His death an all-inclusive death. Let us examine what Christ accomplished in His death on the cross.
Christ died not only as the Lamb of God but also as the brass serpent.
John’s Gospel reveals that Christ died not only as the Lamb of God (1:29) but also as the brass serpent (3:14). Second Corinthians 5:21 tells us that the Lord Jesus did not know sin in His experience. Just as a brass serpent does not have the poison of a serpent but only its form, so Christ, as a man, did not have the sinful nature but was in the likeness of the flesh of sin (Rom. 8:3). Thus, as the brass serpent, He died to deal not only with our sinful actions but also with our inward nature of sin.
Christ in His death not only dealt with our sins and our sinful nature but He even destroyed “him who has the might of death, that is, the devil” (Heb. 2:14). Two thousand years ago, Christ destroyed the devil himself. The devil is a defeated foe, and we need never be afraid of him!
The Bible also tells us that when Christ died on the cross, we were crucified with Him (Gal. 2: 20). Our “old man” was crucified with Christ (Rom. 6:6). Not only so, the world (the satanic system that enslaves people) was judged and its ruler, Satan, was cast out (John 12:31). Paul says that the world was crucified to him (Gal. 6:14). In His death Christ judged the ruler of the world and his world system.
Christ also died as the peacemaker terminating all the ordinances, which are related to culture and different ways of living, that divide people (Eph. 2:14-15). In Christ there is now peace between the different kinds of people. He is our peace.
Furthermore, in His death, Christ was also a grain of wheat (John 12:24). His death not only dealt with many negative things but it also released His divine life for His multiplication. His life was released to get into millions of people! As the life in a seed is released by the shell of the seed “dying” after being buried in the earth, Christ’s death released the divine life in Him. This marvelous life-releasing death produced us, the believers, to be His church. We are His multiplication, just as the many grains are the multiplication of the one grain that falls into the ground to die. While other aspects of His death deal with negative matters, His dying as the grain of wheat is altogether positive.
Praise the Lord for the all-inclusive death of the Lord Jesus Christ!
From Issue No. 40, August 2001