What does "Jesus died for our sins" actually mean?
Updated: Dec 19, 2020
This post is written by Extrachelle. Please visit her website at www.extrachelle.com or her Twitter at @extrachelle.
Few years ago, I was having a coffee with my mom and she asked me a question "Do you actually know what's the meaning behind 'Jesus died for our sins'?". I had an answer for myself because I always had thoughts about the fulfillment of life and the meaning of Christianity. I became however aware, that many devote Christians, young and old, do not have an answer for it.
Traditions offer us sometimes a very wrong and evil picture. The guilt is put by some on the Jewish authorities and the Jews in general - causing a terrible persecution in history. The death of Jesus is about human failure in general: We, the people denounced Jesus. We have failed Him and put Him on trial. We condemned Him and we nailed Him to the Cross. We abandoned Him and turned ourselves away from Him. We denied and betrayed Him. Every person has to ask themselves to what extent they contribute with their daily actions to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
The death of Jesus is about human failure in general.
God came to earth as a Man, to be close to us, among us, to teach us how to live and how to die and resurrect with Him. God as our role model in blood and flesh, sharing His Bread with us - "Salt and bread" in the East, "Companion” from Latin "com pan" “with bread”. Abraham, Moses, Noah and all disciples left everything behind them to follow Him. God became Flesh and the Flesh was called "Teacher", a Teacher to follow. Christianity is a life of lessons to struggle for the Truth, not of comfort and happiness. The imitation of Christ is the only path to reach joy in Heaven.
"Death, unanticipated, is death; death, anticipated, is immortality." - Yeghishe Vardapet Early Christianity understood that the Death of Jesus on the Cross is only a process to Resurrection and they imitated Him through Martyria. Jesus showed us on the Cross how to die and to resurrect with Him.
And this is what makes Christianity so unique, it is the most perfect love story - sacrifice is love, and love is sacrifice.
An atheist, Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, once said "a person's wisdom/smartness can be judged by the care with which he preconceives the future or the end. Respice finem." Smartness for a Christian is he who follows the path of Jesus and imitates Him, carrying his own cross and sacrificing himself for God and for others to secure his place in Jesus' Kingdom. And this is what makes Christianity so unique, it is the most perfect love story - sacrifice is love, and love is sacrifice.