For Good Friday, I thought it would make sense to post a list of 50 reasons why Jesus had to die, from famous theologian John Piper.
Here are the ones that speak to me, but I think they are all really good:
2) To Please His Heavenly Father
Isaiah 53:10 – Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
Ephesians 5:2 – And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
3) To Learn Obedience and Be Perfected
Hebrews 5:8 – Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.
Hebrews 2:10 – For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering.
8) To Become a Ransom for Many
Mark 10:45 – For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
21) To Reconcile Us to God
Romans 5:10 – For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.
27) To Become a Sympathetic and Helpful Priest
Hebrews 4:15-16 – For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. (16) Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
36) To Create a People Passionate for Good Works
Titus 2:14 – who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
37) To Call Us to Follow His Example of Lowliness and Costly Love
1 Peter 2:19-21 – For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. (20) For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. (21) For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, a leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.
Hebrews 12:3-4 – Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. (4) In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
Philippians 2:5-8 – Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, (6) who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, (7) but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. (8) And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
38) To Create a Band of Crucified Followers
Luke 9:23 – And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.Matthew 10:38 – And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
42) To Disarm the Rulers and Authorities
Colossians 2:14-15 – by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. (15) He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.
1 John 3:8 – Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.
49) So That He Would Be Crowned with Glory and Honor
Hebrews 2:9 – But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
Philippians 2:7-9 – but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. (8) And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (9) Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,
Revelation 5:12 – saying with a loud voice, a “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”
This is really good. You should definitely read it! You can understand what Christianity is about in one post.
Let me just say a word about why I chose the verses that I chose. When I think of Jesus and what he did, I think about growing up and wanting to be a good person. The problem is that being the kind of person that I want to be is not rational unless Christianity is true. I need to know that God is real, that the moral law is real, that following the moral law makes sense – even when it hurts. Even knowing what kind of person I ought to be is a problem! Jesus solves all of those problems.
One thing that Jesus does for me that is important for me is that he shows that obedience to God and the moral law is, in the end, what is best for us. And that it really doesn’t matter what other people think of you when you do the right thing. Even if they kill you, you will still have eternal life, because the sacrifice of Christ to cover all your sinfulness and failure. Even when you fail to do what you knew you ought to do, Christ offers forgiveness and a fresh start. And in the end, he offers you victory. Victory of a kind that you will never achieve on Earth through your own efforts alone.
Jesus is someone you can admire, love and follow. Even when you did not know or love the Father, the Son took the initiative to suffer in your place, so that your rebellion against the Father would not be counted against you. When the day of Judgment comes, you want to be on the side of the one who obeyed God the Father perfectly. You want to be there with the person who loves you the most. That’s Jesus. And you can know him too, and begin to work together with him in this life right now, if you are ready to become a Christian.
My testimony is here, if anyone is interested.