Blood of Jesus Christ 7

By Dr. Derek Thomas

This is the question that we have to ask.  Why did Jesus have to die?  Why did He have to die?  Why did He have to die by crucifixion?  Couldn't He have died like this dear Godly woman, Tillie, or whatever her name was?  Couldn't have He died in His 90th year in His bed like Calvin, speaking to his friends, giving last words of great import and scribes taking down his last words?  Why couldn't He have died in that way?  Why does He have to shed His blood in violent execution? 

Now, let's not get sentimental.  Some of us...well, not me, but some of you wear a cross around your neck as a piece of jewelry.  You have forgotten the Reformation to be sure, but do you understand what that's like?  It's like wearing an electric chair around your neck.  It's like wearing a syringe, a lethal injection syringe around your neck.  Because that's what the cross is.  It was a violent, horrendously painful means of execution. 

Why did Jesus have to die?  Did He have to go through that kind of death in order to inform us that Gentiles were also included within the covenant?  I don't get that.  I really don't get that.  So the touchstone of orthodoxy, of what is at the heart of the biblical message is the answer to that question.  Why did Jesus have to die?  Why did He have to die the way that He had to die?  Why did His blood have to be shed? 

We're talking about the cross.  Why did Jesus have to shed His blood?  Was it some extravagant display of self-sacrifice on the part of Jesus that we were in some way to emulate?  Then why aren't we all crucifying ourselves if that's the case? If that's the glorious way to go?   Of course, there have been those souls of martyrdom of that importance. 

Paul uses three words here to give us an answer.  The first is redemption, verse 24.  Redemption!  Notice what he says in verse 24, "We are justified by His grace as a gift through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus."  The cross and the shedding of blood is about ransom.  It's about the payment of a price.  That Israel whether it was out of Egypt or whether it was the exile from Babylon, or whether it was the firstborn that belonged to God that had to be bought back, the price had to be paid.  That's what the cross is about.  It's about redemption.