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I feel silly asking this because I feel like it should be obvious. Why did Jesus need to die for our sins?

I am asking because this part of Christianity still confuses me. I thought Judaism taught that we will go to heaven if we believe in Judaism, but after a purification (by fire??) of our earthly sins. So Jesus' dying also guaranteed that we would go to heaven, but weren't believers guaranteed entry into heaven to begin with?

So does that mean that Jesus sacrificed himself on the cross so we would not have to go through the purification process? Is this the reason he died on the cross? Otherwise we all could have just become Jews and went through the purification process to go to heaven. Please help me understand what I am missing because I feel this can't be right.

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    "I thought Judaism taught that we will go to heaven if we believe in Judaism, but after a purification (by fire??) of our earthly sins." Modern Judaism has largely developed parallel to Christianity. That idea sounds similar to purgatory, which is taught by some Christian denominations, but not all. Which denomination's answer to this question were you interest in?
    – curiousdannii
    Mar 13 at 0:49
  • I suppose I will limit the scope to let's say "Protestant" and "Roman Catholic". If I have to pick a Protestant group, how about Baptists? That group seems like a pretty middle of the road average group of Protestants. Forgive me for my lack of knowledge when it comes to denominations.
    – user51761
    Mar 13 at 1:06
  • All of us - Jews or not - were destined for hell. The point of the law was to strengthen (or empower) SIN! (see 1 Corinthians 15:56. For that matter, see all of 1 Corinthians chapter 15!) The law was meant to show us our need for a savior in how impossible it is to keep, but sadly many have seen it as a challenge to keep as much as possible. Hebrews chapters 9 and 10 are also great. Mar 14 at 18:28
  • I would suggest OP, before you begin reading the Bible, as God to reveal it to you! He wrote it, and will grant you understanding that nobody has without the Spirit. Mar 14 at 18:28
  • Are you only asking for a Baptist interpretation?
    – Dave
    Mar 14 at 22:21
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A Baptist would point back to the garden of Eden and the nature of the problem. There are sins that a person commits by an act of the will in opposition to what is known to be right and there are sins committed in some degree of ignorance, both of omission and commission. Remedies for these (more accurately atonement of these) were prescribed for God's people, the Jews, in the levitical law and the sacrificial system.

Requisite was the offering of a sacrifice according to the penitent's means and the nature of the offense. A reading of Leviticus is useful here as a manual regrading the levitical system. Genuine repentance for an act on the part of the transgressor is an integral part of the offering and is sometimes explicit and sometimes implicit but always required. Often God expresses displeasure over the offerings being given for the expressed reason that "their hearts are far from me".

This brings us to what lies beneath. When Adam fell he did more than disobey God, he internalized rebellion. His created nature changed when he decided to take for himself that which is the purview of God alone: knowledge of good and evil. Since like begets like, all of Adam's progeny (humanity) are born with this rebellion within the fabric of their natures. Oswald Chambers, a Scottish Baptist (1874 - 1917) describes this sin nature as a disposition:

The Bible does not say that God punished the human race for one man’s sin; but that the disposition of sin, viz., my claim to my right to myself, entered into the human race by one man, and that another Man took on Him the sin of the human race and put it away (Hebrews 9:26) — an infinitely profounder revelation. The disposition of sin is not immorality and wrong-doing, but the disposition of self-realization — I am my own god. This disposition may work out in decorous morality or in indecorous immorality, but it has the one basis, my claim to my right to myself. - The Bias of Degeneration

It is for the destruction of the power of this disposition in humanity that Christ died. He did not come only to expiate each and every individual sin (which we all need) but to break the power of that which binds us all, to call us all to turn to the Living God through himself, to give us the gift of the Holy Spirit and thereby, to set us free from the law of sin and death.

For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.  For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. - Romans 8:2-11

Jesus is the once for all sacrifice that all of the law and the prophets foreshadowed and pointed towards. Under the Law one must offer sacrifice continually, day by day and year by year in order to redress transgression and sin because it dealt on the order of action. Jesus sacrifice was on the order of disposition to reconcile us once for all.

But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’” When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), then he added, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He does away with the first in order to establish the second. And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. - Hebrews 10:3-13

In the temple there was a thick curtain separating the holy place (ritual service) from the most holy place (where God's presence dwelt):

And you shall make a veil of blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen. It shall be made with cherubim skillfully worked into it. And you shall hang it on four pillars of acacia overlaid with gold, with hooks of gold, on four bases of silver. And you shall hang the veil from the clasps, and bring the ark of the testimony in there within the veil. And the veil shall separate for you the Holy Place from the Most Holy. You shall put the mercy seat on the ark of the testimony in the Most Holy Place. - Exodus 26:31-34

Even in the Levitical system that God instituted there was no personal access to God Himself except through religious ritual and faith that God would express mercy through heartfelt obedience. In Matthew's Gospel account of the death of Jesus Christ it is recorded that, at the moment of Jesus' death, the veil in the temple was torn from top to bottom:

And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. - Matthew 27:50-51

The Epistle to the Hebrews declares that Jesus condemned and removed the sin within humanity that separates us from God which the veil typified:

Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. - Hebrews 10:19-22

Sin causes separation between God and man and it is woven into the fabric of our flesh. When the Son of God emptied Himself and veiled his glory within flesh he identified Himself with all humanity. When he offered His own life to God as a spotless sacrifice (think Day of Atonement, Leviticus 16) He permanently removed the barrier restricting mankind's access to Almighty God.

Now that a better and permanent access has been opened there is no benefit for for those in Judaism to remain in the foreshadowing of religious ritual, serving in the Holy Place as though the veil of separation from God's presence still remained.

The following is from a Messianic Jewish blog entitled "The WORD in Hebrew":

When the phrase “Completed Jew” is used, it’s used in the sense of “completed faith” – Unlike in other religions or heritage, when a Jew comes to faith in the Jewish Messiah, it is not a “conversion”, but a COMPLETION OF FAITH . Since Jesus was Jewish and came to the Jewish people to be their Messiah, There is nothing more Jewish a Jewish person can do than to follow Him. Believing and following the Jewish Messiah, YESHUA, is a completion of faith for the Jew.

 

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  • I believe the answer to my question is right in front of me in what Mike Borden said. Can you try to make it more simple for me? I struggle to understand the book of Romans, it's very complex to me. The question I'm seeking an answer to, simply put is "If Jews were already destined for heaven, what was the purpose of Jesus dying on the cross? Why wouldn't we all have just become Jews, and still ended up in heaven in the end? Did Jesus die on the cross just so it would be easier for us? And so that we wouldn't need to go through the purification by fire? Is that the reason he died for us?"
    – user51761
    Mar 13 at 11:32
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    @NigelJ Thanks for catching that. What I meant was "only to expiate each and every.." Edited. Mar 13 at 13:51
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    @user51761 When you speak of Judaism do you mean the biblical religion requiring sacrifice in the temple in Jerusalem or modern Judaism which has no access to God's sacrificial system as the temple is no more? Mar 13 at 13:57
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    @user51761 who says Jews before Jesus sacrificial death were heaven bound? Their only hope was that a permanent perfect sacrifice that actually matched what Adam lost. Jews gain everlasting life after being resurrected and putting faith in the ransom sacrifice of Jesus just like all of Adams offspring that died before Jesus’ earthly sojourn and death
    – Kris
    Mar 13 at 14:07
  • @user51761 I have edited in some more information at the end of my answer to try and address your request for clarification. I hope it helps. Mar 14 at 14:13
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There could be two reasons for your confusion, and I answer as one who was a member of a Baptist church for many years, but am now a member of a Reformed Protestant group. It’s worth noting that that most famous and respected of Baptists, Charles H. Spurgeon, agreed with Reformed teaching on the reason why Jesus died for sins. Now, those two points of confusion.

  1. I suggest you drop the idea that “Judaism taught that we will go to heaven if we believe in Judaism, but after a purification (by fire??) of our earthly sins.” That idea is truly muddying the soteriological waters here. That’s because final destination is beside the point. Salvation is not dependent on where saved people will end up. The location will be determined by the Lord who saves, and it is misleading to think that nobody can have salvation until (or, unless) they get to heaven.

  2. The phrase ‘need to die for our sins’ could get you into a soteriological cul-de-sac. Please distinguish any perceived ‘need’ from the fact of a done-deed which neither Jesus, or the Father ‘needed’ to do, as if they had to do it. They chose to have a plan of salvation in place before any creating started, which is why Jesus is spoken of as “the Lamb, slain from before the founding of the world” (Revelation 13:8). And both Jewish and Gentile believers in Jesus have been “chosen as in him before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4).

You are right, however, to think of salvation in terms of a purification (fire being the biblical symbol of that cleansing from sin before we die; 1 Peter 4:2 tells those who are partakers of Christ’s suffering to expect fiery trials.) All saved sinners must go through a purification.

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory, that your faith and hope might be in God. Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, love one another with a pure heart fervently: being born again not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.” 1 Peter 1:18-23

If that has helped clear the decks, then I will make a few simple statements as to why Jesus chose to die for sinners’ sins. It was the only way the righteousness of God could be manifested to the world, in Christ bearing the punishment for sin in his body, as a sinless, perfect sacrifice. God having punished his Son for sin, meant no further punishment for sinners was required. Thus God’s law (that all sin must be punished) was fulfilled, and then the unmerited grace of God could be poured out on sinners who repented and put their faith in the finished work of Christ. The ultimate payment for ultimate sin had been ‘given’ to God by the resurrected Son returning to heaven as explained in the book of Hebrews, e.g.

“Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption… How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge [purify] your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? …and without shedding of blood is no remission… For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are figures of the true: but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us… but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself… For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” (Various verses from chapters 9 and 10.)

Those quoted scriptures provide the answer. Therein a depth of understanding can be gained regarding why Jesus died, and what his death achieves for repentant sinners, so I hope you will read both chapters fully. I just hope they will ‘speak’ to you without further multiplication of words.

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    Thanks for including Hebrews! Lots of good stuff there Mar 16 at 19:42
  • I would only add to your answer that when God punished His son, the son accepted it willingly. Jesus being equal to the Father in deity but submissive in economy willingly laid down his life as the father commanded. It's important to keep in mind the nature and persons of God in this discussion.
    – WnGatRC456
    Mar 26 at 0:55
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    @WnGatRC456 That's a good point to add and I do agree with it.
    – Anne
    Mar 26 at 13:07
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Why did Jesus need to die for our sins?

I am asking because this part of Christianity still confuses me.

If I have to pick a Protestant group, how about Baptists?


J C Philpot was a leader of the Strict Baptist movement in the mid 1800s and I am reproducing, and linking, here to what I think to be a very suitable sermon which he begins by saying :

I will assume that you are utterly ignorant of the Gospel

Not Our Own - Bought With a Price (Gower St Chapel 28/6/1868)

Here is just the first paragraph, the rest is all available to read in the link, free of charge :

I will assume that you are utterly ignorant of the Gospel– of its doctrines, of its promises, of its precepts, of its motives, and of its general influence and power upon believing hearts.

And I will assume also that you were called upon to lay down some plan whereby men might be restrained from the commission of crime, and influenced to the practice of every moral and social virtue. Now what plan would you adopt? You would, most probably, make crime the subject of severe punishment, and proportion the penalty to the offence; and you would also propose certain rewards to virtue and to good actions, graduated according to a rising scale.

And you would do this, that on the one hand you might by punishment deter men from the commission of crime, and on the other by suitable rewards induce them to the practice of such actions as society at large generally approves of. Well, after you had done all this, had drawn up your scheme, laid down your punishments, and proposed your rewards, you would only do what has been done or attempted to be done in all ages by the law of the land, though, for the most part, the various legislators have adopted punishment and omitted reward.

. . . continued in link --->

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  • The whole article is quite long, but puts the case logically by first showing what methods can never work, preparing the ground to grasp the only ground of salvation. An excellent article.
    – Anne
    Mar 15 at 12:43
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The bible lays out the plan God had from the beginning - here is a brief summary leading to why Jesus had to die.

Shortly after the Genesis creation, God chose Abram (changed to Abraham later) and asked him to do several things. Because he proved faithful and responsive to God's requests of him, God promised to make of him a great nation from his blood line (eventually called Israel)

Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. Gen 18:18 (we'll see why shortly)

Israel were God's people - He gave them the law and required them to live a certain way and they would be greatly blessed if they did. They had many ups and downs of obeying God and disobeying and they paid the price by losing favour with God. But God never set aside His promise!

The price they had to pay for personal sin (disobedience) under the law was to offer a sacrifice of an animal which was to be without imperfection. It would be killed - blood spilt to cover their sin and make them 'clean' or 'right' with God again.

After several millennia the second part of God's plan for mankind began with the birth of Jesus. He was of the line of Abraham and was always foreknown by God when he would come and what he would have to do. Jesus was foreknown by God from the foundation of the world - it was never a 'Plan B' because Adam sinned. Jesus was always coming.

Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as one would in referring to many, but rather as in referring to one, “And to your seed,” that is, Christ Gal 3:16

(clearing up the confusion regarding, 'Jesus being before Abraham - not existing, but foreknown and of much greater prominence)

Heb 10:11 tells us why - (animal) sacrifices... can never take away sins. They were just a model of something far better that would totally remove our sin and make us TOTALLY RIGHT with God again - we would be holy, pure and righteous - like God is - not by keeping a law, but by GRACE alone, offered through Christ.

Jesus is called our Saviour because he has saved us from the death we need to die to pay for our sins - the sins all men have committed since Adam. No animal is sufficient. A life has to be given instead of us if we are to live on past this life. If we die for our own sins, according to the law - we will simply stay dead forever!

Because Jesus was born without sin - being not from a human father but from the Holy God through Mary, he is perfect - without blemish, and suitable to cover all men's sins. (The sinful nature of the world is passed through our fathers, so Jesus avoided this problem)

"all nations on earth will be blessed through him" - because Jesus came from Abraham's seed, as a descendant of Abraham. All mankind now can have their sin covered by the blood of one perfect man and have the true life God intended.

For if by the offense of the one (Adam) the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many (all men). Rom 5 (the whole chapter is important)

Now back to the Jews - which, simply put, is just one tribe of the 12 tribes of Israel.

God never planned to offer eternal life through the law to Israel. They would be offered eternal life - but only with everyone else - the 'gentiles' included in God's new nation - the church. Eph 2:14

All things are made through Christ is explained here. Hint, it was not the Genesis creation.

Christ came to die. He also came to live again. God made the law and the penalty of breaking the law - He cannot suddenly change all that. He would provide a man who could pay the price for all sin - past, present and future - a life. A perfect life.

Only through this perfect offering would the law's penalty (death) be removed for all who would come to claim their gift in Jesus. He would be the firstborn from the dead. Col 1:15-18

But he could only live again, if he died without sin - which he did! Because he was a man, he could have sinned and died and never be raised again - who would pay for his sin? No one!

For Christ also suffered for sins once for all time, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit. 1 Pet 3:18

Peter explains how Jesus was mortal before his death, but after he was raised by His Father and God, made not mortal - having life eternal. The first of many brethren/ believers Rom 8:29 to pass from fleshly mortal life to bodily eternal life. The rest of us will have to wait for the resurrection (or his return) to have true life, just as Jesus did.

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  • "Only through this perfect offering would the law's penalty (death) be removed for all who would come to claim their gift in Jesus." Can you say more about this? Why is this so? Apr 10 at 6:33
  • @OneGod sorry, I missed this comment - do you still want to pursue this?
    – steveowen
    May 3 at 12:39
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([caveat]- This outline is not necessarily the ‘Baptist’ understanding - it is charismatic. If this question is only asking for the Baptist perspective, when/if this is confirmed, I will remove this answer.)

The reason Jesus had to die for our sin is simple. We see this in what the Law demands. Any violation - the penalty was the same, death. The word clearly tells us that sin=any violation of the Law.

1 JOHN 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

This ‘sin’ we are talking about is ‘sin’ - as a verb, that is, something you ‘do’. This ‘sin’ is ‘in done in the flesh’, that is, you use your body to commit ‘this sin’ - so the penalty for ‘sin’ here is death of the flesh/body.

‘Sin’ in the ‘flesh’ always has consequences. And, Jesus ‘took’ those consequences for us - on our behalf, in his body. One easy to see, clear example from scripture is the Passover - when the angel of destruction killed the firstborn, the ‘blood’ on the doorpost signalled that this ‘consequence/price’ would be paid for by their Messiah.

And we remember this, that is, that Jesus took the judgement we deserve, when we partake of the bread in communion.

When you become a believer' your body becomes a ‘temple’.

1 COR 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you,[snip]

And, just like the tabernacle in the times of Moses, it had to ‘be made clean’ [from ‘sin’]. It is only through the death of Jesus that this could/can be done.

There is much more to what Jesus accomplished through his death, but you specifically asked about Jesus dying for our ‘sin’, so I only discussed that aspect.

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  • Thank you. I am open to all perspectives so please don't delete this. Thank you again.
    – user51761
    Mar 15 at 4:34
  • @user51761 OK - but although I originally said this was a ‘charismatic’ view, I’m not sure I can say this. I probably should have been more accurate and said it [probably or ‘may’] ‘leans’ towards a ‘charismatic’ viewpoint - I really don’t have any foundation to represent that group.
    – Dave
    Mar 15 at 21:22
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The Jews, like everyone else, were, and are sinners. Most of the Israelites in the Old Testament age were not saved because they had no faith in a coming Saviour. Some of them were saved because they had this faith, including Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, all the prophets, and others such as Rahab, Ruth and many others.

The way of salvation throughout the ages has never changed, and it is only through faith in Christ. This faith is in the combination of his divine and human nature (that he is both God and man), in his sinless life, in his death for our sins, and in his bodily resurrection.

Our problem is that sin cuts us off from God: the New Testament is very plain that it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sin (Hebrews 10:4). If sin is not taken away then there can be no salvation. Christ died to take away sin. The death of the sinless God-man was the only way sin could be dealt with.

That salvation would come by a Saviour is the teaching of the Old Testament as well as the NT: for example, Genesis 3:15, Genesis 49:10-12, Psalm 22, Isaiah 53.

Very briefly, in Genesis 3:15 God promises a Saviour who would be "the seed of the woman" (human); who would "bruise Satan's head" - destroy the power of the devil (Rev 20:2); by suffering, the Saviour's "heel" would be "bruised" in the process. This Saviour could not be mere human because the whole human race in the fall of Adam and Eve were taken captive by the devil to do his will (2 Timothy 2:26).

The Book of Job is generally believed to have been written in the age of the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. That this Saviour would be divine, God made flesh, is shown by Job:

"For I know that my Redeemer lives, and that he shall stand in the latter days upon the earth: and though ...worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold" (Job 19:25-27).

God in his own nature is invisible and cannot be seen; only if he takes on a physical nature can he be seen - so Job is simply saying that one day God would become a man to be the Redeemer of Job and all His people.

This is a wonderful statement of Job.

Job is declaring he has a divine Redeemer because:-

1.this redeemer lives right now & will stand upon the earth in the fullness of time. (The length of life of this Redeemer means he is God.)

  1. The Hebrew word translated "redeemer" is the same word translated "kinsman" ("gaal", Strong's 1350) concerning Boaz in the book of Ruth (excepting Ruth 2:1, "yada", 3045). A kinsman is a relative. "Gaal" means the "nearest male relative" (with sufficient wealth to pay off debts). He is saying I know that my kinsman-redeemer lives. In Job 19:25 Job means God will one day show himself to be my blood-relative and will pay off all my debts. Essentially Job is saying that he knows that one day God will become a man. See Lev 25:25, etc, for the law of redemption by the near of kin.

"Unto us a child is born... and his name shall be called... Mighty God" (Isaiah 9:6). What needs to be said?

"The Lord whom you seek shall suddenly come to his temple" (Malachi 3:1). The Temple in Jerusalem is God's Temple. So this verse can only mean that God will suddenly come, yet the verse is speaking of Christ: so Christ is God according to the Prophet Malachi.

David wrote "The LORD said to my Lord sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet" (Psalm 110:1). Our Lord Jesus teaches from this that "the Son of David" would not be merely human, but divine (Matthew 22:44, Acts 2:34-36). And in Psalm 45:6 David is writing about the coming Messiah: "Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever". David says the coming Messiah will be Divine. Compare this with Hebrews 1:8.

Furthermore, his life, death and resurrection is pre-figured in the life, "death" and "resurrection" of Joseph in Egypt (Genesis 37-50), becoming a saviour of the children of Israel from famine. It is also pre-figured in the spotless beauty, "death" (Esther 4:16), "resurrection" (Esther 5:2),and intercession (Esther 5:3, etc) of Esther for her people.

From a Baptist, but really I think most denominations would agree the same, except the Jehovah's Witness would deny Jesus was and is God, and some dispensationalists would hold views which are really beyond my comprehension.

It should not surprise us if the Jews today do not agree that the OT saints trusted in a divine Saviour. They think that the law was given to enable them to get right with God, whereas the law was actually given to show us our inability to get right with God apart from the Messiah. There remains a veil over their eyes and hearts such that they cannot understand their Tanakh, the Old Testament (2 Corinthians 3:14-16).

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  • Hi Andrew. Do you mean to tell me that Moses believed in a divine Messiah? That he knew Jesus was both God and man? And the same is true for Elijah, David, Malachi, and so on? How do we know this? Can you show me how we know? Most modern day Jews would never agree with this. But what you say makes sense since God never changes. People help me understand. Is there a Bible passage on this topic? Or maybe a few passages I can read?
    – user51761
    Mar 15 at 4:32
  • @user51761 - The prophet Job took stock of his suffering and across his several speeches drew up a "job description" for a savior. He knew that he needed a savior who had the power of God but also the meekness and empathy of a "son of man". If you take the nine parts of his job description in the order he gives them, you have a description of Jesus' ministry from start to finish in chronological order. I describe eight of those parts in my book "Job Rises: Keys to a Resilient Life". I found the ninth later, and will be including it in my next book. Mar 15 at 20:09
  • Hi. I have amended my answer to address your comments. Mar 16 at 15:03
  • Thank you this is extremely helpful!!
    – user51761
    Mar 20 at 4:32
  • @user51761 - You are v welcome. I'm thankful if I am of use. I have tweaked the answer a bit more concerning Job's wonderful declaration of faith I know that my Redeemer lives. It tells us 1. Job's Redeemer is divine because he lives right now & will stand upon the earth in the fullness of time. 2. The Hebrew word translated "redeemer" ("gaal", Strong's 1350) is the same translated "kinsman" for Boaz in Ruth (excepting Ruth 2:1, "yada", 3045). It means the "nearest male relative" (with sufficient wealth to pay off debts). So again Job 19:25 means God will become a man. Lev 25:25. Mar 20 at 13:10
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Why did Jesus need to die for our sins?

Romans 5:12 gives us the clear answer as to why Jesus had to die:

That is why, just as through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because they had all sinned.

Who was the "one man" that brought sin into the world? That was Adam.

When we look at the account in Genesis, Adam had the prospect of living forever in a paradise. But because of his selfish desire, Adam chose to disobey Jehovah God and suffer the consequences of punishment and death. (Gen. chapters 1-3) As Romans 5:12 brought out, all mankind now suffers the 'plague' of sin and death.

So how does Jesus' death provide a way out for mankind? Jehovah God made a provision so that mankind could get themselves out of that plagued state:

For God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.–John 3:16

Take this illustration: The manager of a company makes a fatal decision that causes the layoffs of thousands of people in the company. The CEO sees what is happening and decides to send his own son to replace the manager and bring the company back on its feet. The son, as the new manager, hires back all the employees that were laid off and guarantees them continued work.

This is what Jehovah God did for mankind. Jesus gave his life as a ransom sacrifice to have our sins forgiven and redeem us from the sinful life that we have. That sacrifice balanced the scales so to speak. The Jews offered sacrifices from year to year, but those sacrifices could not replace what Adam had lost. (Heb. 10:4)

For more information, please see these additional resources:

[All scripture quotations are taken from New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (Study Edition)]

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Romans 3:23-26 says, "everyone has sinned and is far away from God's saving presence. 24 But by the free gift of God's grace all are put right with him through Christ Jesus, who sets them free. 25-26 God offered him, so that by his blood he should become the means by which people's sins are forgiven through their faith in him. God did this in order to demonstrate that he is righteous. In the past he was patient and overlooked people's sins; but in the present time he deals with their sins, in order to demonstrate his righteousness. In this way God shows that he himself is righteous and that he puts right everyone who believes in Jesus."

Before, they need to offer a lamb to be sacrificed for their sins. Today, Jesus became that Lamb (of God) as a way to cleanse our sins. Before, they NEED to follow their Laws (Laws of Moses) in order to be righteous. Now, having faith in Jesus makes us righteous in God's sight because of His Son.

So, the ultimate question is how can we be saved? By putting our faith in Jesus Christ AND through repentance (Matthew 3:6, James 5:16). Now, with the empowerment of the Holy Spirit (John 14:15-17), we can (and should) love God and follow ALL His teachings (Laws of Christ) daily.

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I'm interpreting the primary thrust of your question to be why did Jesus need to die for the sins of the Jews, since Jews are saved as faithful children of Abraham. My answer is quite simply is: Because the Jewish scriptures say that peace with God and the lifting up of the sins of the Jews would come through the sacrificial offering of the life of God's righteous wise servant.

Isaiah 52:13 - 53:12 13 Behold, my servant shall act wisely; he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted. 14 As many were astonished at you— his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind— 15 so shall he sprinkle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which has not been told them they see, and that which they have not heard they understand. 1 Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 2 For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he has borne OUR griefs and carried OUR sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for OUR transgressions; he was crushed for OUR iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought US peace, and with his wounds WE are healed. 6 All WE like sheep have gone astray; WE have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of US all. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of MY PEOPLE? 9 And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. 10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. 11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.

While this prophecy was made first to the Jews it was always God's plan to bless the nations through the seed of Abraham:

Genesis 12:2-3 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Genesis 22:18 18 and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.”

Genesis 18:18-19 18 seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? 19 For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.”

Genesis 26:4-5 4 I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and will give to your offspring all these lands. And in your offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, 5 because Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.”

Genesis 28:14 14 Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.

So since this is how the Jewish scriptures declare that Jewish sin will be lifted up, it is by virtue of the scriptures necessary for God's righteous wise servant, the Jewish Jesus, to die, not just for the sin of non-Jews, but also the Jews.

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