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The Sacrifice of Jesus Christ

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The Sacrifice of Jesus Christ

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The Sacrifice of Jesus Christ

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Jesus Christ is the focal point of Christianity. As Acts 4:12 Acts 4:12Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
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states, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Forgiveness of sin and ultimately the gift of eternal life are available only through His sacrifice. We are reconciled to God by Christ’s death but saved by His life (Romans 5:9-10 Romans 5:9-10 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
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The Scriptures refer to Jesus Christ with several distinctive titles, including the Word of God (John 1:1 John 1:1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
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, John 1:14 John 1:14And the Word was made flesh, and dwelled among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
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; Revelation 19:13 Revelation 19:13And he was clothed with a clothing dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
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), our Savior (1 John 4:14 1 John 4:14And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.
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), our High Priest (Hebrews 9:11 Hebrews 9:11But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
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), our Lord (Revelation 22:21 Revelation 22:21The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
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), the Son of God (Revelation 2:18 Revelation 2:18And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things said the Son of God, who has his eyes like to a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;
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; 1 John 5:5 1 John 5:5Who is he that overcomes the world, but he that believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
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), our Passover (1 Corinthians 5:7 1 Corinthians 5:7Purge out therefore the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:
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), the Son of Man (Revelation 14:14 Revelation 14:14And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and on the cloud one sat like to the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.
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), and King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 19:16 Revelation 19:16And he has on his clothing and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
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Christ is our Savior and the ultimate sacrifice for sin. Even though He was divine, Jesus became a human being to suffer and die for the sins of mankind (Philippians 2:5-7 Philippians 2:5-7 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took on him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
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; Hebrews 2:9 Hebrews 2:9But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
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). As the Son of Man, He was human in the fullest sense, able to experience the trials of human life (Hebrews 4:15 Hebrews 4:15For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
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) to better empathize with us as our merciful High Priest (Hebrews 2:17 Hebrews 2:17Why in all things it behooved him to be made like to his brothers, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
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Christ as our Savior gave His life that we might live. He died a horrible death, as our Passover (foreshadowed in the sacrificed Passover lamb in the Old Testament), that we might understand the magnitude of sin and the monumental significance of His sacrifice, which was made for every human being. He was “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29 John 1:29The next day John sees Jesus coming to him, and said, Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world.
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; compare Revelation 5:6 Revelation 5:6And I beheld, and, see, in the middle of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the middle of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
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; Revelation 5:12 Revelation 5:12Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing.
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; Revelation 7:14 Revelation 7:14And I said to him, Sir, you know. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
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; Revelation 12:11 Revelation 12:11And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives to the death.
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Sin, the transgression of God’s law (1 John 3:4 1 John 3:4Whoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
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), is truly horrible. Disobedience to God’s law has brought untold pain and misery as well as its ultimate penalty, death (Romans 6:23 Romans 6:23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
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Jesus lived a perfect life and therefore did not deserve the excruciating agony He experienced or the death penalty inflicted on Him. However, He was preordained from the foundation of the world to suffer and die for the sins of humanity. Even though Christ was accused of violating God’s law on more than one occasion, He, as the perfect sacrifice for sin, never broke God’s law.

We accept Christ’s sacrifice as essential to our salvation. As we model our lives after His, we figuratively “take up our cross” and follow Him (Luke 14:27 Luke 14:27And whoever does not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
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), which includes a willingness to suffer and be persecuted as He set the example (1 Peter 2:19-23 1 Peter 2:19-23 19 For this is thank worthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. 20 For what glory is it, if, when you be buffeted for your faults, you shall take it patiently? but if, when you do well, and suffer for it, you take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. 21 For even hereunto were you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow his steps: 22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judges righteously:
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). We thank God the Father for giving up His Son Jesus Christ to be that perfect sacrifice for all mankind (John 3:16 John 3:16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
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; Romans 8:32 Romans 8:32He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
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All sin is forgiven upon repentance and the acceptance of Christ’s sacrifice. Forgiveness of sin requires the supreme sacrifice—the death of Jesus Christ. His crucifixion almost 2,000 years ago was essential to God’s plan of redemption and salvation.

Through His sacrifice, Jesus took the ultimate penalty of sin—death—upon Himself, freeing us, if we accept His sacrifice in continuing repentance, from death being our final fate (Hebrews 2:9 Hebrews 2:9But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
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; Hebrews 9:15 Hebrews 9:15And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
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). And by giving of Himself in life to care for others and finally through the agonizing torment He experienced at the end, Jesus also bore the other consequences of sin—pain and suffering.

As Isaiah 53:4 Isaiah 53:4Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
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begins, “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.” Matthew 8:17 Matthew 8:17That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bore our sicknesses.
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renders this, “He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.” And Isaiah 53:5 Isaiah 53:5But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was on him; and with his stripes we are healed.
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concludes, “The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.” So Jesus endured brutality and misery as the basis for our release from suffering, including through healing.

While God does not remove all suffering now, just as He has not yet removed death from us, at times He will alleviate some of it now if we faithfully rely on Him—such as being physically healed of illness through anointing (James 5:13-16 James 5:13-16 13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. 14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: 15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. 16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
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). And we have God’s promise that one day both death and suffering will be no more (1 Corinthians 15:54 1 Corinthians 15:54So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
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; Romans 8:18 Romans 8:18For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
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; Revelation 21:4 Revelation 21:4And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
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By understanding and accepting Jesus Christ’s sacrifice in repentance and faith, we can be assured that our sins are blotted out. We can go forward in our Christian lives with confidence, knowing that through that sacrifice we can be reconciled to the Father.

As a result of this reconciliation, we can develop a relationship with our Father that provides hope and assurance for our future. We can experience healing today. We can also look forward to eternal life in the Kingdom of God as a gift of God’s grace because of this tremendous sacrifice that Jesus and the Father willingly gave for every one of us.

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