Summary: A consideration of why Jesus died on the Cross.
Title: Jesus Is . . .Our Savior
Series: Who Is Jesus? (Sermon # 3)
Text: Mark 10:32-34, 45
Date: March 16, 2008 (Palm Sunday)
COPYRIGHT © Joe La Rue, 2008
A. When we were sinners, Jesus came,
Took upon Himself our blame,
Willing to bear our sin and shame.
He died for us. He died for us.
The Son of God became a man,
Fulfilling God’s eternal plan,
Conceived before the world began.
He died for us. He died for us.
There once stood a wall, deep and wide,
Strong and tall, there it stood,
Built of all our unholiness.
But this man, by His blood,
Broke that wall and loosed the flood
Of the mercies of God to mankind.
And now God offers to each one,
Priceless pardon for what we’ve done,
Because of Jesus, His own Son,
Who died for us. He died for us.
B. Why did Jesus have to die? Why did He go to the cross? The drama and the movie clip that we just experienced—why did those things have to happen? This morning I would like to answer that question by looking at what Jesus Himself said. Look with me at Mark’s Gospel, chapter 10, beginning in verse 32. Mark 10:32. The Bible says that Jesus,
“Took the twelve aside and began to tell them what was going to happen to Him, saying, ‘Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and will hand Him over to the Gentiles. They will mock Him and spit on Him, and scourge Him and kill Him, and three days later He will rise again.’”
Now look at verse 45,
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:32-34, 45, NASB).
C. You want to know why Jesus died? Right there it is. He gave His life as a ransom for many, so that we could be redeemed. That’s what it means in the Bible when it talks about “ransom”—a ransom is paid to redeem someone or something. And Christ gave His life as a ransom, so we could be redeemed—so we could be saved. That is why theologian John Stott has correctly written, “Christianity is a religion of salvation, and there is nothing in the non-Christian religions to compare with this message of a God who loved, and came after, and died for, a world of lost sinners” (John Stott, Basic Christianity, p. 15). Islam doesn’t have such a god. Neither does Hinduism nor Buddhism nor even the Jewish faith. Only Christianity worships a God who died our death, that we might live His life. This is the good news of our faith; it’s what our faith is all about!
D. As I shared the first week of this series, the historical evidence affirming that there really was a man named Jesus, who really was crucified under the governorship of Pontius Pilate, and who really did die, is overwhelming. Jesus’s life and death is accepted by almost everyone as an historical event. It’s hard to find even a hard-nosed atheist who denies that it took place; it’s part of accepted historical reality. Even those who belong to other religions, like Islam and Judaism, believe Jesus really was crucified. That’s just not really in question. What is in question is what Christ’s death means for us today. So for the next twenty minutes or so I want to focus your attention upon what we mean when we talk about Christ redeeming us, and why Jesus chose to do it.