What Christ's Death Meant to Him
“...to purify for Himself a people for His own possession”

By Jon W. Quinn

If you were asked why Jesus died, you might answer something like: "He died for me to save me from my sins." Of course, that is correct (1 Corinthians 15:3). But, it is not all the answer. It does inform as to what His death meant to us. It was a redeeming, rescuing death to save. It was so that we who were lost could be found and reclaimed. The fact of such great love of the Creator for us ought to excite within us praise and thanksgiving; a wonderful sense of confidence and wellbeing. We ought to love Him who first loved us.

We will touch upon some points concerning what Christ's death meant to us, but we're also going to notice something not as often noted: that is, what Christ's death meant to Him! Consider our text and its context: “who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.” (Titus 2:14; see vs. 11-15).

Jesus' Death and Our Redemption from all Iniquity
Eternal hope simply is not found anywhere else other than in Christ Jesus. Our iniquity, if we are not redeemed by Christ, is a horrible separator between God, and the good He is, and man, eternally lost and without hope. Let your attitude not be as the nation of Judah's was as it faced the judgment of God: "But they will say, 'It's hopeless! For we are going to follow our own plans, and each of us will act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart.''” (Jeremiah 18:12).

It is stubborn pride that causes one to think he or she has no need of God because they have devised a better way to live. Judah is described by the Lord: 'For My people have forgotten Me, They burn incense to worthless gods…” (Jeremiah 18:15a). The end of such fruitless pursuit is judgment and destruction. It was then, and still is today, whether it be the idols of Judah's day, or their modern counterparts which compete with God for our hearts today (Jeremiah 18:16-17).

Sadly, often the final response of those hopelessly lost is to attack the messenger who would counsel them concerning both the danger they face in sin as well as the salvation of God (Jeremiah 18:18).

Redemption in Christ Saves Us
Though there is much involved, here is one foundational reason that I am not going to hell. It is because Jesus redeemed me (1 Thessalonians 5:9-11). I simply look for salvation no where else because I am convinced by Jesus that there is none to be found anywhere else.

Because it has been God's desire to save me through His Son, I am encouraged and confident, and therefore motivated to remain faithful to Him. He called me through His gospel, and it is on that Holy Word I stand, sanctified, living by faith, standing firm and holding to the teachings (2 Thessalonians 2:13-15). I am convinced there simply is not anything else that will do.

Jesus' Death and a Purifying of a People for His Own Possession
But Jesus did not die only to keep us from being eternally lost. He died to make us His own, for the glory of God (Ephesians 1:14; 2:10). He died to make us into something good and excellent (1 Peter 2:9-12). We are missing it somewhere if we are not walking as Jesus' own people would walk during our time upon the earth!

Jesus is my Lord on both sides of eternity. He is the everlasting Lord of all His people. Not just for a little while, but for all eternity, He is Lord. Even in death, I still am His! When by death I leave this world, I will still be His own (Romans 14:9). His plans for us, His church, are eternal in their nature. His dominion is forever and ever (1 Peter 5:10-11)

Jesus' Death and His People Zealous for Good Deeds
The love which Christ had for us becomes the great control of our lives motivating us to live for Him. If our appreciation toward Him for His great redemptive work is as it ought to be, then we are left with but one reasonable option: to live for Him rather than for self (2 Corinthians 5:14,15).

Our Lord's death means to equip us so that we may be adequate in everything that pleases the Lord and brings God glory (Hebrews 13:20,21). The offering of Christ assists us to clear our thoughts of the wasteful, ruinous ways of the world so that we may focus on a higher and nobler calling of serving the living God (Hebrews 9:14).

Christ's death made it possible for us to die to sins and to live to righteousness through a healing process (1 Peter 2:24-25). The nobility of the sacrifice of Jesus ought to cause us to eagerly engage in doing the good things God intends us to do so that the Father and the Son may be glorified.

And then, in that eternal realm, the time to glorify God in this world will have passed. Those opportunities will have ceased. There is no good reason to live in such a way now that when we get there we are regretting that we did not take better advantage of the opportunities we now have!

But that is not to say that our deeds done here in the present will no longer have an effect. Even then, what we have done here by faith will continue to bring forth good and positive effects throughout the ceaseless eternal day to come (Revelation 14:12,13; Hebrews 6:10-12).

Conclusion - So, we see that not only did Jesus' death make salvation possible for us, it also made it possible for Him, to purify a people for His own possession; a people full of zeal to carry out His will on the earth, and to finally rejoice with Him in glory in eternity. That's the plan, at any rate. How well and to what extent I cooperate with the Savior is up to me. But is there a good reason to resist the plan that will bring about such a great eternal victory? Will I be a disciple of Christ, belonging to Him and zealous in His work? Let the answer be "Yes!"

From The Bradley Banner 10/3/2010
Published by the Bradley Church of Christ
1505 E. Broadway

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