Scriptural, Part 1
Salvation Bible Basics
There is another phrase that we want to look at in the above passage. Paul said Christ died for our sins, ‘according to the scriptures.‘ He was buried, and He rose again from the dead, ‘according to the scriptures.‘ In other words, Paul is telling us that the Gospel is also Scriptural. Why is that phrase, ‘according to the scriptures’ so important? It is important because the death of Jesus Christ as recorded in the New Testament is not something that was done in a vacuum. In other words, it didn’t just happen. Jesus didn’t show up one day and say, ‘You know what? I think it would be great for me to die on the cross. And after I die on the cross, I’ll rise from the dead and solve all of man’s problem.’ That isn’t how it happened at all.
The Bible tells us that the coming of Christ to this earth to die for the sins of mankind was planned out. In fact, the death of Christ was planned before the beginning of time. The coming of Christ was planned before God created the earth. From the book of Genesis at the very beginning of the Bible, all the way up until the coming of Christ, God had given to man a trail of prophecies. Down through the generations He had given the prophecies about when Christ would come, about how and where He would be born and live, and that He would die for the sins of the world. Through these prophecies God was setting the stage for what He was going to do in the person of Jesus Christ, ‘according to the scriptures.’
What difference does that make to us today? Well, it makes a great deal of difference. If Jesus Christ is the true Messiah, if He is the One who can pay for your sins and mine through His death, then He will meet all the qualifications for the Messiah listed in the Old Testament. Therefore we will be able to go back in the Old Testament and look up all the prophecies that had to do with this Messiah who was going to die as our substitute, and compare them with the life of Jesus Christ. If we did that, we would be able to see that He meets all the qualifications of the Old Testament perfectly.
That is why the Bible says He died for our sins, ‘according to the scriptures.’ He rose again from the dead, ‘according to the scriptures.’ Because everything Jesus did was according to the Scriptures. God didn’t just drop in at the middle of time and say, “Jesus is going to die, so He can pay for the sin of the world.” No, God was planning this from the beginning of time, all the way up until Jesus came. It was planned by the Father that Jesus would come and die for your sins and for mine. That ought to be a comfort to us to realise that the death and resurrection of Christ was not just a mere whim but was according to the very plan of God to take care of the sins of the world.
One of the things men do is try to live as good as they can, to somehow get God to forgive them of their sin and hope God will see all the good things they do and overlook the bad things they do. In this way they think they will get into Heaven. But the Bible says it is the Gospel, the good news about Jesus Christ, that is the power of God that saves us. In fact, the Bible plainly tells us that if a man tries to keep the law, he is cursed.