Did Jesus have to die? Was there no other way? The plan of salvation was predetermined by the Godhead before the world began (2 Timothy 1:9; 1 Corinthians 2:7). Knowing that sin would be a personal attack by His created beings against His authority and character, God was ready to reveal His love and justice, not only to a sinless universe, but also to those who had shunned His divine love (John 1:14; 3:16; Romans 5:5–10). By His life, suffering and sacrificial death on behalf of humanity, Jesus Christ offered:
First- Redemption and justification of mankind
Man’s sin was imputed to Christ (Isaiah 53:3–6; 2 Corinthians 5:21) in order that Christ’s righteousness might be imputed to man. By bearing men’s sins on the cross, Christ could remit their penalty because He paid it (Hebrews 9:26). His death was vicarious and substitutionary, for He paid the penalty for the guilt of others (Hebrews 9:28; 1 John 2:2).
Second- The sanctification of men
God sent His Son in the likeness of sinful men, so that they might be empowered to obey His holy law (Exodus 20:3-17). To bring man’s life into harmony with the divine will is the goal of the plan of salvation. God did not offer His Son in order to change or abolish His law, or to release men from the necessity of perfect obedience (Matthew 5:17,18).
The law has always stood as an expression of the unchanging Word and character of God (Malachi 3:6; James 1:17). However, fallen man has been unable to obey its requirements, and the law has had no power to empower him to obey.
But now Christ has come to make it possible for man to offer perfect obedience. “Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law” (Romans 3:31). The Lord teaches that the goal of sanctification is “that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:4).
The Bible consistently speaks of entire transformation and perfect obedience (2 Corinthians 7:1; Ephesians 4:12, 13; 2 Timothy 3:17; Hebrews 6:1; 13:21). God requires perfection of His children, and the perfect life of Christ in His humanity is God’s assurance to us that by His power we too may attain to perfection of character. Jesus said, “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect“ (Matthew 5:48).
Third- Glorification of God and man
“When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day” (2 Thessalonians 1:10).
The supreme vindication of Christ’s death will take place when the whole family of His children will be united together. Then, the universe will see the value of His sacrifice and the victory of life. Thus, the Savior will be glorified (Galatians 1:24; 1 Thessalonians 2:20; 2 Thessalonians 1:4).
As the artist is glorified in his masterwork, so the Christ will be glorified before the heavenly beings by His handiwork—the miracles of His divine grace (Matthew 13:43). Throughout the endless ages, glory will be offered to the Savior as His saints make known more fully the wisdom of God in His wondrous plan of salvation (Ephesians 3:10, 11).
In His service,