Jesus’ Suffering: Freedom
As we learned so far, because of Jesus’ suffering, we are healed and we are forgiven through faith in Jesus. Because Jesus crucified it was certain that he was going to die. However, Jesus’ death was also important in itself. As I mentioned in the previous section, the Day of Atonement gives a strong image of Jesus’ atoning work for us. I mentioned that there were two goats. One was sacrificed as a sin offer, an image of Jesus’ crucifixion. Read what is written about this other goat.
This is only Part D of this teaching. To read the complete teaching, go to What Jesus’ Suffering Was All About
But the goat chosen by lot as the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the LORD to be used for making atonement by sending it into the wilderness as a scapegoat. … When Aaron has finished making atonement for the Most Holy Place, the tent of meeting and the altar, he shall bring forward the live goat. He is to lay both hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites — all their sins — and put them on the goat’s head. He shall send the goat away into the wilderness in the care of someone appointed for the task. The goat will carry on itself all their sins to a remote place; and the man shall release it in the wilderness. ~ Leviticus 16,10 & 16,20-22 ~
We learn from the above passage that the scapegoat was chosen to make atonement by sending it into the wilderness to die. This makes clear to us that Jesus’ sacrifice alone is not the complete atonement. We need forgiveness and we can only receive forgiveness through faith in Jesus because of his blood shed for us. However, it was also necessary that Jesus died. That is what fully reconciles us with God. To understand this better, let’s read the following passage.
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. … Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. ~ John 8,31-36 & 8,42-44 ~
Jesus says to those who believed in him that they would be free when they obeyed him. He gives two reasons why these believers needed to be set free: first of all, they were sinning and therefore they were slaves, and second, they were children of the devil. What they needed was to become a new person and to be delivered from the power of sin and Satan. That is why Jesus needed to die.
We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin — because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. ~ Romans 6,2-7 ~
But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~ Romans 6,22-23 ~
For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him. So then, if she has sexual relations with another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress if she marries another man. So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. For when we were in the realm of the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death. But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code. ~ Romans 7,2-6 ~
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, that person is a new creation. The old has gone, the new is here! ~ 2 Corinthians 5,17 ~
Since the children (that are the believers) have flesh and blood, he (that is Jesus) too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death — that is, the devil — and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. ~ Hebrews 2,14-15 ~
The above passages are really powerful. We learn that through baptism we die with Christ. When we are baptized in the name of Christ, we are baptized in Jesus. That means that we do belong to Jesus from then on. It also means that when we are baptized, we lay our old life on Jesus and our old life dies with Jesus on the cross. Therefore, our old life bound by sin is dead and we can live free from sin. This also means that we are not under the law anymore. The law can only bound us till our death. Since we died, through baptism with Christ, we are free from the law and can live by the Spirit. Through sin and the law we were living to gain death. But, now we are set free from sin and the law, because of Jesus’ death and through baptism in Jesus, we can live for God and gain eternal life. So, the power of Satan is broken by Jesus’ death as we learned from the last passage. Thus when we are baptized in Christ, our old life has gone and we start a new life in Christ!
This is very great, but maybe it is hard to understand. We will look at the Day of Atonement and the scapegoat again. The scapegoat was send into the wilderness after confession of the high priest of all the sins of the people. John the Baptist calls people to get baptize while they confess their sins. Peter calls people to repent and be baptized in Jesus’ name at Pentecost. Repentance includes confession, so confession and baptism are related by both John the Baptist and Peter. However, Jesus was also baptized. He didn’t get baptized to confess his sins, but to take up the confessed sins. This is as timeless as was taking up of our diseases and taking up our guilt. He took upon him our diseases, punishment and our old lives, once and for all. This means that when we are healed today, we are healed because Jesus took up our pain and paid for it about 2000 years ago. When we come to God and put our trust in Jesus today, we are forgiven today, because Jesus took upon him our punishment and paid with his blood for our forgiveness about 2000 years ago. When we get baptized today, our old life is laid on Jesus in his baptism and died with Jesus on the cross about 2000 years ago. The following passages will clarify this even more.
Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented. ~ Matthew 3,13-15 ~
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. ~ 2 Corinthians 5,21 ~
At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Just as Jesus was coming out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him. ~ Mark 1,9-13 ~
Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. ~ Hebrews 2,18 ~
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet he did not sin. ~ Hebrews 4,15 ~
From the first two passages we learn that Jesus is baptized to fulfill all righteousness and that we become the righteousness of God because Jesus took up our sin. These two are related. Through repentance and baptism we lay our old life including all our sins on Jesus. Jesus took up our old lives and all our sins when he got baptized. He carried them with him to the cross and let it all die. Despite the fact that he took upon him all our sins, he did not sin himself. Not even when he was tempted by Satan. That Jesus didn’t sin at all is very important. If he had sinned, his death would be justified. But Jesus overcame the power of sin and Satan, so when he died the power of sin and Satan was defeated and death could be overcome. That is why we are set free through baptism because of Jesus’ baptism and death. And so all righteousness can be fulfilled, because through this we can become the righteousness of God.
“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. ~ 2 Corinthians 15,55-57 ~
So, by his life and death Jesus overcome death and gained life. This is another reason why Jesus had to die. Jesus needed to die so we may receive eternal life.
How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance — now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant. In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living. … Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. ~ Hebrews 9,14-17 & 9,26-28 ~
This passage shows another reason why Jesus needed to die. Jesus had won eternal life through his victory over death. But for us to take part in it, Jesus needed to die, so we can inherit eternal life. But this is not only something we can look forward to. We can already receive the Holy Spirit when we become in Christ. This was already prophesied by the prophet Ezekiel.
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. ~ Ezekiel 36,26-27 ~
This prophecy shows that we will receive a new heart. When we are baptized and come into Christ, we become a new person. In other words, our heart of stone which is dead because of the knowledge of good and evil, will be replaced by a heart of flesh. We will receive a new life and a clean conscience. This prophecy also promised that we will receive God’s Spirit. More about this is found in the following passages.
So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. … Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit. ~ Galatians 3,26-29 & 3,13-14 ~
For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about our adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs. ~ Romans 8,14-17 ~
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession — to the praise of his glory. ~ Ephesians 1,13-14 ~
So from the above passages it follows that we are children of God through faith and baptism in Christ. We need to be in Christ, to be God’s child. When we are God’s children, we are also heirs. The ultimate inheritance is eternal life, but for now we can receive the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is given to us to fulfill God’s promise. We can receive the Spirit through faith and because we are God’s children.
When Jesus will appear again, he will judge the world and bring salvation for those who wait for him. Our old life is judged when we got baptized. It is crucified with Christ. If we are not baptized, our life will be judged when Jesus returns. After we are baptized, we need to live by the Spirit. When we are led by the Spirit, we live as God’s children and will inherit eternal life. So, because Jesus died we could receive a new life in him. He also died so we could inherit the promised Spirit. When we are led by the Spirit of God, then this Spirit will be our deposit for eternal life. Jesus can give us eternal life because he conquered over sin, over Satan and over death with his life and death.
To conclude the following passages. These show that the position of man is restored in Jesus Christ. Jesus brought the Kingdom of God. It is amazing!
Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” ~ Matthew 28,16-18 ~
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. ~ Ephesians 2,4-6 ~
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. ~ 1 Peter 2,9 ~
If you have not laid down your life in baptism, don’t wait! This step is really important, even if you have already received forgiveness as we learned in the previous section. Be set free from the bondage of sin and Satan. Become God’s child in Christ and led God restore you as a royal priest and be part of a holy nation. Receive the promised Holy Spirit to really live as a child of God and be ready for the return of Jesus. Be prepared to receive the inheritance of eternal life. This is the most important step to a new life in Christ, for today and for all eternity. Of course, if you have questions about this, feel free to contact us or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gods bless you,
Founder of Experience Jesus