THE MAN JESUS DIED FOR HIS FRIENDS (John 15:13).
Jesus, did He die as a man or as a god? This question has caused endless speculation. There are some hints that have given satisfactions to Christians that believe both: the human and the divine were involved. The very nature of the divine has led to some skepticism. God cannot and does not die. God is Spirit! And Spirit is not flesh or blood, nor is Spirit subject to decay. Also, it is the flesh and not the Spirit that is weak and falls into temptations and commits sin. God has done nothing wrong that would require an atonement or sacrifice. Man has sinned and the “Man” Jesus died for His friends (John 15:13). And Jesus, too, required a little help from heaven during His darkest hour. An angel was sent to strengthen Him (Luke 22:43).
Jesus wrestled with death like all of us. He did not look forward to dying. He begged His Heavenly Father to take the cup of suffering from Him. Death itself, if it is instant, is not as frightening as the pain that leads up to dying. There was sadness in Jesus’ Heart when He told His disciples that His enemies were plotting His demise and that He had to face it alone (John 12:27). The hardest thing was that Jesus would suffer at the hands of those that would sentence Him to death (Mark 8:31). Jesus’ torturers would flog Him, mock Him, and spit on Him (Mark 10:34). Then, they would let Jesus die, in shame, on the cross. It was the way the worst criminals were killed and Jesus was regarded as one of the worst of criminals because He had violated their law, He promised to destroy their temple, and that He pretended to be like God. Jesus proved them wrong by dying as a human being. The proof was that when they pierced Jesus’ side, the blood had turned into water (John of criminals19:34). Heavenly Beings do not bleed.
Redemption is based on the shedding of blood (Hebrews 9:22). A just human had to take on the sins of others and pay for them (II Corinthians 5:21). Only a human can bleed for another human and assume his guilt. That is why costly animal sacrifices could never fully atone for the human transgressions. Nevertheless, they were a replacement for some religions that demanded human sacrifices (II Kings 23:10; Jeremiah 23:35). That is why Isaiah saw the need for a one for all sacrifices to endthe human barbarism. How did he know over seven hundred years before what kind of a person the human sacrifice would have to be? Even those critics, that believe there were two Isaiah’s, have to account for five hundred years before Jesus took our sins with Him to the cross. In Isaiah’s fifty-third Chapter, the prophet described the events that surrounded Jesus, the sacrificial Lamb, to the letter. The Servant’s life was a “guilt offering” and His Blood protects those that believe in Him from facing an angry God alone.
Revelation, Chapter Five, is a scene in heaven and it is about, “Who is worthy to open the secret book?” It is the Lamb that was slain that is worthy to open the book. The book is about the Lamb’s followers (Revelation 13:8) and their deeds (Revelation 14:13). On Judgment Day, the Lamb shall open two books, the “Book of Life and the Book of Judgment” (Revelation 20:11-15). The Lamb in Revelation, the Servant in Isaiah, and the Christ of the Gospels is worthy to open the books and act as defendant and prosecutor (John 5:22). As long as we are in the body and in the flesh, we do inadvertently sin and that is why we do require an advocate. Jesus has become our “Intercessor” (Isaiah 53:12). He has access to the Father and pleads our case (I John 2:1). With Him on our side, then nothing can separate us from God (Romans 8:31-35).
The “Work of Redemption” was done on earth and carried to completion by a real “Human Being.” Jesus made a “New Covenant” with His followers while He was in the flesh. And Jesus concluded the “New Covenant” before He died. At His last meal, He broke bread and said this, “Take it; this is my body.” Then Jesus took the cup and added, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.” They all ate and drank from the same cup; and thereby accepting the “New Covenant” with Jesus. The “New Covenant” was between a Man and His followers. That same “New Covenant” was to be passed on to everyone that believed in the “Message of Redemption.” Instead of shedding more blood, the new comers had to believe, repent, and be immersed in water (Matthew 28:19-20; John 17:20-21). Then they were to be taught how to live as Jesus’ disciples in this world. Jesus’ final Words were, “It is finished” (John 19:30), and “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit,” (Luke 23:46). It meant that Jesus had completed the “New Covenant” between Himself and whosoever shall believe in Him and follow Him. Jesus Life was a human journey and so is ours. Like Jesus, our Friend, we fear not to commit our spirit into the “Hands of the Heavenly Father (Revelation 14:13).