1 Peter 1:18-20
WHY DID HE GO TO CALVARY?
Intro: There is a song the choir sings from time to time
that has a first line that asks the following question:
"Why did He go to Calvary? Why was Hi life's blood
shed for me? Why did He suffer as no one has ever
done? There's just one reason, I am the one?" The
chorus of that song goes on to tell us that He loves us,
and that this is the reason that Jesus suffered what He
did on the cross. Certainly, that is a true thought. After
all, the Bible clearly says "But God commendeth his
love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners,
Christ died for us.", Romans 5:8. However, we need
to understand that this is only one side of a multi-faceted jewel. There are other reasons that came
together to make the cross a reality. Peter touches on
a few of them in this passage.
This morning, I want to ask and answer the
question, "Why Did He Go To Calvary?" I think the
main reasons are given in this passage, and I want to
share them with you today. As we consider this
important passage together, let the Lord speak to your
heart. If you have never trusted Jesus Christ as your
personal Savior, today, you will have that opportunity!
If you are saved, you will have a better understanding
of why He did what He did for you on the cross. Either
way, let's discover, together, the answer to the
question, "Why Did He Go To Calvary?"
I. V. 20a THERE WAS A PLAN TO FINISH
A. It Was An Old Plan - This verse tells us that
what Jesus did "was foreordained before the
foundation of the world." Now the word
"foreordained" is taken by some to mean
"advanced knowledge." In other words, God
knew what Jesus would do and approved of His
on the cross. The primary meaning of that word
is not that of "advanced knowledge", but that of
"advanced planning." Not only did God know
what Jesus was going to do, but He planned that
Jesus would come to this world and die on the
cross for the sins of man.
This plan was in the heart of God before sin
was ever in the heart of man! Before Adam ever
sinned in the Garden, God has already started a
plan into action that would culminate in the death
of Jesus on the cross, and the reconciliation of
lost sinners to God. In fact, as far as God is
concerned, Jesus Christ died before the world
was ever formed, Rev. 13:8. My friends, that is
a picture of pure grace! That God would provide
for salvation before there was anyone to save is
B. It Was The Only Plan - Some people look at the
Lord Jesus dying on the cross and they conclude
that it must be some sort of terrible mistake.
Nothing could be farther from the truth! The
cross did not catch the Lord by surprise! He did
not have to switch to plan "B" when everything
else had failed! He planned for the cross. In
fact, this was the only plan He had!
Even before man sinned in Eden, God had
planned to provide for their salvation through the
death of His Son on the cross. You see, friend,
there isn't one plan for Baptists and another for
Catholics. There isn't a way for the Methodists
and one for the Muslims. There is only one plan
and that plan says that lost sinners are saved by
accepting Jesus Christ as their personal Lord
and Savior! Listen to what the Bible says about
this matter: John 14:6; Rom. 10:9; Rom. 10:13;
John 3:16. The only way you will ever be saved
from your sins, delivered from an eternity in Hell
and made ready to meet God in Heaven is for
you to place your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
and accept God's plan.
(Ill. God never planned for men to try and work
their way to Heaven, Eph. 2:8-9. God never
planned for me to make their own God's and
worship them to erase their sins, Isa. 45:22. God
never wanted man to be trapped in a wasted life
followed by and endless eternity in Hell. That is
why He sent His Son to die on the cross! He did
it to save man from religion! He did it to save
men from the futility of false gods. He did it to
deliver lost people from the flames of Hell. He
did it for you! Remember, God has but one plan
and if you expect to make it to Heaven, you will
go His way, or you will not go at all!)
Why did He go to Calvary? To Finish A Plan
II. V. 18-19 THERE WAS A PAYMENT TO FURNISH
A. A Ransom Payment- When Jesus died on the cross, He was paying a debt He did not owe for
those who owed a debt they could not pay. Man
had sinned against the Lord and was sold under
sin! The only way they could be delivered was
for a ransom price to be paid for them.
The only way to understand this is to look at
it from God's point of view. When He made
man, He made him innocent and placed him in a
beautiful garden, where is every need was
supplied. The only restriction God placed upon
man was to refrain from eating on the tree of the
knowledge of good and of evil. God told the
man that the day he ate of that tree, he would
die, Gen. 2:15-17. This meant that man would
eventually die physically and his body would
return to the earth. He would ultimately die
eternally and be sent to Hell to spent eternity
paying for his sin against God. However, it also
meant that man would die immediately in a
spiritual sense and be separated from God, Isa.
59:2; Eph. 2:1-3. When Adam did eat of the
forbidden tree, Gen. 3:1-24, man died just as
God had said that he would.
What man needed was a Savior. Someone
Who could pay the debt of sin owed to God and
set things right again. This is just what Jesus did
when He died on the cross. He paid the debt
that Adam incurred when he sinned in the
Garden of Eden. He also paid the debt that
every one of us owes to God, if we will only
receive Him by faith.
When Jesus died on the cross, His blood
cancelled your debt, if you will only believe in
Him. This is the theme of the Bible! This is the
what the Word of God teaches. Salvation does
not come through worldly things like "silver and
gold" and worthless religious activity and ritual,
v. 18! It comes only through the precious shed
blood of the Lord Jesus Christ!
(Note: Heb. 9:12-14; 24-28; 10:11-14; Col.
2:13-14; Eph. 1:7; 2:11-22; Rev. 1:5. This
scarlet thread that courses its way from Genesis
to Revelation tells us of a great God's love for
sinners, and of a Savior's willingness to die in
our place! This is the thought that prompted the
songwriter to ask, "What can wash away my
sins?" And then to answer with the voice of
triumphant faith, "Nothing but the blood of
Jesus!" "What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus! Oh, precious
is the flow that makes me white as snow! No
other fount I know nothing but the blood of
B. A Redemption Payment - Verses18 and 19 tell
us that the blood of Jesus brings the believer
into a state of redemption. This is a word that
comes to us from the ancient slave trade. It
means "To buy a slave in the market place
from off of the slave block and to forever
deliver that one from his bondage." In other
words, when Jesus died on the cross, He
provided the means whereby lost, hell bound
sinners trapped in the futility of their wasted lives
and who are headed to a Godless, Christless
eternity might be forever set free from their
bondage and delivered from their torment! That
is what redemption is all about!
I bless His name that He came to set the
sinner free! He came to pay the price that we
could not pay. He came to break from our lives
the chains of sin that bind us and to set us free.
He came to do for us that which we could never
do for ourselves: He came to save us from our
sins and set us free to serve the living God. He
came to change our Descriptions; our
Directions; our Devotions and our
Destinations. He came to redeem the lost back
to God, Eph. 2:4-10!
(Note: When we are in Jesus, we are free from
the dominion of sin, Rom. 6:14. We are free
from the law of death that daily decimates the
human race, John 5:25. We are free from the
wrath of God and from eternal condemnation in
Hell, Rom. 8:1. We are free to live for God and
to serve Him in the beauty of holiness. Friend, if
you have never been saved, you might think you
are free. But, you have never tasted freedom
until you have experienced that which Jesus
gives, John 8:36.)
C. A Reasonable Payment - One may wonder why
Jesus had to go to the cross. The answer lies in
the fact that a holy God had been offended by
the sins of man. The only thing that could set
the record straight and clear the books of evil
was the death of the Lamb of God on the cross.
The innocent had to take the place of the guilty,
2 Cor. 5:21. Since the first animal was slain the
Old Testament this had always been God's
method for dealing with sin. However, not a
single sin had been purged by the blood of those
millions of animals that were killed. Sin had
merely been dealt with for the moment. Yet,
when Jesus came and died on the cross, His
blood did what the blood of all those animals
could never do, it took away sin forever, John
1:29; Heb. 9:9-14.
All people are sinners, Rom. 3:10; 23, and
God is a holy God Who must deal justly with the
sins of man. This means that every person born
into this world is born under the condemnation of
His wrath and is headed to Hell, Rom. 6:23.
However, when Jesus entered this world and
died on the cross, He forever satisfied the
righteous demands of God and opened the way
of salvation for those lost without Him, 1 John
2:2; Isa. 53:11.
(Note: We should all thank God for His Son, the
Lord Jesus Christ. We should thank God that
made a way for our sins to be forever put away.
That He made a way that we could be saved.
That He did what we could have never done!
There was a payment to furnish. Jesus did
that and now lost sinners can be saved. Have
you placed your faith in the sacrifice Jesus made
on Calvary? There is no other hope nor method
of salvation available for your soul, but that
which is offered by God through the shed blood
of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Why did He go to Calvary? To Furnish A Payment
III. V. 18, 20b THERE WAS A PEOPLE TO FREE
(Ill. These verses make it clear that Jesus came to
redeem people from their bondage in sin. Verse 20
plainly says that He was manifest "for you." He
same to set you free. Free from what you may ask.
Free from all things that bind you, so that you night
be free to serve Him fully. In fact, if you are not
saved, you are far more bound than you can ever
imagine! These verses mention two things that bind
the sinner, from which Jesus came to set us free.)
A. From An Empty Existence - Notice the mention
of "vain conversation" in verse 18. The word
"conversation" refers to one's "method of life,
or his behavior in life." The Word "vain"
means "empty." Peter says that those who are
outside of a relationship with Jesus are living
empty lives. In other words, they are just
spinning their wheels and wasting their time. All
their planning, working, getting, giving, doing,
hoping, and waiting will come to nothing! The
quest for popularity, comfort, pleasure,
recreation and satisfaction will surely fail. The
life lived without Jesus is a totally wasted life.
Regardless of what is accomplished or what is
obtained as one passes through this world, in
the end, it all amounts to nothing and still ends in
Hell. What a terrible way to live and die! This is
the thought that is expressed in Mark 8:36-37.
On the other hand, Jesus came that men
might have life and have it more abundantly,
John 10:10. He came to give meaning to life.
He came to make you work worthwhile. He
came to insure that your life would matter even
after you leave this world. He came to help you
find direction and fulfilment in this life and
contentment in His presence in the next.
You see, the devil promises people
happiness, contentment and fulfillment if they will
do things his way. He is a liar! All Satan's
apples have worms! Friend, you need to beware
of the traps he lays for you along the path of life!
He promises the moon and can deliver nothing
but death and destruction! He is never to be
Jesus, on the other hand, promises
happiness and contentment, peace and joy,
fulfillment and meaning. And, He has the power
to deliver them all, Rom. 4:21!
If you follow the devil, you will end you life
with nothing but regrets. If you follow Jesus, you
will end you life with nothing but thanksgiving.
Don't just live your life and accomplish nothing!
Live for Jesus and watch Him make you life
count for the glory of God. That's why He died
on the cross!
B. From An Endless Eternity - While Jesus died
to make life more meaningful, He also died to
make eternity more pleasant. The only remedy
for those who leave this world in their sins is for
them to be sent to Hell, Psa. 9:17; 2 Thes. 1:8-9; Luke 16:19-31. Friend, that is a place that
even the devil doesn't want to go to! Yet, it is
the very place you will spend eternity if your
refuse God's offer of salvation through the Lord
Jesus Christ. Hell is a place of pain, misery,
torment, regret, memory, thirst, separation,
loneliness, unending suffering and terrible
anguish. The Bible says that it is a place where
there will be "there shall be weeping and
gnashing of teeth.", Matt. 8:12. Yet, the Bible
also tells us that hell was never intended to be
populated with humans, Matt. 25:41. However,
don't let that cause you to think for a minute that
He will not send you there if you die in your sins!
That is His remedy and that is your destiny if you
Jesus came to change all that! Here is His
promise to those who believe in Him, John
10:28. He promises them that they will "never
perish." They can rest assured that they will
never feel the flames of Hell, but that when they
leave this world, they will spend eternity in the
very presence of God, Rev. 22:4, 2 Cor. 5:1-8.
In a place prepared specifically for them, John
14:1-3. He went to the cross so that sinners
might be saved from their sins, from Hell and
from the wrath of God. He also died there so
that we might be made worthy to enter into His
Heaven some day! Think of that land and all of
its glories, Rev. 21:1-28! That is my home and
I am headed there. Not because I am worthy,
but because He went to the cross to make me
ready for that place. All I did was go to Him
when He called! That is all you have to do as
well, Acts 16:31; John 6:37-40.
Conc: Why did He go to Calvary? He went for God, He
went for Himself and He went for You. He went so that
everything might change for you and that you might be
saved. All that I have said comes down to this
statement and the following question: He went to
Calvary for you back then! Will you come to Him
right now? If you will, He will wash away your sins,
change your life, prepare you a home in Heaven and
take you there when you die. One day, His offer of
grace will no longer be available. Will you come while
the door of salvation is still open? Will you come while
He calls you right now?