Why did Jesus die?

For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. – 1 Peter 2:21-25

See the lyrics to this hymn below: powerful!

Perhaps you know someone whom you love very much, but who is constantly showing himself to be his own worst enemy. Every opportunity to make a good decision is missed or rejected and every chance to follow a wayward path is welcomed. There comes a time when such people simply use up their quota of your grace and kindness. It’s not that you don’t love him. It’s not that she doesn’t matter to you. But you simply have no more grace to give.

Jesus never reached that point with anyone. That’s why he died. He took on all our sin, our self-destructive ways and wrong choices. He embraced every evil thing we did to him, to our sister in Christ, our neighbor and our enemy. And it killed him. He died of a broken heart – a completely broken, crushed, and wrung-out heart. In Jesus’ death is our forgiveness, redemption, restoration, and reconciliation.

Having been forgiven we can look upon Jesus as a lover of our souls – which he is. We can see him as our wonderful, merciful Savior – and certainly he is that. Peter says here that Jesus did that so that we would die to sin and live to righteousness. It’s not merely a once-and-done event, our salvation. It’s a once and done with lasting and far-reaching implications.

It is one thing to confess Jesus as Savior and Lord. The fullness of that confession will reach into our lives in ways that mark us as quite different from the rest of the world. While the rest of the world reviles when reviled, threatens when suffering comes, is happy to be able to deceive others when it is to their advantage. But Jesus’ followers have been redeemed from such futile ways, and been pointed to One in whom every investment of trust and every act of faithful following is vindicated and upheld.

What a shepherd for our souls! What an overseer of our hearts! He is a wonderful merciful Savior!

Wonderful, merciful Savior Lyrics
Wonderful, merciful Savior
Precious Redeemer and Friend
Who would have thought that a Lamb
Could rescue the souls of men
Oh, You rescue the souls of men
Counselor, Comforter, Keeper
Spirit we long to embrace
You offer hope when our hearts have
Hopelessly lost our way
Oh, we’ve hopelessly lost the way
You are the One that we praise
You are the One we adore
You give the healing and grace
Our hearts always hunger for
Oh, our hearts always hunger for
Almighty, infinite Father
Faithfully loving Your own
Here in our weakness You find us
Falling before Your throne
Oh, we’re falling before Your throne
You are the One that we praise
You are the One we adore
You give the healing and grace
Our hearts always hunger for
Oh, our hearts always hunger for
You are the One that we praise
You are the One we adore
You give the healing and grace
Our hearts always hunger for
Oh, our hearts always hunger for
Songwriters: Dawn Rodgers / Eric Wyse
Wonderful, Merciful Savior lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc
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