What Jesus' Death Accomplished


Romans 6:9–10 is one of the greatest consolations in the Bible. If you want to grasp WHAT your salvation is and WHY you can be confident of your salvation, here it is: 

"We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. [10] For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God."

"Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him." 

In other words, since Jesus has attained to eternal life, death can never again have dominion over him. Jesus DID die. Jesus WAS buried. Death exercised dominion over the body of Jesus from crucifixion-Friday to resurrection-Sunday. But "Up from the grave He arose; with a mighty triumph o'er His foes. He arose a victor from the dark domain; and He lives forever with His saints to reign."

"For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God." 

Focus on this: "He died to sin." That is talking about Jesus. "The death He died he died to sin." The death Jesus died on a cross, He died to sin. What could this mean? Let's talk about it. Because once you see the glory in this statement, you cannot unsee it. It is truly the most liberating, reassuring, encouraging truth that sinful man can discover.

Okay, so again, "He died to sin." Quickly on the phrase, "die to." Biblically, to "die to" something means to NO LONGER BE UNDER THAT THINGS AUTHORITY. To die to the law means you are no longer ruled by the law (e.g., Gal. 2:19). To "die to" sin is to no longer be under the authority, under the dominion of sin in a particular way. But what way?!

Now, the Bible teaches that the Christian has died to the ruling power of sin (i.e., the dominion of sin) in our hearts and lives (see Romans 6 especially). But Jesus was never under the ruling power of sin: EVER! He did not sin. He was not a slave to sin. He did not violate God's holy law.

"For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. [27] He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all" when he offered up himself" (Hebrews 7:26–27).

To the one who knows the perfections and righteousness of Christ, it is patently obvious that Jesus did not and could not die to the ruling power of sin. By His grace and power, believers die to the ruling power of sin, but not Jesus.

But there is another way to die to sin; another way to no longer be under the dominion of sin. The death Jesus died on a cross -- as a substitute offering for sinners; as an atoning sacrifice for their sins -- HE DIED TO THE CURSE OF SIN. In other words, He died to the penalty of sin. Or you could say, He died to the wrath of God against sin.

"Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree'—[14] so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith" (Galatians 3:13-14).

Jesus died to the curse of sin so that whoever believes in Him would be spared from that curse. And that my friend, is our only hope and assurance. This is our salvation: Christ bore the curse of sin on our behalf. 

"Jesus bore it all." "He bore our sins in His body on the tree" (1 Pet. 2:24). "The death he died he died to sin," and this death to sin was, "once for all" (meaning that this does not have to happen again). 

Jesus died to the penalty of sin when He receive the penalty for sin that others deserved. Therefore, the penalty of sin no longer has dominion over Him, like it did on the cross. And therefore also, and this is the good news of God, the penalty of sin no longer has dominion over THOSE WHO ARE IN HIM THROUGH FAITH.

Do you see it? No penalty for sin. Sin's accusing voice is rendered powerless by the sacrificial death of Christ (see Col. 2:13-15).

For all who believe, on the cross,
Your sin became His sin;
Your guilt became His guilt;
Your penalty became His penalty.

So that in your life,
His righteousness becomes your righteousness;
His innocence becomes your innocence;
His reward becomes your reward.

Beloved of God, don't skim over this, but plunge deeply into it. This is the gospel of your salvation. This is your hope, your confidence, your assurance, your peace, rest, joy, and contentment. This is your present life and your life to come in eternal glory.

Since "the life he lives he lives to God," so also the life you live, you live to God (through faith in Him and by the fellowship of His Spirit). What a freeing and joyous thought, we live life to the glory, praise, honor, and Name of God rather than ourselves or the world. The life we live, we live to God precisely because "the life he lives he lives to God." 

And what else is salvation except sharing blessed communion with God through Spiritual fellowship with Christ? We live life to God by sharing life in Jesus. Indeed, you are a child of God by virtue of the death of Jesus Christ: there is no more wrath, no more anger, no more penalty for you sin. Jesus bore it all on that wretched cross of your salvation.

"And indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ" (1 John 1:3).