Why did Jesus really die for us? Was it just so that our sins might be forgiven? Or was there something more?
Forgiveness is an enormous gift. “For the wages of sin is death,” it says in Romans 6:23. That's what we sinners really deserve. When Jesus, who had never sinned Himself, died as a criminal on the cross, He took all the world's guilt on Himself so that our sins could be forgiven.
However, the story doesn’t end with the death of Jesus on the cross on Calvary—He rose from the grave on the third day! He was born as a human being, with the same flesh, or human nature, as ours. But even though He was tempted in all points like we are, He never committed sin (Hebrews 4:15). By hating the lusts and desires in His own flesh, he brought sin to death and thus defeated death itself, which is the wages of sin.
What does this mean for us?
“For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” Romans 5:10.
The reason that Jesus came to earth was to save us. He wants to set us free from sin and bring us back to God. It starts with the possibility to have our sins forgiven, if we choose to accept Jesus as Savior and Lord in our lives. Then we are reconciled to God through Jesus’ sacrifice for us—His death—even though we have sinned and actually deserve to die.
Salvation continues when we follow Jesus’ life—the life that He lived as a human being on earth. “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps,” 1 Peter 2:21. Who is the example that we should follow? He “who committed no sin ...” (verse 22). That is being saved by Jesus’ life: it is the life that we are to live after we have received forgiveness!
Is this possible?
Yes indeed! By defeating sin and death, Jesus could return to His Father in heaven, but He has not left us to our own devices. He has sent the Holy Spirit as a guide, help and strength to all those who obey Him and who are tired of their own sin. Jesus prays for us day and night, so that we can overcome just as He has overcome. If we follow Him in this life, we will be transformed into His likeness and will one day see Him as He is. Then we will be with Him forever.
Yes, Christianity is certainly more than just the forgiveness of sin!
Do you want to know more? On this website you can read more about following Jesus in this life and see and hear people who have experienced God's power to carry it out, and about the happiness and peace this brings.
Learn more about salvation.