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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

 WHY DID CHRIST DIE?

By Doug Krieger

You heard that right!  Carefully listen to why Christ died not only for Judah (the Jewish Nation) but for all the nations:

“. . . he (“Caiaphas, who was high priest that year”) prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one.” (John 11:49-52 Excerpts - NIV)
I still don’t think we’re getting it.  Why did Christ die on that cross?  You say to bring us salvation . . . as in: “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification” (Rom. 4:5).  True.  But precisely why did He bring us so great a salvation?  So you could go to heaven?  So you could be born again?  So you could be conformed to His Image?  So you could live the “purpose driven life”—so you could find God’s plan for your life? 

Brother and sisters, it’s in black and white as to why Christ died—"To gather the children of God scattered abroad, to bring them together and make them one." 

Wait.  I still don’t think we’re getting it.  You mean, Christ died for the ungodly in order for “as many as received Him to them gave He the authority to become the children of God—even to them who believe on His Name” (John 1:12) – and then to bring them together, gather them together—AND MAKE THEM ONE!  Absolutely—that’s why Christ died in the first place.

You see, God Almighty had something so far-reaching—beyond just saving you from your trespasses and sins—He died for you and me because He wanted to gather us together and to make us one.  He knew that by making us one He would defeat His enemy (“the accuser/categorizer of the brethren” – Rev. 12:10) . . . “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet” (Rom. 16:20).

In John’s accounting of Caiaphas’ statement – he took his lemons and made lemonade from them!  The high priest, Caiaphas, “prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation—not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God—all who one day would receive Him (viz., ALL THE NATIONS) in order to gather them together and MAKE THEM ONE.”  That was immensely all-encompassing . . . He knew that through His death He would gather the children of God together and then He would make them ONE.  Indeed, it’s one thing to be “saved from the wrath of God” – it’s another thing to be gathered together as the children of God – but it’s profoundly significant TO MAKE US ONE!

So many of us assume that Christ died for us and then gathered us together—end of story.  NO!  A theoretical oneness does not suffice God’s eternal plan and purpose for the ages.  There is this MAKE US ONE that has to take place. 

Positionally, you might say, we are “gathered together” – that the “children of God scattered abroad” have been brought together, so be at peace with what He has done—go no further.  But where’s the MAKE THEM ONE?  Ah, therein lies the working out of His effort to display to principalities and powers, to a dying world—THROUGH MAKING US ONE—that the world will believe the Father sent the Son!

Yes, you are saved from the wrath of God through the death of Christ on the Cross who took the wrath of God upon sin for our sakes (Rom. 5:6-11).  Upon receiving His pardon (what Christ accomplished through death and resurrection on our behalf) we have been constituted “the children of God” (“scattered abroad”).  But He had/has no intention to stop there—we’re still scattered abroad.  His intention was then (1) to gather us together and (2) MAKE US ONE!

You say:  Well, salvation is all that counts—I’ve got my “insurance policy” and I’m safe, saved.  Great, you’re satisfied—but God isn’t . . . not until He gathers us together and makes us one.  Or, you might say, “Brother, ease up—as far as God is concerned, we’re all one—so don’t sweat it . . . I’m one with all kinds of folks from God’s point of view; but that doesn’t mean I have to “meet and greet” them in the Lord (“many of them are just not in my comfort zone”). 

Alas!  You’re saved . . . and you’re one with all God’s people . . . but have you participated in MAKING US ONE?  Don’t “cop out” and say “That’s God’s problem making us one.”  Right—but God didn’t make us robots.  He wants our cooperation and that means you and I will have to come out of our little “comfort zones” to reach out to the “children of God.”



You see, the Jewish nation was divided from the nations—most certainly from the Romans and all the other nations for they were “set apart”—but the doors of salvation were breaking down through the Cross of Christ—He was to die for the world:  “For God so loved the world” (John 3:16)—and that includes all the world—“that He gave His only begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” 

But more than this . . . far more than this . . . He did this to gather His newly-birthed children together to make them one.  How would He MAKE US ONE?  The same One who saved us through His death and resurrection, would now pray for us and “gift” us with the Father’s Life; the Logos/Truth/Word—the Living Christ in us; and commission us with the Glory of the Spirit of God to demonstrate this Divine Oneness to the world that they would believe the Father sent the Son (John 17).

Brethren – let us pray that the Holy Spirit would open our eyes beyond our own salvation unto His gathering us together and making us ONE in Him.  The world so desperately needs this divine unity wrought by our Lord as much or more today than ever before—but they will believe the Father sent the Son when we are MADE ONE.  Lord, answer Your prayer!

Finally, after Judah’s pronouncement (if you would), Jesus and His disciples left Jerusalem and “withdrew to a region near the wilderness, to a village (city) called Ephraim" (John 11:54).  

Do you think this disclosure was but “miscellaneous information” of little import?  No, no, NO!  I believe it was included into the account prior to the cross—and immediately after these astounding accounts of MAKING US ONE—by revealing His divine intent by including Ephraim’s name after Judah’s name in that the “breach” between the 10 Northern Tribes (Ephraim) and the 2 Southern Tribes (Judah) would be reconciled through the death, resurrection, and ultimate restoration of the United Kingdom under the Kingship of the Son of David, the King of ALL Israel (John 1:49).

Suffice it to say—only the King of kings and Lord of lords can restore the “Tabernacle of David” which has fallen into ruins—only He can RAISE IT UP, gather the scattered children of God and MAKE THEM ONE.  (See Acts 15:16-17; Amos 9:11-12) 

May the Lord open our inner eyes to see His ultimate intention, His purpose . . . so that what He is after will be what we should desire . . . then, and then only, will we truly have a “purpose-driven life!” 

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