Sermon – February 9, 2020

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John 12:20-36 – The Coming Death (mp3)

There is much to admire about Jesus. He is a wonderful teacher, able to take the mundane things of life and demonstrate the beautiful picture that they weave about life with God. He is a powerful healer; not even death is beyond his ability to make right. He is a forceful leader; standing up to those in power for the good of those under their boots. But none of these things is enough. Ultimately, we need someone to take away our sins and make us right with God again. In his death, Jesus does this. Today, as Jesus begins to speak most clearly about his impending death, we have 11 reasons why Jesus needed to die. Let us consider them briefly this morning!

1. Jesus must die to bear fruit
Like a seed falling to the ground and dying, Jesus’ death will bear much fruit in that he will also raise those who believe in him. If he didn’t die, he could not bear this fruit.

2. Jesus must die to keep life
The great Christian paradox: to be the most selfish, to want what is best for you, you must be willing to be the most unselfish person you can. You must be willing to lose your life. Jesus is no exception, and is the greatest example we have. Jesus must die to keep life.

3. Jesus must die to demonstrate a full obedience
Jesus’ obedience isn’t weak; but precisely because it is so costly, it is all the stronger. His death was anguishing and troubling. This makes his obedience all the more astonishing. Jesus must die to demonstrate a full obedience.

4. Jesus must die to fulfill his purpose
The entire reason Jesus came was to die. He was sent by his Father for this very purpose. If he weren’t to die, and that of his own accord at the hands of wicked sinners, he would have failed his Father’s purpose for him. Jesus must die to fulfill his purpose.

5. Jesus must die to glorify God
Furthermore, Jesus’ death gives God glory. His obedience even to the point of death demonstrates that he considers his Father’s desires better than even his own life, showing the true worth of the Father. Jesus must die to glorify God.

6. Jesus must die to reveal the glory of the blessed Trinity
What’s more, though, God is only truly and fully glorified if the one who is willing to die has high value. Jesus’ life is unlimited in worth. The worthiness of the Son’s life mirrors the worthiness of the Father’s glory, and vice versa. By his death, Jesus reveals the glory of the blessed Trinity.

7. Jesus must die to judge the world
It seems as though Jesus is about to be put on trial, but indeed, the world is just as much on trial. In crucifying the Son of Man the world shows its evil, and worthlessness before God. As they judge him, they also judge themselves. Jesus must die to judge the world.

8. Jesus must die to cast out Satan
By showing his full obedience, over and above Adam, Jesus shows that God is indeed the Lord over the whole world. Thus, the kingdom of Satan and all its powers are overthrown. Jesus must die to cast out Satan.

9. Jesus must die to draw all people to himself
In his death, purchasing all of the benefits of heaven for those who would believe, Jesus will pull all the world to himself. While they have already come, his death and resurrection will be the light that keeps them forever. Jesus must die to draw all people to himself.

10. Jesus must die to force your decision
Some might think that they can follow Jesus just so far as he does and says what makes them happy. Jesus offers no support for this. To follow him is to keep pace with him to the cross, to die daily, and to live for others as he did. Jesus must die to force from us a true decision.

11. Jesus must die to grant us adoption
Jesus’ death can make us sons of the Light. We are God’s children, for we have been remade in the image of the new Adam. His death allows us to be re-created, freed from sin, cleansed from our wickedness, and supported by the Spirit. Jesus must die to grant us adoption.