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BORN TO DIE
What a promise to be born under! Being born into this world and knowing that the purpose of your birth was to die.
I know we are all to die at some stage but this is different. When
Jesus was born on that first Christmas morning some 2000+ years ago, He
was born for the sole purpose of dying. Not dying because of something
He would do or because He would reach a certain age or because He was
to meet with a tragic accident, but born to die for everyone else.
If we look at it another way, He was born to be a sacrifice.
it can be said that throughout human history, human sacrifice has been
practiced and in some cultures, it was the custom (a custom still
practiced in some satanic cults) that the first born child of the womb
was to be sacrificed to some deity so that the family or the community
would experience prosperity. Yet, this was different.
difference is the fact of who this man really was. He was none other
than the Son of God, or put in another way, an intimate part of God
Himself. Now when we consider that to transform Himself to come to
earth as an ordinary man so that He was flesh and blood like the rest
of us, He had to leave behind all the unimaginable glory that is
heaven. We see glimpses of what this might have been like through the
writings of people like Peter, Paul, John, as well as some of the Old
Testament prophets. However, they also make it quite clear that they
could neither comprehend the glory of heaven nor were they able to find
human words that went even remotely close to enabling us to have a
I say all that to give us a clear picture of the
fact that we cannot hope to understand what Jesus gave up to come to
this earth as a human baby.
Having looked at what He gave up for us, let’s look at why He had to die.
was the only possible sacrifice that could (or can) be made in order
that we of the human race could be found acceptable to God.
God is totally holy and any form of sin, no matter how minute we may
think it is in our mind, is an abomination to God. Yet God was prepared
to send His Son to die so that we might be found acceptable back into
God’s presence. That is some sacrifice!
You see, it was
necessary for Jesus to experience this world in order that He could
take upon Himself our sinfulness. The Bible is very clear that Jesus
was without sin but in the writings of the gospels, it was also very
clear that, as He went to the cross, all the sin of the world was
placed upon Him.
So drastic was this action, that God could
not look upon His own Son there on Calvary because of the sin that had
been taken upon His life so that we could be free.
So dramatic is
this action, the writers of the crucifixion reports quote Jesus as
saying: “My God, why have you forsaken me?” In other words, Jesus was
totally aware that God could no longer look upon His own Son as He hung
there on the cross. If we want to see this statement in another way,
consider this interpretation: “My God, how come you are suddenly
ignoring your own Son?” Put in those worlds, we can really see the
anguish that Jesus must have been feeling.
But let’s move back
before the crucifixion story and have a look at a couple of other
things that tell us that Jesus knew He was born to die.
first glimpse of this that we get is in Luke’s story of Jesus’ trip to
the temple at the age of 12 (Luke 2:41-50). The story is well known
(please feel free to read again this event if you are not totally
familiar with it) but I want to concentrate on the reply Jesus gave to
His parents when they found Him:
And He said to them, “Why did you seek me? Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?” Luke 2:49.
age 12, Jesus was aware of His purpose on earth. How many 12 year olds
do you know that have a totally fixed knowledge of what their exact
future is or was. I doubt you will really know one. Some may have some
dreams they eventually fulfil but to be that specific at that age would
be most unlikely.
Continue to study the story of the life of
Jesus and we find that time and time again He makes some form of
reference to the purpose of His life here one earth.
Now I want to step aside, for a moment, from the Christ story to the realities of what was to happen.
was a price to be paid. God had decreed that the only price for sin was
death. The Hebrews practiced this aspect as the basis of their
religious beliefs with daily, weekly, monthly and annual sacrifices of
goats, lambs, cattle and other creatures. As I have hinted at before,
human sacrifice is a part of the human story and this was often seen as
the price that had to be paid by someone for their family, their
village or whatever.
Who would be prepared to make such a
sacrifice? No too many I would imagine. Certainly there are many
Christians over the years who have become martyrs for their faith and
some of those most certainly would have died in order that others might
be able to escape from the events around them, and live. This is
certainly a sacrifice that has been made and often made willingly by
those who have died. However, it would often be argued that there
wasn’t much choice in the matter and, that sometimes, the person
concerned was sick, weak or had some infirmity that slowed the rest of
their group down and so figured that dying quickly was better than a
prolonged death and would help others. While I certainly would not say
that this was their motivation, I feel that such a sacrifice had a
deeper meaning within their hearts - there was a reward for them in
doing this: they would be going home to be with Jesus and that was
something to be looked forward to.
However, these deaths
could be seen as the result of circumstance and not something that was
planned. None of these people would have set out in life with the sole
purpose of dying so that others may live. Certainly, many Christians
are aware that the choices they make (even just to serve Christ) could
cost them their life, but their purpose is not solely to die for Jesus
but to serve Him and be prepared to die if it was necessary. There is a
From my own heart I can say that being a
Christian always carries the possibility of death because of my faith,
and I willingly would take that path if it is a part of God’s plan.
However, I certainly am not going to say my purpose in life is to go
out and die for other people so that they can live. I am prepared to
die but it is not my actual plan of action. Can you understand the
Here is where I (and many others) are different to
Christ. His birth was part of the plan to actually die. And that death
was not just for a chosen few but for the whole human race. Estimates
of the total human population that has ever existed is put between 6
and 8 billion people. Taking that figure, Christ died for everyone of
Now that, to me, is just mind blowing. I have a lot of
difficulty in imagining that number of people let alone imagining
someone planning to die for every one of them. That was the plan Jesus
Let’s sum this up and see what are the significant points of this great plan.
1. He was born to die.
2. He gave up heaven to do it.
3. The sacrifice was unconditional.
4. It was an act of love.
5. It was a free gift (not one to be paid for later).
6. And not the least, He did it for me (me being anyone who wants to make that statement).
So you can see from this, Jesus came to this world for the express purpose of dying for mankind. He was born to die.