Francis Nyarku, Ghana
The Benefit Of Christ Death
In referring to Matthew 3:15, we see Jesus taking all the sins of the world upon Himself by receiving His baptism from John. The reason why Jesus was baptized by John was because He has to shoulder the sins of the world through this baptism. It was because this was God's own desire, as stated in Isaiah 53:10; "Yet it pleases the LORD to bruise Him for our salvation "therefore, the purpose of God in sending Christ to this earth was to "bruise Him" because of His bearing of our sins and death. Realizing this love, the Apostle John said, "In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He first loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (1John 4:10). In obeying the will of God, Christ therefore discarded at once the comfortable way, which He was more than capable of taking with His majesty and power, and did not hesitate to eschew the compassion of His disciples and the great welcome of the people. Put differently, because He had accepted all the sins of the world by being baptized, He could die for us who have gone astray like sheep, and has thereby opened "a new and living way" to us (Hebrews 10:20). Jesus, in other words, had to embrace His baptism by John to satisfy the righteousness of God, regardless of whether people would recognize it or not, for this was the very desire of the Father. This is why He faced the accursed and terrifying death of the cross. Because His sufferings were the will of God, He remained completely silent even as He suffered. As Isaiah 53:7 states, He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth". Like this, even as He was falsely accused, harshly beaten, plucked of His beard, and spat at, because He had accepted the sins of mankind passed onto Him from John through His baptism, He remained silent. Not only this but furthermore, because it was the will of the Father for Him to be baptized and thus die, He died for the sake of those who believe. Only after being baptized by John at the age of 30 years and thereby taking upon Him the sins of the world, our Lord was crucified at the age of 33 and shed His blood. He then rose from the dead, and has become the eternal saviour for those of us who believe in this truth. Christ had to die so that we could have life and have it more abundantly.