What Jesus Did to Death
- Devotional by John Piper
Just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him. (Hebrews 9:27–28)
The death of Jesus bears sins. This is the very heart of Christianity, and the heart of the gospel, and the heart of God’s great work of redemption in the world. When Christ died he bore sins. He took sins not his own. He suffered for sins that others had done, so that they could be free from sins.
This is the answer to the greatest problem in your life, whether you feel it as the main problem or not. There is an answer to how we can get right with God in spite of being sinners. The answer is that Christ’s death is an offering “to bear the sins of many.” He lifted our sins and carried them to the cross and died there the death that we deserved to die.
Now what does this mean for my dying? “It is appointed [to me] to die once.” It means that my death is no longer punitive. My death is no longer a punishment for sin. My sin has been borne away. My sin is “put away” by the death of Christ. Christ took the punishment.
Why then do I die at all? Because God wills that death remain in the world for now, even among his own children, as an abiding testimony to the extreme horror of sin. In our dying we still manifest the external effects of sin in the world.
But death for God’s children is no longer his wrath against them. It has become our entrance into salvation not condemnation.