1 Corinthians 15:3-4
For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;…
I. ITS NATURE. We must affirm and believe that it was a true and proper death, such as that to which all mortals are by the law of our nature subjected. Such is expressed by all the terms appropriated to it, and by the ordinary signs of death.
II. ITS PECULIAR ADJUNCTS ANN RESPECTS OF OUR LORD'S DEATH, WHICH COMMEND IT TO OUR REGARD, AND AMPLIFY ITS WORTH.
1. Its being a result of God's eternal counsel and decree by which our Saviour was "a Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world."
2. Its being a matter of free consent and compact between God and His Son. It was pre-ordained by God; and our Saviour's reply was: "Lo! I come to do Thy will, O God."
3. Its great excellency and efficacy, appearing from manifold types foreshadowed, and in divers prophecies foretold.
4. Its being compassed by God's especial providence directing and disposing it, though not without the active concurrence of men; so that although as a work of Divine Providence it was most admirable, yet as an act of human pravity it was the most heinous ever committed.
5. Its great commendation in the quality of our blessed Saviour's person: how valuable must be the death of one so incomparably transcendent in glory!
III. THE CAUSES AND PRINCIPLES WHENCE IT PROCEEDED; which moved God to determine it, and our Lord to undertake it. There is in Scripture a threefold love of God towards men intimated.
1. A general love to mankind antecedent to the sending of our Lord and His performances, being the ground of God's designing them.
2. A love, consequent on these, and procured by them.
3. A peculiar love of friendship and complacence, which God bears to all who repent of their sins and embrace the gospel. The like principles are said to move our Lord to undergo death for us. To these may be added our sins, as the meritorious causes of our Saviour's death: "He was bruised for our iniquities." He died for us, not only as men, but as sinful and wretched men.
IV. THE ENDS WHICH IT AIMS AT.
1. The illustration of God's glory, by displaying His most glorious perfections.
2. The dignifying and exaltation of our Lord Himself, which is what He Himself foresaw and foretold.
3. The salvation of mankind; which He procured by appeasing that wrath which God bears towards iniquity, and reconciling Him to men, who by sin were alienated from Him.
4. Other subordinate designs and effects are the reparation of God's honour; the ratification of the new covenant; the reconciliation of all in heaven and earth; the defeat of death, and of the powers of darkness; the engaging us to the practice of all righteousness and obedience; for attestation to, and confirmation of Divine truth.
V. THE PRACTICAL INFLUENCES WHICH A CONSIDERATION OF THIS POINT SHOULD HAVE ON US.
1. It should beget in us the highest degree of love and gratitude towards God and our Saviour.
2. It should raise in us great faith and hope in God, excluding all distrust or despair.
3. It should comfort and satisfy us in regard to our sins. supposing that we heartily repent of them.
4. It discovers to us their heinousness, and thereby should move our detestation of them.
5. It should work in us a kindly contrition and remorse for them.
6. And engage us carefully to avoid them, as "crucifying Him afresh."
7. It should engage us to patience and resignation to the will of God.
8. It obliges us to the deepest mortification, in conformity with Christ's death, "being with Him crucified" to the lusts of the flesh.
9. It is also a strong engagement to the fullest measure of charity towards our brethren.
10. We are hence obliged to yield ourselves wholly up to the service of our Saviour, to the promoting of His interest and glory; since "we are not our own; being bought with a price," etc.
(I. Barrow, D.D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;