The Death of Christ
God declares that the "wages of sin is death." Rom 6:23 Be it known that God is not talking about any temporary state. The Infinite One is talking about eternal death. Moreover, the Bible states that "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." Rom 3:23. Therefore, we must conclude that all humanity has earned and deserve eternal death. We read in Rom 5:12 "by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men for that all have sinned." Through one man's sin death entered the world, therefore, the gift of eternal life by God's grace must also come by one man. Rom 5:12-19.
But how can a man who because of sin is mortal, be the instrument used by God to bring back eternal life. Well, God had a plan. We call it the plan of SALVATION. Because God is life and the source of life, if God clothed His own self with mortal humanity, He who is life and the source of life, has the absolute power to go into the jailhouse and domain of death, and death has absolutely no power to hold Him. As the word states it when He died on the cross, Christ "having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it." The them in this text of scripture are Satan, sin, and death. And in Ephes 4:7-16 it is more bold, declaring that the power of Satan, sin, selfishness, and death Christ forever broke, through His death, and "he led captivity captive and gave gifts unto men." As it was with Christ, so is it with mankind, death must come before final and fulfilled victory. God in the flesh has conquered death, and made a way of escape for all who choose in Him to be freed. Remember beloved, the incarnation and birth of the God-man. Because we were created in Him, when He died we died also, and literally paid the debt we owe for our transgressions and sins. As the Bible says it, "I am crucified with Christ" Gal 2:20. Again in 2 Tim 2:11 we read "It is a faithful saying: for if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him".
Jesus "was delivered for our offences." Rom 4:25. Our Saviour committed no sin but the Bible declares that in his own body he was made to be sin for us. Christ was created all that fallen humanity was, is, or shall be. Christ was "made a curse for us." So being made in His physical body all that all humanity is, He must die because He was made to be sin for us. But on the other hand, in spirit, heart, and mind, He was perfectly righteous in its absolute sense. Thus, you have a divine nature that can not die, nor does it deserve to die, nor is it just or lawful for it to die, in a body which contains the sin of the world, which does deserve condemnation and death. Thus you have one who can pay mankind's debt and still have the ability and right to leave death's prison cell. The God-man is the Saviour and the Sacrifice. He is the Just and the Justifier. He can exercise justice, and grant mercy and grace at the same time. "Our Saviour Jesus Christ hath abolished death and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel." 1 Tim 1:10.
Now, we fully know that for us Christ has died our eternal death long before we were even born. Christ removed from us all guilt and condemnation, for which in Him we actually died. As 11 Cor 5:14 states it, "For the love of Christ constraineth us, because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead." Now we by faith receive God's pardon and justification. Again in this aspect of the righteousness of God, we see that the work that God has done for us, has its counterpart and fruit in us. The text in Gal 2:20 which states, "I am crucified with Christ" has much more than a finished historical meaning that I can grasp by faith. It also has a manifested application which effects living changes in our character and nature now. In Rom 6:6 it is revealed, "that our old man is crucified with Christ that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin." In plainer words when we truly grasp by faith the death of Christ for us, and by the power of God death takes place in us, our old character, nature and carnal mind is slain, and the power that controlled our sin loving tendencies and deeds is destroyed, and thus we are literally and realistically set free from serving sin. As 1 John 3:5 so clearly puts it, "And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins: and in him is no sin." By His power God crucifies all that we are, that we may die to sin, self and selfishness, and live the new imparted life of God. Gal 5:24 declares to us, "And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." We must die, in order to live. If you will reign with Christ you must first be crucified to self. No cross, no crown. No death, no eternal life. The first step in the conversion or new birth process is death to sin and self, ministered to us by the power and providence of a Merciful High Priest - Christ the Lord. As it was with our Saviour and Lord, so shall it be with us His children, death must come before our resurrection and ascension into heavenly places. We must die before we are born by faith into eternal life.
Beloved, all need to understand the following point. Any soul, which means every person and all human beings who have not died by faith in Jesus are living in the state of eternal death. They are spiritually dead just awaiting their sure destiny - eternal death. By not choosing to die by faith to sin and selfishness now in Christ, they are misusing and abusing their God-given grace and probationary time. They shall surely reap what they have chosen. By not conscientiously choosing Christ, we choose eternal death. In 1 Tim 5:6 this principle is taught, it declares, "she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth." Whether it is a he or a she, whether they are young or old, it makes no difference, the fact is, if one is not dead to the flesh and the world, and living in Christ Jesus by faith, they are dead spiritually and thus are devoid of the eternal life of God - which alone is life. They are spiritually dead destined to receive eternal death. The Bible sums it up this way in II Tim 2:11-14, "It is a faithful saying for if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him; if we suffer, we shall also reign with him, if we deny him, he also will deny us: If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful he cannot deny himself. Of these thing put them in remembrance."