Wednesday, May 19

Purposes of Christ's Death, No. 2

Well, it was a busy day, so I didn't have much time for blogging, but since I said I'd be doing one of these per day, I figured I'd take one of the less complex purpose statements given for Christ's death and look at it tonight. I chose 1 Peter 3:18:
Because Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, to bring you to God, by being put to death in the flesh. (NET)
There are lots of not-so-clear things in the verses after this one, but this particular verse is pretty straight forward. The purpose statement given here for Christ's being put to death--or Christ's suffering for sins--is "to bring you to God." This, of course, is pointing to the reconciliation that Christ's death brings, not so much God's reconcilitation toward human beings--although that would be necessary in order for Him to reach out to bring people to himself--but the reconciliation of human beings toward God. People who are naturally hostile toward God (Romans 8), are brought to God because of Christ's suffering for sin.

The just One suffers in place of the unjust ones, and on the basis of what is accomplished by that vicarious suffering, the sin that stands between God and sinners is taken out of the way, and God can now reach out to cause them to be reconciled to himself. This reconciling work is done by the Spirit (Romans 8, again).

Another purpose for Christ's death is to bring people to God.