Did Christ die in vain” - Part I

To a significant percentage of the world’s population, and sadly the population of the United States, Jesus’ claim to have died for the sins of the world was a big waste of time.  Those who feel this way are basically individuals who do not believe that He was/is God’s son and do not believe that His death was any more significant than the death of any ordinary person.  Those of us who are of Faith not only believe, but we know from historical documentation that Jesus was in fact the only begotten Son of God.  Not only did His coming, His life, His death, burial, and resurrection fulfill the voice of prophecy from centuries earlier, He also was certified to be who He claimed to be by the miracles that He performed and by His resurrection from the dead.
First Century Historians, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, wrote of all these events in real time and space.  A significant number of people were alive at the time of these writings who would have gladly disproved these claims of a resurrected Lord if they could have.  They could not!  According to the Apostle Paul’s writings, Jesus was seen by numerous eyewitnesses after His death and burial.  In fact, above 500 on one occasion saw the resurrected Lord (1 Corinthians 15:3-8).   Many of the eyewitnesses gave up their own lives rather than recant their eyewitness confirmation of a resurrected Lord.  Notice:
1 Corinthians 15:3-8 (KJV) ³ “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; ⁴ And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: ⁵ And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: ⁶ After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. ⁷ After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. ⁸ And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.”
The New Testament presents the great importance of the death of the Christ for our sins.  In fact, His death is presented as the very reason that He came to this earth.  Paul’s assertion in 1 Corinthians 15, which we have quoted, is that “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures...He was buried...He rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”  The scriptures which he refers to were the Old Testament prophecies.  Jesus’ death was in keeping with the prophetic word.  He was literally born to die for our sins.  
Jesus himself declared in John 12:27 (KJV) ²⁷ “Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.”
The writer of the book of Hebrews sets forth His death as purposeful with these words:   Hebrews 2:9 (KJV) ⁹ “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.”
The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 5:6-10 (KJV) ⁶ “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. ⁷ For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. ⁸ But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. ⁹ Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. ¹⁰ For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”  His death was no accident.  It was the very expression of God’s love toward us.  Next time we’ll look at ways that professed believers can make the death of Christ to be in vain toward themselves.  

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