Bible Texts Reveal Why Jesus Had to Die
April 24, 2009 Blogs by: Tim Jennings, M.D.

This week I visited another website where a young lady asked, “Has anyone made a list of Bible verses that tell us why Jesus came here and lived and died for us?”

I responded briefly with three texts, Heb 2:14, 2Tim 1:10 and 1John 3:8 that I suggested summed up the reasons Christ came to earth and died. Someone replied asking where is the Gospel, Good News in these texts? Below is my reply:

Where is the “gospel” in these texts? As I said, these three text sum up the entirety of Christ’s mission and the Gospel, here’s how:

The gospel is the good news about the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is the kingdom of love – God is love, His character is love, the law upon which the universe is constructed to operate is love. How do these three text demonstrate the good news about the God who is love and His kingdom of love?

Heb 2:14 – By His death Christ destroys him who holds the power of death that is the devil –

What is the devil’s power of death?

John 17:3 – “this is life eternal that they might know you the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”

If life eternal is knowing God, then eternal death is not knowing God. What then is Satan’s power of death? The lies he tells about God that keep us from knowing Him. What then is the “Gospel” in the passage? What destroys lies about God? The truth about God as revealed by Jesus, thus it is the Good News about God, as revealed by Christ, that destroys the devil’s power of death.

2 Tim 1:10: Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

How did Jesus death destroy death? The law of love is the law of life, the law upon which all life in the universe was designed to operate. Death comes as the natural result of breaking the law of love, just like death comes as the natural result of breaking the law of respiration by tying a plastic bag over your head. Christ destroyed death by perfectly restoring the law of love, the basis for life, into mankind and overcoming the inherent infection of fear and selfishness (survival of the fittest).  He did this when, in His humanity, He chose to surrender His life in love rather than use His power to save Himself. Thus, in Christ love overcame the infection of selfishness. The Good News – “The law of the Lord is Perfect Reviving the Soul” i.e. The kingdom of Love, emanating from the God of Love is Life and destroys death.

1John 3:8 The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.

What was the devil’s work? To misrepresent God, initially by lies, but then by co-opting mankind, who was created in God’s image to reveal God’s character, and replace God’s law of love with Satan’s law of selfishness (survival of the fittest) in the heart of man. Christ took our infirmity, condition, sinfulness upon Himself in order to heal, fix, and resolve the sin problem. He did this by perfectly restoring God’s character of love back into the species human. In His human brain Christ lived God’s law of love perfectly revealing the true character of God that Adam was created to reveal. Thus He destroyed the devil’s work.

So, when we understand the kingdom of God is the kingdom of love and we understand the devil’s power is lies, which when believed sever the circle of love resulting in death, and the devil’s work is to destroy the image of God in man, we can understand how the Good News about God’s character of love shines through in each of these texts.

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Tim Jennings, M.D. Timothy R. Jennings, M.D., is a board-certified psychiatrist, master psychopharmacologist, Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, Fellow of the Southern Psychiatric Association, and an international speaker. He served as president of the Southern and Tennessee Psychiatric Associations and is president and founder of Come and Reason Ministries. Dr. Jennings has authored many books, including The God-Shaped Brain, The God-Shaped Heart, and The Aging Brain.
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