50 Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die

For the Forgiveness of Our Sins

Author: John Piper
Publisher: Crossway
Genre: Theology
Book Review
| Bibles.net
4/5
Reading Difficulty: Easy
This book is short, but dense. It would be a great book to read devotionally, one chapter at a time each morning or evening. We have found it really helpful in understanding why Jesus went to the cross for us. It's one thing to know that Christ suffered and died for us, it's another to know what motivated him, and what his death accomplished. We pray this book will help you grow in your understanding about the good news of Jesus one short chapter at a time.
Chapter
| 7 Minutes
CHAPTER 9

For the Forgiveness of Our Sins

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses.
(Ephesians 1:7)

This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
(Matthew 26:28)

When we forgive a debt or an offense or an injury, we don’t require a payment for settlement. That would be the opposite of forgiveness. If repayment is made to us for what we lost, there is no need for forgiveness. We have our due.

Forgiveness assumes grace. If I am injured by you, grace lets it go. I don’t sue you. I forgive you. Grace gives what someone doesn’t deserve. That’s why forgiveness has the word give in it. Forgiveness is not “getting” even. It is giving away the right to get even.

Forgiveness is not “getting” even. It is giving away the right to get even.

That is what God does to us when we trust Christ: “Everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name” (Acts 10:43). If we believe in Christ, God no longer holds our sins against us. This is God’s own testimony in the Bible: “I, I am he who wipes out your transgressions for my own sake” (Isaiah 43:25). “As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12).

But this raises a problem. We all know that forgiveness is not enough. We may only see it clearly when the injury is great—like murder or rape. Neither society nor the universe can hold together if judges (or God) simply say to every murderer and rapist, “Are you sorry? Okay. The state forgives you. You may go.” In cases like these we see that while a victim may have a forgiving spirit, the state cannot forsake justice.

So it is with God’s justice. All sin is serious, because it is against God (see chapter 1). He is the one whose glory is injured when we ignore or disobey or blaspheme him. His justice will no more allow him simply to set us free than a human judge can cancel all the debts that criminals owe to society. The injury done to God’s glory by our sin must be repaired so that in justice his glory shines more brightly. And if we criminals are to go free and be forgiven, there must be some dramatic demonstration that the honor of God is upheld even though former blasphemers are being set free.

That is why Christ suffered and died. “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses” (Ephesians 1:7). Forgiveness costs us nothing. All our costly obedience is the fruit, not the root, of being forgiven. That’s why we call it grace. But it cost Jesus his life. That is why we call it just. Oh, how precious is the news that God does not hold our sins against us! And how beautiful is Christ, whose blood made it right for God to do this.

Content taken from Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die by John Piper, ©2006. Used by permission of Crossway.
Video: 2 Min

Author

|

John Piper
John Piper is founder and lead teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. He served for thirty-three years as the pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is the author of more than fifty books.

Contributor 

|

Crossway
The purpose of Crossway has been, from its founding as a not-for-profit ministry in 1938, to publish gospel-centered, Bible-centered content that will honor our Savior and serve his Church. We seek to help people understand the massive implications of the gospel and the truth of God’s Word, for all of life, for all eternity, and for the glory of God.
    Cart