Did Jesus Really Die For Us?
I have created a new category, which I call Think Think Think, where all my intentionally thought-provoking entries, including this one, can be found. I’m encouraging, or challenging, people to stretch their minds. I hope to be successful in my attempts. Anyway…
So did Jesus really die for us? Let’s examine some passages from Scripture. Romans 5:8 says:
8but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Emphasis added)
And 1 Corinthians 15:3 says:
3For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins…(Emphasis added)
So we may say that Jesus did die for our sins. True! But He couldn’t die chiefly for us. What do I mean by that?
Think about this. If He died ultimately for us, or thinking of us above all as one song claims, then he is not good at all. Why? Because He would be committing idolatry, for He delights on something else other than Himself (for He is God).
Also, God’s purpose in everything He does is to preserve and display His glory. Proving this may take time (and I believe this is not the perfect avenue), but I’ll just point to a verse in the Bible. When His time of departure was nearing, Jesus prayed to His Father:
1…Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you. (John 17:1, emphasis added)
Here, we see Jesus’ commitment to His own glory (“glorify your Son”). Why this commitment? That He may glorify His Father! He died for His own glory, or for Himself, that He may give glory to His Father. Dying for Himself can be alternately stated as dying for God, since He is also God.
So I propose this answer to the question: Jesus died penultimately for us and ultimately for Himself.
At this point, you may have an objection. You may ask, “Isn’t that selfish?” But I don’t believe so. Because if Jesus did not endure the cross for the joy set before Him (Hebrews 12:2)—the joy of being glorified and “seated at the right hand of the throne of God”—then our salvation will be without foundation. Is there anything selfish in that?