Here are some of the Bible passages that present the ideas found in the series, A Reflection on Our Fear of Death.
God’s Planned Solution to Our Rebellion
Very soon after our ancestors disobeyed, thereby joining Satan's rebellion, God promised them that one day, a son born of a woman would put an end to Satan’s domination and allow us to return to God’s kingdom.
- Genesis 3:15: I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.
God begins reclaiming the Earth by revealing himself first to one particular people group: the Jewish nation. In the Jewish sacred texts found in the Bible, God slowly reveals to them more and more details about his planned deliverance from evil. However, it is only when Jesus, the eternal Son of God, comes to dwell among us that we understand that plan fully.
(Read Prophecies about Jesus from the Jewish Scriptures)
Jesus Reveals the Planned Deliverance
At exactly the right moment, the Father sends us his eternal Son, Jesus, to be born of a Jewish woman (without a man’s contribution) and take on the fulness of our humanity.
- Matthew 1:23: Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him “Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.”
Contrary to us, during his time on earth, Jesus lives in constant communication with his Father through the Spirit, obeying his directions perfectly without ever doing anything contrary to his will.
John 5:19: Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”
John 8:45-47: Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.
He is therefore not under the death penalty that is incurred by even a single act of rebellion against God (what the Bible calls sin).
Why Does Jesus Die on a Cross?
Jesus does not die for any wrongdoing of his; he is sinless.
- 1 Peter 2:22: He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.
Rather, as our perfect representative, he goes to the cross out of love for us to pay the penalty for our sin and purify us from it.
- 1 Peter 2:24: He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness.
Perhaps an illustration might help. John the Baptist, the prophet who let the Jewish people know that Jesus, the eternal Son of God, had come into the world, said this about him: “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world (John 1.29).”
This was an allusion to the Jewish sacrificial system of the day, which allowed the sins of people to be transferred to an innocent and unblemished animal that would pay their death penalty in their place. Such animal sacrifices had to be offered continuously by priests because they were finite in scope. They pointed to the perfect sacrifice that would one day replace them, Jesus. Because he is the Lamb of God who is fully God and fully human, Jesus only had to die once to pay for all our sins — past, present, and future.
- Hebrews 7:23-27: Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Such a high priest truly meets our need — one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.
By offering himself up for us as a perfect, unblemished sacrifice, Jesus revealed aspects of God’s character that can only be displayed in response to sin: his justice, his holiness, his wrath, his love, his mercy, his grace, and his forgiveness, to name a few.
- Ephesians 2:3-7: Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
Why is His Resurrection so Important?
Jesus is the only person in human history to bodily rise to eternal life after death.
- 1 Corinthians 15:3-7: For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.
This unprecedented historical event proves that he is the Son of God, that his Father fully accepted his death as payment for our rebellion, and that Jesus can fulfill his promise to deliver us from evil and give us eternal life.
- Romans 1:1-4: Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.
Next: What Kind of Eternal Life Does Jesus Offer Us?
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