These five words, “Christ died for our sins,” are the very heart – the central theme – of the gospel of God’s salvation. They present the basis from which the benefits of God’s grace flow out to all mankind. These verses from the Bible in 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4 state that “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” These precious words recount not only the historical event of what occurred in Jerusalem almost 2,000 years ago, but they also shed light on the reason for that monumental event. Here we learn of the person, the purpose, and the product of Christ’s death.
The Person Who died: Christ the Savior
A well-known Bible passage found in Luke 2:11 is the theme of many Christmas carols: “Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” Matthew 1:21 further amplifies the thought of His being the Savior by stating, “Thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins.” The Old Testament promises of a Savior were about to be realized. However, it was not His birth, nor His life, but His death that would provide salvation.
The Purposes for which Christ died
Christ did not merely die the death of a martyr for the sake of a religious cause, nor did He die as punishment for His own sins. He had none, for He was the sinless Son of God. Rather, the Bible presents His death as the fulfillment of God’s purposes. Over 700 years before Christ died, the prophet Isaiah wrote, “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed” (Isa 53:5). He endured the punishment of God for our sins.
The Plight of those for whom Christ died
The Bible clearly states, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23). Furthermore, our sins have separated us from God (Isa 59:2), and if we die in our sinful condition we will be excluded from ever being in heaven with the Lord Jesus (John 8:21-24).
The Promise to those who acknowledge Christ’s death
The Bible promises, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Rom 10:9). Acknowledging this truth and resting in faith on God’s Word gives one the assurance of salvation from the awful consequences of sin – hell, and eternally the lake of fire – as well as the blessed assurance of being in heaven with Christ in a soon-coming day.
The Personalization of the death of Christ
Acknowledging that Christ died for “our” sins is one thing, but stating that Christ died for “my” sins is another. Without this personalization of Christ’s death there is no forgiveness of sins, or assurance of heaven. Dear reader, if there has never been a time when Christ’s death became personal to you, may this be your utmost desire now. Accept Christ as Savior and enjoy true peace through the forgiveness of sins.