What Happened When Jesus Died?

man kneeling in front of cross
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Jesus’ sacrifice of himself on the cross is one of the richest moments of history. We could never exhaust everything that God accomplished through Christ on the cross. Herman Bavinck helps us out a bit. Bavinck gave offered a helpful list of what Christ has accomplished for his own glory:

What Christ acquired by this sacrifice is beyond description. For himself he acquired by it his entire exaltation, his resurrection (Eph. 1:20), his ascension to heaven (1 Pet. 3:22), his seating at the right hand of God (Eph. 1:20; Heb. 12:2), his elevation as head of the church (Eph. 1:22), the name that is above every name (Phil. 2:9–11), the glory of the mediator (John 17:5; Heb. 2:9), power over all things in heaven and on earth (Matt. 28:18; Eph. 1:22; 1 Cor. 15:24f.), the final judgment (John 5:22, 27). In addition he acquired for his own, for humanity, for the world, an interminable series of blessings. In his person he is himself the sum of all those blessings: the light of the world (John 8:12), the true bread (6:35), the true vine (15:1), the way, the truth, the resurrection, and the life (11:25; 14:6), our wisdom, our righteousness, holiness, and redemption (1 Cor. 1:30), our peace (Eph. 2:14), the firstborn and the firstfruits who is followed by many others (Rom. 8:29; 1 Cor. 15:23), the second and last Adam (1 Cor. 15:45), the head of the church (Eph. 1:22), the cornerstone of the temple of God (Eph. 2:20); and for that reason there is no participation in his benefits except by communion with his person.

Herman Bavinck, John Bolt, and John Vriend, Reformed Dogmatics: Sin and Salvation in Christ, vol. 3 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2006), 339.

Bavinck also listed what Jesus has accomplished for his people:

Yet from him flow all the benefits, the whole of salvation (σωτηρια, Matt. 1:21; Luke 2:11; John 3:17; 12:47), and more specifically the forgiveness of sins (Matt. 26:28; Eph. 1:7); the removal of our sins (John 1:29; 1 John 3:5); the cleansing or deliverance of a bad conscience (Heb. 10:22); justification (Rom. 4:25); righteousness (1 Cor. 1:30); sonship (Gal. 3:26; 4:5–6; Eph. 1:5); confident access to God (Eph. 2:18; 3:12); God’s laying aside his wrath in virtue of Christ’s sacrifice, that is, the sacrifice of atonement (Rom. 3:25; 1 John 2:2; 4:10; Heb. 2:17); the disposition in God that replaced it, the new reconciled—no longer hostile but favorable—disposition of peace toward the world (καταλλαγη, Rom. 5:10f.; 2 Cor. 5:18–20); the disposition of people vis-à-vis God (Rom. 5:1); further, the gift of the Holy Spirit (John 15:26; Acts 2; Gal. 4:6); the second birth and the power to become children of God (John 1:12–13); sanctification (1 Cor. 1:30); participation in Christ’s death (Rom. 6:3f.); the dying to sin (Rom. 6:6f.; Gal. 2:20); the being crucified to the world (Gal. 6:14); the cleansing (Eph. 5:26; 1 John 1:7, 9) and the washing away of sins (1 Cor. 6:11; Rev. 1:5; 7:14) by being sprinkled with the blood of Christ (Heb. 9:22; 12:24; 1 Pet. 1:2); walking in the Spirit and in the newness of life (Rom. 6:4); participation in the resurrection and ascension of Christ (Rom. 6:5; Eph. 2:6; Phil. 3:20); the imitation of Christ (Matt. 10:38; 1 Pet. 2:21f.); increased freedom from the curse of the law (Rom. 6:14; 7:1–6; Gal. 3:13; Col. 2:14); the fulfillment of the old and the inauguration of a new covenant (Mark 14:24; Heb. 7:22; 9:15; 12:24); redemption from the power of Satan (Luke 11:22; John 14:30; Col. 2:15; 1 John 3:8; Col. 1:13); victory over the world (John 16:33; 1 John 4:4, 5:4); deliverance from death and from the fear of death (Rom. 5:12f.; 1 Cor. 15:55f.; Heb. 2:15); escape from judgment (Heb. 10:27–28); and, finally, the resurrection of the last day (John 11:25; 1 Cor. 15:21); ascension (Eph. 2:6); glorification (John 17:24); the heavenly inheritance (John 14:2; 1 Pet. 1:4); eternal life already beginning here with the inception of faith (John 3:15, 36) and one day fully manifesting itself in glory (Mark 10:30; Rom. 6:22); the new heaven and new earth (2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:1, 5); and the restoration of all things (Acts 3:21; 1 Cor. 15:24–28).

Herman Bavinck, John Bolt, and John Vriend, Reformed Dogmatics: Sin and Salvation in Christ, vol. 3 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2006), 339–340.

How much better would our lives be if we focused on what Jesus accomplished rather than our own failures.

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