Raised to Life
Jesus died. Whether or not one believes he was the Messiah, the fact that he lived and died is a matter of settled history, even among his harshest critics.
Evidence certainly indicates that he was a real man, an influencer, a teacher with followers, and a historical figure of great notoriety. Also, yes, he died.
Jesus’ death holds immense theological significance for every Christian. According to the theology of many Christian traditions, on “Good” Friday, God gave himself up for his creation. In other words, God came to earth in the form of a man named Jesus, willingly suffered, and died to take on the sins of humanity so that the high price of low and sinful living would be paid.
Hymns of the ages recall the fact that “Jesus paid it all,” and behind these cherished melodic declarations, we find the idea of substitutionary atonement: Jesus died so we wouldn’t have to. He took our punishment; as a result, we change our inherited fiery downward trajectory and now head straight up to heaven, where we’ll live forever with Jesus. Notwithstanding the layers upon layers of additional theological constructions explaining the significance of his death, the previous few sentences articulate the understanding of many, many followers of Jesus regarding his entire purpose on earth.
Jesus came for one reason: to die for me.
First Fruits of Zion