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3 Aspects of Christ’s Death in a Hymn of Praise

Many people regard Christ’s death as a significant event in human history, but with varying degrees of appreciation.

3 Aspects of Christ's death we can apply every day

Some merely consider His death that of a religious martyr.

Others, by reading the Bible, might value Christ’s death as the death of their Savior, the One who died for their redemption. They appreciate how Jesus died that they would not perish and suffer God’s judgment for eternity (John 3:16).  This is really wonderful!

But in this post we want to go further to see even more profound aspects of Christ’s death. We also want to consider how Christ’s death can applied in our Christian life—every day.

Now let’s consider three aspects of Christ’s death that we can apply every day!

3 Aspects of Christ’s Death We Can Apply Every Day

The Gospel of John presents at least three aspects of Christ death and each of them is full of application to our Christian life. In the following sections I’ll follow the sequence of a hymn of praise on Christ’s death that touches these three aspects found in John’s Gospel.

The Lamb of God — The Redeeming Aspect — John 1:29

In this verse, John the Baptist introduced Jesus to the people of Israel by declaring,

“Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

This word would remind them of the lamb of the passover (Exo. 12:3). Each year the Jews were charged by God to keep the passover in the first month of their sacred calendar (Lev. 23:5).  Experiencing Christ as our passover is also the beginning of our “sacred calendar.” This is the starting point for our Christian journey (1 Cor. 5:7). I believe most Christians are quite familiar with this aspect.

We need to praise the Lord Jesus that He died as God’s redeeming Lamb, bearing all our sins away (Isa. 53:7). His righteous act brought us God’s eternal redemption.

Stanza One – The Lamb of God

The first stanza of this hymn of praise focuses on Christ’s death as the Lamb of God:

Lamb of God so pure and spotless,
Lamb of God for sinners slain.
Thy shed blood has wrought redemption.
Cleansing us from every stain.
Lamb redeeming, Lamb redeeming.
Bearing all our sins away,
Bearing all our sins away!

But do you realize that beholding the Lamb of God is not just for the start of your Christian journey?

We need to behold the Lamb of God every day. We need to come to the Lord Jesus every time we sense the guilt of sin or the accusation of Satan.

Christ’s blood is available to us every moment. For more appreciation of the precious blood of Christ, I recommend a thoughtful reading of a booklet by that title found at ministrybooks.org.

In order to maintain our fellowship with God we need to learn how to apply the blood of Jesus, God’s Lamb (1 John 1:7).  We can do this by confessing our sins and anything that insulates us from God. God’s word in 1 John 1:9 promises,

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

For this practice, it is good to spend private times with the Lord. Especially in the morning and evening, take time to confess any sins or failures you sense under His shining and ask Him to forgive you and cleanse you with His precious blood.

The Bronze Serpent — The Satan-destroying Aspect — John 3:14

In John 3:14-15  the Lord Jesus said,

As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness so also must the Son of Man be lifted up that everyone who believes into Him may have eternal life.

Like Nicodemus in John 3, we may feel that we are inherently good and simply in need of the better teachings of Jesus in order to improve ourselves. However, Jesus used the case of the bronze serpent lifted up in Numbers 21:4-9 to illustrate our true condition.

We don’t just make mistakes requiring forgiveness and cleansing. We’re poisoned with the venomous nature of the old serpent, Satan. For this we need Christ as the bronze serpent.

As the bronze serpent, Christ’s death destroyed that old serpent, Satan, and dealt with his serpentine nature within man (Heb. 2:14).

Stanza Two – The Bronze Serpent

The second stanza of this hymn of praise points to Christ’s death as the bronze serpent:

Brazen serpent, to Thee looking,
Son of Man, uplifted high.
Thou didst bear the flesh of sin in
Likeness on the cross to die.
Old creation’s termination;
Finished, Satan and the world,
Finished Satan and the world!

So we need something more. We need the bronze serpent!  We need the Satan-destroying aspect of Christ’s death. It terminated the entire fallen old creation, Satan and the world!

Yes, Christ’s death dealt with Satan and his evil system once for all and along with this hymn we need to praise Him for this.

But how about our daily life? I’m afraid that this poisonous element still plagues us.

What can we do about the anger, anxiety, lust, pride and jealousy that are still dwelling in our serpent-poisoned, flesh of sin? We need to apply the effectiveness of Christ’s as the bronze serpent.

We need to look on Christ, our “bronze serpent, ” believing into Him, contacting Him to enjoy His victory over the sinful old creation, Satan, and the world.

Since Christ is now the life-giving Spirit in resurrection (1 Cor. 15:45), His victorious life is available to us. It’s the antidote we need. Whenever we call on the Lord Jesus, we look on this “bronze serpent.” When we say, “Lord Jesus! Lord, I look on You! I behold You!”— Satan, sin and the world are defeated!

The Grain of Wheat — The Life-releasing Aspect — John 12:24

The divine life was concealed in the man Jesus just as life is confined within a grain of wheat. For the life concealed in the grain to be released, the shell had to be broken that the inward life might be released for reproduction. In John 12:24  the Lord Jesus said,

Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it abides alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

Stanza Three – The Grain of Wheat

In this third aspect, Christ’s death was as a grain of wheat that fell into the ground and died to produce many grains:

Grain of wheat, so small and lowly,
Without death abides alone;
Life divine enclosed within it,
Into death it must be sown.
Life releasing, Christ increasing,
Many grains to birth to bring,
Many grains to birth to bring!

We need to realize that Christ’s death was not merely to remove the problems between us and God but to recover us back to God’s original intention. That is, God wants  a group of people filled with His life to become the enlargement of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Have you ever considered that Jesus was a “grain of wheat”? He died to produce us as “much fruit”—the many grains in His resurrection.

What are these many grains for? First Corinthians 10:17 makes it clear that these grains are for the forming of the “one loaf,” the church. As the many grains brought forth in Christ’s resurrection (1 Pet. 1:3), we need to be ground and blended together to be that one loaf, Christ’s Body, the church.

A Concluding Word

This section from the Life-study of John, Message 26 provides a very fitting conclusion:

“By one death [Christ]  accomplished the threefold purpose of taking away our sins, destroying Satan, and releasing the divine life from within Him to produce many grains. Hallelujah!….No longer are we sinning and no longer are we serpentine. The divine life has been imparted into us, and we are now the many grains that have been produced out of that one grain. These many grains are good for making one loaf, which is the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 10:17), the church….Now we have become living grains that, composed together, become one loaf, the church. Praise Him! (Life-Study of John, message 26, pp. 318-319)

We need to pray,

“Lord Jesus,  praise you that You died as the Lamb of God, the bronze serpent and the grain of wheat. Lord, make the effectiveness of Your death my daily experience. Thank you  for taking away my sin and dealing with the old serpent and his poisonous element within me. Thank you even more for imparting your life into me to make me one of the many grains to form Your  Body, the church. Blend me with the other grains to be that one loaf You desire.”

References and Further Reading:

About Tom Smith

Hi. My name is Tom Smith. I'm the writer behind Holding to Truth in Love, and I love the Lord Jesus and His life-giving Word. Please feel free to send me an e-mail through the contact page if you have any questions. I hope you'd take a moment to subscribe to the Holding to Truth blog. Then you'll be sure not to miss a post. Thanks!

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