Responding to the death of Christ
We know from the Bible that Christ suffered a cruel and painful death. Christ's sacrifice provides a way of overcoming the process of sin and death.
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
(1 Corinthians 15:22)
What must I do in response to Christ's death, so that I can overcome my own sin and death?
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds (Hebrews 12:2,3)
These verses tell us that we must be "looking unto Jesus" and that we should "consider him". At the last supper, Jesus asked all that follow him to remember his death and resurrection by partaking of the bread and wine:
"For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death until he come" (1 Corinthians 11:26)
The important detail here is that Jesus tells us that he is coming back to the earth again.
One of the things Jesus will do when he comes back is raise the dead, those have died in faith:
"These all died in faith, not having received the promises..."
The promises referred to in the above verse are the promises made to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and David. They point forward to a time when the seed of Abraham will inherit the land that God promised to them. God will keep his promise by sending Jesus back to the earth to establish the kingdom.
The seed of Abraham does not exclusively refer to the Jews, Abraham's natural seed (Romans 11:1-26 describes this in detail):
For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galations 3:27-29)
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. (Mark 16:16)
Belief and baptism are the steps we should take in order to respond to the fact that Christ died for us. Baptism is how we associate ourselves with the death of Christ:
Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: (Romans 6:3-5)
Reading and understanding the Bible is the only way to gain knowledge of God and Jesus. We must know who God is in order to believe in Him. The Bible is the only source of information for finding out more about the death of Christ, and how you can respond to the sacrifice he made.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
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