4 Things Jesus Did for You
Growing up in a Christianized culture, I often heard the following axiom — “Jesus loves you!” The words are so familiar, they nearly seem like a worn out cliché. But their truth is still powerful. The Eternal God who is love (see 1 John 4:8) demonstrated His affectionate regard for humanity in a tangible way through the appearance of His Son (see John 3:16). Theologians often refer to Christ’s birth as “the incarnation.” It was an act whereby God appeared “in” the “flesh” in order to provide salvation for all of humanity. Many understand that Christ’s coming to earth accomplished powerful results, but they often limit His work to the cross. This is demonstrated through the way in which the object is often depicted as the foremost Christian symbol through jewelry, on trinkets, and atop church steeples. Though Calvary accomplished much, Christ’s work on behalf of believers should not be limited to the cross alone. Consider the scope of Jesus’ atonement. Through the His life and substitutionary death, he accomplished several things for you.
Jesus Lived for You.
Before He ever died for you, Jesus lived for you. A substitute was needed to not just die on your behalf, but to live on your behalf as well. Because you are imperfect, a perfect person had to live in your stead. Not just any sacrifice would suffice. A sinless substitute was needed in order to save sinful humanity. Jesus qualified. Though tempted by Satan himself (see Matthew 4:1-11), He fully obeyed all of God’s commands. He knew no sin (see 2 Corinthians 5:21). Through the perfect life which He lived, Jesus proved to be an adequate advocate for all of humankind. If you have trusted in Him for salvation, the Lord no longer looks at you the same way. When He sees you, He sees the perfect life of His Son.
Jesus Died for You.
Though the truth is often overstated at the expense of other aspects of Christ’s atoning work, it is significant that Jesus died for you. He ascended to Golgotha’s hill in order to pay the penalty sin deserves. Since the Garden of Eden (see Genesis 3:1-24), the principle of indwelling sin has made all men and women subject to both spiritual and physical death (see Romans 5:12). Jesus died to reverse these consequences of sin.
Jesus Was Buried for You.
For the apostle Paul, Jesus’ burial was an integral part of the gospel message as well (see 1 Corinthians 15:2). Though many minimize it as a mere natural consequence of the crucifixion, the event has its own, peculiar significance. Our Lord’s stopover at the grave was an act whereby He loosed His followers from the power of indwelling sin. Because Jesus was buried on our behalf, we have the supernatural ability to live a new type of life (see Romans 6:4).
Jesus Was Raised for You.
The resurrection of Jesus is the climactic capstone to Christ’s redemptive work. If the event did not occur, the life, death, and burial of Jesus are meaningless (see 1 Corinthians 15:14). Through the act, our Lord proved that He was God’s Son and that He can impart true life to all who believe in Him.
Dr. Patrick Latham