The Meaning of the Death of Christ

If you asked kids in church (and even most adults) "What is the meaning of the death of Christ?", I am sure you would get a variety of answers. My bet would be that some of the most common answers would be along the lines of "To show God's love," and "To give me an example of how to love others."

Basic Theology: A Popular Systematic Guide to Understanding Biblical TruthOf course, these are true, we must remember that these are outflows of the core truths of the gospel. I was reminded of this while reading Basic Theology. Author Charles Ryrie gives four truths about what Jesus' death accomplished:
  1. Substitution  for sinners.
  2. Redemption in relation to sin.
  3. Reconciliation in relation to man.
  4. Propitiation in relation to God.
That is, Jesus took my place in taking on God's wrath towards my sins. In doing this, He allowed me to be reconciled to God, through faith.

We need to remember that "God loves me" is not the central message of the Bible. The Bible, and the message of the gospel message, is not about my story, but God's. It points to His glory, not mine. I am an effect, not the goal, of His work.

Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to DieFor further reading and worship, I highly recommend Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die. In this book, Piper gives the purposes (not the reasons) for sending Jesus to die. Each section is only two pages long, but will help you delve into deeper thought, worship, and discussion. It would be a great resource to use as a devotional (personal or family) after Easter, to continue to meditate on what He did at the Cross.

As parents and church leaders, use the next week leading up to Easter weekend, to remind your kids that Christ's life, death, and resurrection is about Him. It is only through His acts that we have the opportunity to live for and with Him forever.


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