Why was Jesus’ death different?
Ever since the first human beings walked this earth, death became part of life. The Bible reveals that death came not at the hand of the Creator, but as a result of the actions of the creation (Genesis 2:17; 3:1-7). Death passed unto all of creation because of Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:23; 1 Corinthians 15:22).
The results of sin are often not instantaneous, but sequential (James 1:13-15). Adam and Eve experienced spiritual death the day they ate of the forbidden fruit. Spiritual death is separation from God, being dead toward spiritual things. Within time, they died physically. Physical death is when this body ceases to function. There is a third type of death known as eternal death. Eternal death is the punishment of hell. Although some religious leaders recently cast doubts on the existence of hell, the Bible is very clear. Would God be fair or just if there were no consequences for sin? It is known from Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23 and Psalm 51:4 that there are consequences for our actions. Regarding hell, gotquestions.org provides the following statement: “The punishment of the wicked dead in hell is described throughout Scripture as “eternal fire” (Matthew 25:41), “unquenchable fire” (Matthew 3:12), “shame and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:2), a place where “the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:44-49), a place of “torment” and “fire” (Luke 16:23-24), “everlasting destruction” (2 Thessalonians 1:9), a place where “the smoke of torment rises forever and ever” (Revelation 14:10-11), and a “lake of burning sulfur” where the wicked are “tormented day and night forever and ever” (Revelation 20:10).”
Why was Jesus’ death different? First, Jesus was not under the curse of Adam and Eve’s sin (Hebrews 4:15; 1 John 3:5; 1 Peter 2:22). Second, not only was Jesus sinless, His purpose in coming to the earth was to deal with sin (Hebrews 9:22; 10:4,11). Jesus’ purpose was to be the offering for sin (2 Corinthians 5:21; Colossians 1:20-22). John 1:29-31 reveals that Jesus was the Lamb of God. He took upon Himself the punishment of our sins (Isaiah 53:5; Mark 10:45).
How could someone else take my penalty? This all depends on who this person is. If we are talking about one who under sin as we are, the situation is hopeless. Only God can forgive sin. God took upon Himself a human nature to take our penalty and provide a way of escape so that we would not have to bear the weight of eternal death and damnation. God the Son, Jesus, existed in eternity past with the God the Father and God the Holy Spirit (three divine Persons, one divine essence). John 1:1-3,14 reveals to us that God the Son was with God the Father in eternity past. Only God could provide salvation. In theology, the concept of Christ taking our place is called the substitutionary or vicarious atonement. Romans 4:5 shows us that we can be declared righteous through Christ.
How does a person become saved?
How can a person receive God’s forgiveness? God does not want people to suffer in hell for eternity because of sin (2 Peter 3:9). God has provided a way for us to be forgiven so that we can know we have eternal life (1 John 5:11-13). In Romans 3:24-25, it is revealed that Jesus Christ took our place and paid the penalty of our sin. In Romans 10:9-10, it is revealed that we must turn from our sin to God and ask for His salvation. We cannot experience His forgiveness until we do this. We cannot receive the blessings of God in this life or in the next until we place our faith and trust in Him for salvation. Have you come to Him for salvation?