Jesus’ Death Wasn’t Enough
By His obedience, He redeemed His people for eternity. —R.C. Sproul
Any six-year-old child who has spent a few Lord’s Day mornings in Sunday school is able to give an accurate answer to the question, “What did Jesus do for you?” Usually that child will say, “Jesus died on the cross for my sins.” That’s a true and profound statement, but it is only half of the matter.
If Jesus merely needed to die on the cross to save His people, He could have descended from heaven as a man on the morning of Good Friday, gone straight to Golgotha, died on the cross, risen, and left again. Our sin problem would be fixed. He did not need to be born to Mary in a stable, go through all the trials and tribulations of growing up in this fallen world, or endure the animosity of the Jewish leaders during His ministry.
However, Jesus did not live those thirty-three years for nothing.
In order for Him to qualify as our Redeemer, it was not enough for Him simply to go to the cross and be crucified. If Jesus had only paid for our sins, He would have succeeded only in taking us back to square one. We would no longer be guilty, but we still would have absolutely no righteousness to bring before God.
So, our Redeemer needed not only to die, but also to live a life of perfect obedience. The righteousness that He manifested could then be transferred to all who put their trust in Him. Just as my sin is transferred to Him on the cross when I trust in Him, His righteousness is transferred to my account in the sight of God. So, when I stand before God on the judgment day, God is going to see Jesus and His righteousness, which will be my cover.
By His obedience, He redeemed His people for eternity.
It is important, then, that we not minimize the work of Christ throughout His life by focusing too narrowly on the work of Christ in His death. Thus, my purpose in my new book, The Work of Christ, is to give a brief overview of Christ’s sojourn in this world, looking at the major events of both His life and His death to show that He fulfilled a lifelong mission. It is my prayer that The Work of Christ will help you see that by His whole life our Lord wrought a complete salvation for His beloved people.
Adapted from R.C Sproul’s Preface in The Work of Christ (David C Cook, 2012)