Jesus Suffered For, and Took the Sins of, Those Who Would Never Receive Him


One of the great mysteries of the universe is that it pleased the Father to bruise His Son and put Him to death for the sins of all people. Why God would allow His Only Son to suffer so greatly for sinners is an unsearchable question that all of us will ponder throughout eternity.

It is certain that one of the reasons why God permitted Jesus to undergo such great trauma is because it brought such great glory and vindication to His name. Satan has made continued accusations that God is not really righteous and fair.[1] These allegations are fully answered by what Jesus has accomplished at the cross. God is not angry and vindictive, as some have believed, but willing to take whatever steps necessary to reveal His hatred of sin and love for people. Much in the same way that a loving parent who observes the suffering of his child because of drugs or alcohol would do anything to eradicate their suffering. So also has God, as a loving Father, sought to eradicate the plague of sin from the lives of all people whom He loves so fervently. In freeing us from our suffering, He was made to watch His own Son suffer unimaginable pain. He allowed this for our benefit. Imagine the intense pain that God felt at seeing His Son tortured to death by evil men. While Jesus had done nothing evil Himself, He was fully committed to allow those who desired His death, to do whatever they wanted to Him. He permitted all of this knowing that His death would free us from our own torture and torment.

All of the examples in the Old Testament of God’s anger at sin were really pointing to the day when His wrath would be directed at His Son who would take all of the sins of the world upon Himself. God does not hate people; He hates what sin has done to us. Those who were destroyed by God in the Old Testament were given—hundreds to thousands of years to repent of their evil and turn to God before He visited them with destruction. See Understanding the Wrath of God for a detailed discussion on God’s hatred of sin and how He waited 900 before bringing the total annihilation of the Canaanites.

That God would permit His only Son to die for undeserving sinners is proof enough that He is good, righteous, and fair. In afflicting Jesus for our sins, God could both satisfy His requirement for justice in punishing sin as well as exercise great mercy in allowing all those who receive Christ be free from any future judgement.

When some find it hard to understand why God would allow so much suffering in the world and call Him unfair, I think of a different question. I find it interesting that those who question the fairness of God do not consider how unfair it was for Him to allow His Son to die for the sins of billions of people—many of whom will never believe in Him nor even thank Him for what He has done for them.

Jesus was not dying only for those who would later love Him and receive Him as their Lord and Savior. He was dying for those who would hate Him forever. Jesus died for the sins of the whole world.

1 John 2:2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Think of the worst acts of humanity—those vicious and gruesome moments of violence that have been committed on the earth for over six thousand years. Jesus took upon Himself, into His very being, all of the filthy and vile sins of every person who has lived on the earth, and He paid for them all. The wrath of God for all sin was poured out on Jesus during the hours that He suffered on the cross for our sins. Jesus was not dying for anything that He had done; He was dying for what we have done.

1 Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures…

Galatians 1:4 who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father…

Hebrews 1:3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high

1 Peter 2:24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.

A paradoxical reality of God is that He knows everything

Consider the profound truth that Jesus knew before He came to earth, that most of those whom He would die for would never receive Him. It appears from the words of Jesus that the majority of the world will never believe in Him but will instead reject Him and be lost.

Matthew 7:13-14 Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

Jesus knew these things before He offered His life for us, yet He came and died for all of us anyway. Jesus was fully aware before He came that Judas would betray Him, yet He continually loved Judas and sought to draw him to repentance. The Lord even gave Judas the greatest place of honor at the Last Supper—His right hand. To the very end, Jesus never stopped loving Judas and continued to try and persuade Him by His love, to not carry out the betrayal that was in Judas heart. Jesus did all of these things, even though He already knew that Judas would not repent and come to Him. How loving and merciful the Lord is towards us!

I cannot understand this kind of love, can you? Why Jesus died for all of us, when only a fraction will accept His love and sacrifice, is a conundrum.

For this reason, when people scoff at Jesus, mock Him and ridicule His sacrifice, I can do nothing but wag my head in disbelief at their inability to see the truth. I imagine that the hearts of many people have grown so cold and dark that there is no love that can penetrate it. In spite of this, Jesus still tries. He continues today to reach out to those to whom He already knows will never accept Him.

How could He willingly die for the sins of those who would go on hating Him for eternity? How could He lay down His life for people who would, not only, never accept what He had done for them but spend their entire life mocking and ridiculing Jesus and the sacrifice He has made?

God and man in one body

The body that Jesus resided in, during His time on earth as the Messiah, was prepared for Him for the express purpose of being our sacrifice. The Bible speaks of the Son of God being made a sacrifice for fallen men before the universe was created. The form that God chose for His son to be revealed was in the body of a human being. In order for a Savior to have the opportunity to redeem fallen men, He would have to become one of us. It would be impossible for God to make Himself an offering for our sins in His eternal form as a Spirit. He would need to unite the timeless essence of God in the flesh of a man—a body prepared for Him.

Hebrews 10:5 Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me.”

Because God was dwelling in the body of a man, His life had a worth that is greater than the value of all other men. The value of Jesus’ life was so great, that He was able to offer Himself in exchange for the lives of all other lives.

God was dying for us

This is a further paradox of Jesus’ life. The Bible describes the fact that Jesus is God and therefore, He can never die (Colossians 1, John 1, Hebrews 1). When Jesus clothed Himself in the flesh of a man, He gained the ability to experience death in a way that God could never have achieved were He to remain as Spirit. As Jesus’ human body experienced the ceasing of all function, the Spirit of God was released. Three days later, when the body of Jesus was resurrected to life, the Spirit of the eternal God and the body prepared for Jesus were once again united. There is every indication that Jesus will remain a man forever.

Having taken upon Himself the sins of all people for all time, Jesus has removed those sins from the recored of everyone who will believe in Him and received Him as the Savior of their life and payment for their sins. This is the eternal plan and purpose of God. As Isaiah wrote in this 258th prophecy, it pleased the Father to put His son to death for all of our sins, knowing that this death would make possible—eternal life and unending joy for those who would believe.

[1] Genesis 3:1-5 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, “You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ”4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Categories: An all sufficient sacrifice, Dying for those who reject Him, Forgiveness of Sin, Jesus Cross and Wisdom, Jesus is God, Salvation through Jesus, The First Arrival of the Messiah, The Suffering of Jesus, The Wrath of God, To die for the world's sins

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