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But We See Jesus

By David A. DePra

But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for

the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by

the grace of God should taste death for every man.

     "But we see Jesus..." Those are tremendous words. Unless we

actually do "see Jesus," personally and individually, it is

impossible that we can really see much else with any kind of

understanding. I can only see the Truth about anything else if I

see it in the light of the Truth Himself.

     Above all else, this applies to seeing myself. Looking at myself

in any other light but the light of Jesus will always result in a false

picture. Most of us, even as Christians, look at ourselves in the

light of pride, religiosity, or fear. The picture we get is far from

the Truth. But when we see ourselves beside Jesus, we see

ourselves for what we are: Spiritual bankrupt and without hope.

Yet because we are beside Him, in His light, we also see His

redemption. And when we see that, we see something which will

carry us forever.


     When we see Jesus, we see DEATH. But not just His death. We

also see OUR death. The Truth is, we died IN Him.

But why? Why was death necessary? Could not God, who can

do as He pleases, simply say, "I forgive all sin. I will simply lift from

humanity the penalty and consequences of sin. No one need die.

I love them too much. Now, let's get on with other things."?

     No. God could not do that. Notice why. To remove the

consequence of death, but not remove the sin which brought it,

would be the greatest and most horrible act of amorality possible.

It is not possible for God to "forgive" by simply lifting the penalty

for sin. He must remove sin itself.

     He did this through the death of Jesus. But again, we must be

clear on this point regarding Jesus' death. Most people think that

the death of Jesus gave God just cause to lift the consequences of

sin from us. This is not true either. God NEVER lifted from

humanity the consequences of sin. Indeed, in Christ, God carried

out the death penalty to the fullest.

     Get that. It is vital to see. God does not forgive you and I by

saying, "You deserve death for your sin. But because Jesus bore

your punishment, I will lift that punishment from you and consider

it satisfied in My Son." Never. For how would that address the

issue of sin itself? How would that set us free from the ruination of

the Adamic creation? It would not. It could not. For God to

merely pardon us from a "punishment" FOR sin, rather than set us

free from sin itself, would again, be a terribly amoral act.

     Here's what God did say. He said, "You are dead. There is no

escape from that death which can satisfy perfect justice. Indeed,

death is the DEMAND of perfect justice. Therefore, the only way of

salvation I can offer is one which, rather than lift the death penalty,

sees the death penalty completely carried out. Then, and only

then, will perfect justice be served."

     In Christ, God carried out the fullness of the death penalty. But

not so we could escape death. Rather, so that we could die IN

Christ. In Christ, I must MEET death. I must meet the complete

death of my old man. There is no pardon offered.

     That is why the Bible says we die in Christ. Christ came to die

our death, so that in Him, we could both die and live again. Thus,

we read that Jesus, "by the grace of God," tasted death for every


     This is, of course, the gospel. But do we really grasp the

magnitude of that statement, "taste death for every man?" To

"taste death" means to fully experience it; to be fully swallowed up

by it. The death of Jesus was not merely some token, legalistic

action taken by God so that He could justify His forgiveness for

sin. Jesus literally experienced OUR individual, and collective,

death for us.

     When God says that Jesus "tasted death for every man," he is

really saying that Jesus "tasted every man's death." In other

words, Jesus took upon Himself your death and mine, with all of

it's components and attributes. Paul says this in II Corinthians. He

says, "He made Him to be sin for us..." This means that God

endowed upon Jesus all the nature of the collective first Adam,

and caused Him to BE that in his body.

     This act of redemption not only fully satisfied perfect justice,

and carried out the penalty of death to the full, but it made it

possible for us to die in Christ. When we receive Him, we are

"planted into His death." Everything of the old creation begins to

become invaded and swallowed up by the death of Jesus Christ.

But if we stopped there, we would not yet have life. No, we'd

have death! We would have only died in Christ. There would yet

be no newness of life. No resurrection.

     Here is where it is important to see that it is the resurrection of

Christ that saves us -- not merely His death. Paul states this clearly

in Romans:

For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the

death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved

by His life. (Romans 5:10)

     The entire human race was reconciled to God by the death of

Jesus Christ -- that is -- forgiven. But if that was all that was

necessary for salvation, we would have universal salvation, no

matter whether we place our faith in Christ. This cannot be. The

Truth is, the entire world IS forgiven because of the death of Jesus.

But it is only those who place their faith in Christ that are saved. In

this verse we see why: Those who believe are raised to HIS

newness of life.

     Get that: The death of Christ wiped the slate clean. It really IS

finished. Forgiveness is finished. Sin died in Christ. But as totally

necessary as that was, it does not save anyone. God's finished

work of forgiveness in Jesus Christ will do me no good unless I

place my faith in Jesus, and embrace His Redemption. Then, and

only then, am I -- yes, planted in His death -- but then planted in His

resurrection. I am saved by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

     When we look upon Jesus, we see a Living Christ, not a dead

one. His death was the end of all sin. But His resurrection was the

beginning of a new creation of eternal life. *

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