Jesus’ Death – Three Important Points


Paul, an apostle (not sent from men nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead),  and all the brethren who are with me, To the churches of Galatia:  Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forevermore. Amen.

We can note three observations about Jesus’s death in these verses.

First, Jesus’s death was voluntary. Paul said Jesus “gave Himself.”  The Jews could only arrest Jesus because He “gave Himself”.  The Romans could only crucify Jesus because He “gave Himself”.  Those watching would have seen an arrest, trial, and crucifixion.  What they would not have known was that every step Jesus took in this whole process was voluntary. Jn.18:1-11  makes it clear that if Jesus wanted to stop the Jews and Roman cohort from arresting Him, He had the power to do so.  But He voluntarily submitted Himself because His hour had come to that for which the Father sent Him to do.

Second, Jesus’s death was planned. Paul said Jesus gave himself “according to the will of our God and Father”.  Jesus’ death was God’s sovereign plan made from eternity. The Jewish leaders and the Romans did not know that they were carrying out God’s eternal plan for His Son. Peter said to the Jews in Acts 2:23 that Jesus was “delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, [and] you nailed [Him] to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.”  (see also Acts 4:27-28).  To use Jesus’ words in Jn.18:37, “For this I have been born, and for this I came into the world.”

Third, Jesus’s death was substitutionary. Paul wrote that Jesus gave Himself “for our sins”. We deserved God’s judgment for our sins but Christ took our sins and the corresponding judgment upon Himself. He satisfied in full the divine judgment for our transgressions. 2Cor.5:21 says, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” The substitutionary nature of Jesus’ death on the cross is what makes the gospel good news for sinners and gives us the hope of forgiveness and eternal life.  Let our minds well on these truths and rejoice in them.


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