Jesus Did Not Die Just For You

The lights are dim. The youth pastor’s voice is passionate. And as the listeners take in the beautiful truths of the gospel, a Christian colloquialism is thrown out…

“Even if you were the only person on earth, Jesus would still have died for you!”

I’ve heard this saying, or something like it, at least a dozen times in the last few years. I believe it is meant to communicate God’s incredible, massive, astounding love for us. It is used to inspire awe in each person, as they consider Jesus’ sacrifice for them. It might even be a thought loosely based on the parable of the good Shepherd leaving the 99 sheep in search of the one lost fluffy.

It has always struck me as off, somehow. It has taken me until recently to mull it over enough in my mind to come to the conclusion that that I don’t believe that this should be taught. Here’s why…

The Gospel is NOT about YOU…

We live in an incredibly self-centered culture. I think too often we treat our relationship with Jesus the same way, as if He came and died just so we personally would be happy. We don’t live our lives for other people. We don’t go to others for help. We don’t confess our sins to one another. So when we say “Jesus died just for you”, it is so easy to think, “Welp, I am saved, so I guess I’m good. My job is done…”

Jesus does not agree. His last words to his disciples was not commending them for believing or encouraging them in their salvation. He commanded them, “GO and make disciples of ALL nations…” (Matthew 28:19)

This random thought hit me in all the pondering. If all that Jesus hoped to accomplish in me was salvation, then why am I still here? Why is the church still here? 

And I guess that’s my point in all of this. Jesus did not die just for you…. He died for the entire world. And if you are living just for you, you are not living in obedience to God’s word.

2 Corinthians 5:14-15 explains this so well! “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” 

I’ve noticed that the writers of the Bible almost never wrote to an individual – they always wrote to the body of believers. Again, this is in stark contrast to our Canadian culture, where everything is about the individual. That’s not the way God sees things.

I don’t know about you, but I need to remind myself of this truth more often… 

Jesus did not die just for me. He died for my family, my friends, my neighbours, the dude that fills up my car with gas, and every single person who has and will ever be born.

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