Why Did Jesus Have To Die Cs Lewis

C.S. Lewis on Why Jesus Had to Die

We are informed that Christ died for our sins, that His death has cleansed us of our sins, and that by dying, Christ has rendered death itself inoperable. That is the formula to follow. That is what Christianity is all about. That is the only thing that can be believed. In my opinion, whatever ideas we develop about how Christ’s death accomplished all of this are only blueprints or designs that should be left alone if they do not assist us, and even if they do assist us, should not be confused with the thing it is intended to do.

The one that the majority of people are familiar with is the one about how we were spared punishment because Christ chose to suffer it in our place.

If God was willing to let us off the hook, why on earth did He not do so earlier?

When it comes to punishment in the sense of a police court, I can’t think of any that stand out to me.

Alternatively, if you take “paying the penalty,” not in the sense of being punished, but in the more general sense of “footing the bill,” then, of course, it is a matter of common experience that, when one person finds himself in a bind, the burden of getting him out usually falls on the shoulders of a generous companion.

  • He had attempted to establish himself on his own, to act as if he belonged to himself.
  • When you are in a “hole,” the only way out is to lay down your weapons, submit, apologize, realize you have been on the wrong path, and prepare to start again from the beginning.
  • Repentance, on the other hand, is not enjoyable at all.
  • It entails unlearning everything of the self-conceit and self-will that we have instilled in ourselves over thousands of years of training and conditioning.
  • In reality, repentance is required of a good man.
  • Only a terrible person is required to repent, and only a good person is capable of perfect repentance.
  • In fact, the only person who could execute it flawlessly would be someone who is already perfect, and hence would not require assistance.

It’s truly asking God to let you go back without returning that you’re asking for when you pray for God to take you back without returning.

So, we’ll just have to go ahead and do it, I guess.

Is it possible for us to achieve it with God’s assistance?

We are referring to God placing a little part of Himself into us, if you will.

When you teach a kid to write, you hold his or her hand as he or she forms the letters: that is, the child makes the letters because you are forming the letters for them.

Now, if we hadn’t fallen, everything would have been smooth sailing.

There is absolutely nothing in God’s essence that matches to this procedure.

God can only share what He has, and this is something He does not have in His own nature.

Because He was a man, He was capable of surrendering his will, suffering, and dying; and because He was God, He was capable of doing it flawlessly.

This dying will only be successful if we men participate in God’s death, just as our thinking can only be successful because it is a drop in the ocean of God’s intelligence: but we cannot participate in God’s dying unless God dies, and he can only die by taking on the form of a man.

The way He pays our obligation is by suffering for us what He himself does not have to experience. He is our debtor in this sense.

Why Did Jesus Have to Die? — The Falls Church Anglican

Although it may appear to be an obvious question, it is not always the case. Consider the implications of this. Was it necessary for the deity who reigns over the entire universe to come and suffer at the hands of beings who had previously declared, “Go away!”? Why did Jesus’ death have to be so terrible, and why did he have to die at the hands of both the Jews and the Romans? For those who are followers of Jesus, you have been enlisted in the immense task of shepherding others into the truth and mystery of our God who has come to die and be raised again.

“Then if Christ has not been risen, our message is worthless, and your faith is worthless as well,” Paul writes in I Corinthians 15:14.

How can we proclaim the good news in such a way that the expectation is dramatic transformation (which, according to Romans 12:1, is the reasonable service we should provide)?

Substitutionary atonement

The phrase “substitutionary atonement” was my response to the issue of why Jesus died when someone asked me. In a room full of well-educated Christians, only two words were spoken. “What does that mean?” said the murmur of others surrounding me. We shy away from theological terms much too often because our listeners are becoming increasingly uneducated in their meaning. In our attempt to avoid confrontation, we occasionally provide too much information. It’s put this way by C.S. Lewis: “We are informed that Christ was crucified for us, and that His death has wiped away our sins, and that by dying, He has rendered death itself inoperable.” “This is the formula” says the author (Mere Christianity).

“If it be your will, Father”

In fact, Jesus died in order to make reconciliation with his creation a reality. However, Jesus died in obedience to the Father, bringing the plan of redemption to a close and defeating the Devil in the process. As beings created in God’s image, we are unquestionably participants in God’s plan, yet the plan does not begin or end with us. In Ephesians 6:12, Paul informs us that we are engaged in a spiritual fight with “the spiritual forces of wickedness in the higher realms.” It was also Jesus’ fight, as we saw in his desert experience and the days leading up to the cross, when Peter and Judas attempted to divert his attention away from his ultimate goal of saving humanity.

I will gather all people to myself when I am exalted above the earth,” says the Lord.

All our myths fulfilled

This is a lovely reality that connects with a wide range of individuals. With all of the arguments for Jesus’ death and resurrection in place, Jesus, the God-man, serves as a fitting conclusion to the stories humans have told about gods interacting with earthly beings. He is referred to as “the God-man.” C.S. Lewis relates this essential point in his article “Myth Became Fact” inGod in the Dock: The Case Against God (God in the Dock: The Case Against God). The myth that lies at the core of Christianity is also a historical truth.

It takes place—at a certain time and in a specific location, and it is followed by clearly defined historical repercussions.

The wonder is that it does not cease to be a myth just because it has become reality.

We should not be embarrassed by the legendary light that emanates from our religion. We shouldn’t be concerned about “parallels” and “Pagan Christs” since they should be present because their absence would be a stumbling wall.

Brokenness matters

And, as independent artist Andy Gullahorn explains in his song, “There are alternative ways that Jesus might have redeemed the world, ones that would not have resulted in his death.” Instead of acting on an instruction from the throne of God, he acted on the basis of a shattered heart” (“Broken Heart,” from Fault Lines, 2016). Why did Jesus become a human being, live a life of hardship, die, and rise from the dead again? It is about a person and his or her personal relationship with another individual.

If he just announced our salvation, we would only be aware of it and would never come to love or respect him.

It’s about the blood

When Hebrews presents us with all of this blood–of goats and heifers and bulls and even Jesus–we find it strange and unfamiliar. Uncomfortable is the image that we’re presented with. There was blood all over the place. We’re used to seeing it on television, generally in the context of a crime or vengeance or some other emotionally charged situation. The crucifixion was unquestionably a criminal and wrong in every sense. with the exception of one: it provides us with justification. Blood makes us whiter than snow, and this is a part of the paradox of our faith: blood makes us whiter than snow.

(9:11-15)

It’s our cross, too

To follow Jesus means to pick up our cross and follow him wherever he goes (Luke 9:23). It was a physical crucifixion for the early church, and it remained that way for many centuries after that. For some Christians, martyrdom continues to be a reality even now. As a result, I believe that it is more beneficial to describe our pleasures and pains of bearing our cross in literal language rather than in figurative language. Making Jesus’ suffering purely symbolic might lessen the effect of not just his suffering, but also his call to suffer alongside him for the greater glory of God.

Be holy as I am holy

When Peter states in I Peter 1:16, “Be holy, because I am holy,” he is quoting from the book of Leviticus. It’s strange that God, with all of his traits – almighty, sovereign, judge, unchangeable, infinite, omnipresent, and omniscient – urges us to holiness when he has all of these other attributes. Being holy in the same way as Jesus is holy is about having a connection with him. Jesus died in order to clear a route for us to follow in sanctification. According to Peter, “For you are aware that it was not with perishable goods like as money or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but rather with the valuable blood of Christ, an unblemished and defect-free lamb” (1:18-19).

The excellent shepherd is willing to lay down his life for his flock.

To be our substitute, Jesus had to die in order to fulfill the will of the Father, to break in and dispel all of our myths, to reveal our brokenness, to shed the final blood, and to clear the way for us to take up our cross and enter into the Holy of Holies–the throne room of God–because now we can be holy as God is holy, and we can be like him.

Written by a member of our church’s administrative team

The Centrality of the Christian Story

The fact that Christianity is predicated on the death and resurrection of Jesus may seem clear, but in today’s world of half-baked ideas and the confusion of words and their meanings, we may end up with a Jesus who never physically died, nor one who ever fully entered or overcame any grave. We may undoubtedly look to the biblical stories or to the Apostle Paul, for example, in I Corinthians 15, but for the sake of this particular piece, we’ll examine what Lewis has to say on the subject. As we all know, he battled with the Christian tale for a long time before finally accepting it as truth.

  • Lewis expresses himself succinctly.
  • “This is the recipe,” she says.
  • It takes place—at a certain time and in a specific location, and it is followed by clearly defined historical repercussions.
  • The wonder is that it does not cease to be a myth just because it has become reality.
  • We should not be embarrassed by the legendary light that emanates from our religion.
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It is said that the “only dying God who may conceivably be historical—holds bread in His hand, that is, maize, and says, ‘This is my body.'” However, as Lewis points out in the same paragraph in chapter 14, “Jesus is not a nature-God, but the God of Nature—her creator, maker, owner, and ruler,” he is more than just the fulfillment of this ancient story.

  1. In May 1944, he was responding to a letter and presenting the case for the historicity of the Gospels, which he had written earlier.
  2. “It is really essential to get the narrative through clearly,” he says.
  3. According to this viewpoint, what occurred to Christ was no different from what had always happened to all men, with the distinction being that in Christ’s instance we were given the opportunity of witnessing it take place.
  4. Something completely unprecedented in the history of the cosmos had occurred.
  5. A force had been used to unlock the door, which had previously been locked.
  6. I enjoy how he brings it to a close.

Is it possible that they visualize Him for three hours nailed to a stake – flayed back glued to unplaned wood – Palestinian sun – cloud of insects around his head, hands, and feet – the face a mask of bruises, pus, spittle, blood, tears, and sweat, the lungs gradually tearing due to the position – and then complain, ‘This doesn’t hurt enough?’ Christ, God from God, real God from true God, born not manufactured, at one with the Father, physically died and mightily–bodily–resurrected.

Almost two thousand years ago, in the span of three days in the small city of Jerusalem, under Roman authority, in the same dirt, under the same sun and sky, he completed and crashed in all the myths–all the longings of all the myths–about the heavens, and a god who just might drop down and care enough about our own carelessness to do something about it.

Happy Eastertide. The festival of Pentecost is just around the corner.

Why Did Jesus Have to Die?

Throughout his more than six decades of service, Billy Graham was asked a plethora of questions about his beliefs. But he remembers one question that jumped out to him—and it’s possible that you’ve wondered yourself: “Why did Jesus have to die?” Crucifixion was a gruesome and horrific undertaking that cost God the Son everything, most notably his ability to communicate with God the Father for a time after his death. Although it was voluntary on Jesus’ part, He did it because we weren’t able to.

He did it in order to overthrow death and establish His reign on the earth.

“However, the pain had to come first, before the triumph, before the crown, before the kingdom, before the victory,” says the author.

Making a Way

Let us go back to the beginning of the story in order to properly comprehend why Jesus willingly took the painful journey to the cross. When God created humans in His likeness, He referred to them as “very good” people (Genesis 1:31). However, the human heart, seduced by God’s adversary, Satan, moved away from God and toward rebellion (Genesis 3). From that moment on, mankind were forced to contend with their own sin in the presence of a righteous and holy God. According to Graham, in the same sermon from 1958, “God is a holy and just and pure God.” He is incapable of simply looking at evil.” As theologian John Piper put it in his book 50 Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die, sin “makes us guilty before God so that we are subject to His rightful punishment, and it makes us ugly in our conduct so that we disfigure the image of God that we were intended to present.” It condemns us to a life of guilt and enslaves us to a life of lovelessness.

“The blood of Jesus has set us free from both of these calamities.” Entirely God and fully man, Jesus led a blameless life on the cross.

We will always be estranged from God if we do not accept Jesus as our Savior.

Lewis wrote inMere Christianity.

The Compassionate Christ

Those who believe that Jesus Christ had an easy time being sinless while on earth should reconsider their assumptions. He was entirely God and totally man at the same time. Temptation is made to order. What you find difficult may not be difficult for someone else. As a result, the temptation that Jesus faced was nothing short of extraordinary. He knows all that we’re going through right now. “A lifetime of temptation, culminating in dramatic abuse and abandonment, endowed Jesus with an unequaled ability to identify with others who are tempted and suffering,” wrote Piper of Jesus.

The Bible says, “We cannot share God’s death unless God dies; and He can only die by being born as a man.” As a result, He settles our obligation and suffers for us in a way that He himself does not need to suffer at all.”

Destroying Sin’s Power

That defining day at Calvary was horrible, but it served an important purpose. Each act of betrayal and cruelty against Jesus was immoral and horrible in and of itself. “However, God was involved,” Piper writes. “The Bible claims that Jesus was handed up in accordance with God’s predetermined plan and foreknowledge (Acts 2:23). All of these things—the lash on his back, the thorns on his head, the spit on his cheek, the bruises on his face, the nails in his hands, the spear in his side, the scorn of rulers, the betrayal of his friend, the desertion by his disciples—were the result of sin, and they were all intended by God to destroy the power of sin.” Is it possible that God forsook Jesus on the cross?

The suffering of the perfect Son of God, who took on our sin, was felt on every level.

As Charles Spurgeon put it in 1858, “that sunshine of God’s countenance that has cheered many a dying saint was withdrawn from Christ; the consciousness of acceptance with God, which has caused many a holy man to embrace the cross with joy, was not afforded to our Redeemer, and therefore he suffered in thick darkness of mental agony.” The painful agony did not deter Jesus from refusing to fight back.

He didn’t raise a fuss.

No Other Way

It appears like Jesus has gotten a terrible treatment, doesn’t it? Spend your entire life striving for perfection just to suffer and die in such a terrible manner. But the Son of God recognized that there was no other option. “The shadow of the crucifixion was always before Him,” Billy Graham observed of Jesus. “He realized that if we were to be rescued, He would have to die on the cross to pay for our sins.” More information may be found at: 7 statements taken from the cross: 1. “For it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourself, it is a gift from God, not earned by works, so that no one can take credit for it.” The Bible informs us that no one can take credit for being saved.

  1. We are unable to save ourselves.
  2. Good actions done by ourselves, our attempts at righteousness are nothing but “filthy rags,” as the saying goes (Isaiah 64:6).
  3. He was beaten in order for us to be whole.
  4. In addition, it will not have the last say over those who claim to be His Lord and Savior.

“God intended to demonstrate to the world that there is no sin or wickedness so profound that God cannot redeem it and lead it to eternal righteousness and pleasure.” It was the identical anguish that we inflicted that provided the basis for our salvation.”

Will you accept Jesus’ sacrifice for you on the cross?

However, given what I’ve heard from fellow Christians who have watched the movie, it is a heart-wrenching experience that will leave you feeling like you’ve been through hell. Why? Why? Because it hurts and sickens us to watch someone who is so innocent suffer such a horrific punishment and death. for our benefit. My buddy once dated an atheist who claimed, “You know what’s unnecessary? Religion.” “It was a death on the cross.” He’d stated this in an attempt to persuade her to abandon her Christian convictions, which had been the only thing keeping her from wanting to pursue a more serious connection with this man.

Couldn’t he have come up with an other means of dying that didn’t require the most agonizing manner of death known to man at the time?

What Does the Bible Say about Sin?

First, we must comprehend the nature of sin in order to appreciate the necessity of the cross in our lives today. Our culture, in particular, has a tendency to dismiss sin as unimportant. Read Not the Way It’s Supposed to Beby Alvin Plantinga, Jr.’s Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be if you haven’t already. The creeping nature of iniquity is explored in depth in this book. Sin accrues an insurmountable debt that will last forever. The whole nature of sin declares to God, “Thy will be done, not mine.” “It is done according to my will” (Paraphrased fromC.S.

  • Not only do we choose to sin, but we also take pleasure in our depravity.
  • Using the definition of sinas provided by Crosswalk, we may arrive at the following: “The Christian concept of sin is the deliberate disobedience of God’s laws and commands” (1 John 3:4).
  • Because, ever since the beginning of time, God’s intangible attributes – his everlasting power and divine essence – have been clearly seen and known via the creation of the universe, leaving humanity without justification.
  • Despite the fact that they professed to be intelligent, they turned out to be fools.” (See also Romans 1:18-22.) God instructs us to observe moral law and has endowed every human being with a conscience, which allows them to intuitively discern right from evil.” “Sin entails wrath,” God says.

As a result, we have two options: either bear everlasting punishment as a result of our sin debt, or find someone to pay it for us. And because death is the penalty of sin (Romans 3:23), a perfect sacrifice must be offered in order to atone for sin.

Did Jesus Have to Die For Us to Be Saved?

“This appears to be incredibly unjust,” we could observe. “Isn’t it possible for God to just disregard our sin, pretend that it never occurred, and admit us to heaven?” For those who have asked this question, I urge that you first read C.S. Lewis’ novel The Great Divorce. The novel depicts what occurs when those who are unrepentant and unbelievers are given the opportunity to enter paradise. They despise it, to say the least. Second, if God chooses to disregard sin, it implies that he is unloving.

  • If there were no penalties for sin, people would kill, rape, commit genocide, and so on with, you guessed it, no repercussions at all.
  • That someone can get away with committing real murder and not be held accountable.
  • As a result, we feel the same way.
  • Every other religion, with the exception of Christianity, teaches that good acts bring good fortune.
  • In the first place, the Bible teaches that good actions are like soiled rags that are absolutely useless (Isaiah 64:6).
  • We are unable to earn our way into heaven.
  • So, if we choose the second choice, it means that someone holy and faultless will have to be sacrificed.
  • Someone who was born to a virgin.
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Why Did Jesus Have to Die on the Cross?

“Perhaps it was necessary for him to die. However, couldn’t he have died in a less agonizing manner if he had tried? It is possible that even stoning (John 8:59) would have been preferable than the crucifixion. True. So much so that even Jesus was terrified of the crucifixion to the extent that he sweats blood from his anxiousness the night before his execution. So why would you put yourself through one of the worst (if not the worst) deaths known to man? We need to take a second look at the sentence.

A really horrifying retribution is required when we consider the crimes committed over the history of the entire planet and throughout time.

The torment that took place prior to the cross did as well.

If Jesus had died in a less terrible manner, it is likely that much fewer people would have woken up from their wicked sleep. The crucifixion brings us face to face with the horrors of our sinful nature and our urgent need for a Savior who is ready to go through that suffering on our behalf.

How Does Jesus Dying Prove the Truth of Christianity?

After preaching for several years, Pastor Joe Coffey had developed a very clear image of why Christianity is the only route to God. I’ll quote one of his most well-known images in the following paragraph. Make sure to listen to some of his sermons. Every time you read the Bible, they convict you and help you view it in a new way. Consider the image of a burning house with several windows and doors. The family who is trapped within can simply escape. “Well, that was foolish,” you’d reply if your neighbor sacrificed himself by hurling himself against the blazing door.

  • The family is confined within the house.
  • If another religion had provided a remedy, God would not have perished.
  • God, on the other hand, died.
  • Because God had to die in order to atone for our sins, the cross disproves all other religions.
  • And the severity of our misdeeds necessitated a terrible penalty.
  • The need of the cross is something that might be difficult to accept at times.
  • We are unable to.
  • And we were in need of someone to help us pay off our debt.
  • Create your own copy of this wonderful daily devotional to use in the lead-up to Easter.

Prayers to Thank Jesus for Dying for Us

Lord God, you cared so much about our planet that you offered your one and only Son so that we can be considered your children as well. Lord, assist us in continuing to live in the joy and grace of Easter Sunday every day of the year. Let us thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your sacrifice. Allow us to have eyes that see your grace and joy in our salvation as we walk this path. Assistance in walking in that great grace and proclaiming your good news throughout the world. All for your honor and glory, Lord, we pray, Amen.

  • Thank you, Heavenly Father, for sending Jesus to rescue me from my sins on the cross.
  • I acknowledge that I am a sinner in desperate need of forgiveness.
  • In the name of Jesus, Amen.
  • Lord, You are very remarkable!
  • I’m sorry for the times when I’ve been preoccupied with other things that I’ve forgotten the amazing love You freely exhibited to me by going to the Cross.
  • Please accept my heartfelt gratitude for loving me so totally!
  • Rick Renner is the author of this piece.

More than 1,200 of her pieces have been published in a variety of journals, ranging from Writer’s Digest to Keys for Kids, among others.

Jenkins and Michelle Medlock Adams.

She is also a co-author of the Dear Heroduology, which was published by INtense Publications and is available for purchase online.

You may learn more about her by visiting her website.

It is our goal that these articles will assist you in understanding the significance and historical background of major Christian festivals and events, and that they will also encourage you as you take time to think on all that God has done for us through his son Jesus Christ!

What exactly is Holy Week?

What is the significance of Maundy Thursday?

What Is the Meaning of Easter?

Then, how come the most magnificent period in human history is surrounded by scared fisherman, loathed tax collectors, marginalized women, wimpy politicians, and disloyal friends?

As a devotional or study for both individuals and groups, this FREE audio offers a fresh perspective on the Lenten season. It is available for download now.

Cautions for Mere Christianity

C.S. Lewis’ book, Mere Christianity, is considered a classic. In it, the author presents a likable, insightful, and well-written justification of Christian religion. Some of its most well-known sections–such as the renowned liar, madman, Lord, and trilemma–have become ingrained in the way evangelicals think and communicate. There’s no doubt that God has used Lewis andMere Christianity to arouse affections for Christ, engage the intellect for Christ, and eliminate hurdles in the way of the Spirit’s ability to attract individuals to Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.

  • More than that, every Lewis book I’ve read has provided me with something of value.
  • Lewis, on the other hand, was not an evangelical.
  • Allow me to draw your attention to two critical issues.
  • The first point of caution to be raised concerns Lewis’ understanding of atonement.
  • In my previous life, I was under the assumption that Christians were had to believe a certain theory about the meaning of death before they could begin to practice their faith.
  • While it is true that this hypothesis no longer appears as unethical and ridiculous as it did in the past, it is not the argument I want to make at this time.
  • The basic concept is that Christ’s death has somehow reconciled us with God and provided us with a new beginning in life.

(57-58 [pagination changes depending on the publication] The author goes on to argue that “Christ was crucified for us” and that “His death has wiped away our sins,” but that “whatever hypotheses we construct as to how Christ’s death accomplished all of this are, in my opinion, rather secondary” (59).

  1. The one I described earlier is the one that the majority of people are familiar with–the one about us being exempt from punishment because Christ had offered to suffer it on our behalf.
  2. If God was willing to let us off the hook, why on earth did He not do so earlier?
  3. When it comes to punishment in the sense of a police court, I can’t think of any that stand out to me.
  4. (59) Pay close attention to what Lewis has to say in that particular paragraph.
  5. Despite the fact that he acknowledges that punitive substitution is not as as absurd as it initially appeared, he continues to reject it.
  6. The atonement in Lewis’ theology can be complicated (see, for example, this informative Touchstone article), but I would argue that his perspective is more along the lines of Christus victoror ransom to Satan than penal substitution.
  7. This is not the place to argue about the fundamental relevance of punitive substitution in criminal justice reform.

An ardent supporter of inclusion from the beginning Lewis’ inclusivism is the second flaw in Mere Christianity, and it is the most serious.

Furthermore, they think that it is vital to have conscious trust in Jesus Christ in order to be saved (assuming we are talking about sentient beings; all Christians allow that infants and the mentally disabled may be in a different category).

In other words, people can be saved via Christ even if they do not express their trust in Christ.

It is possible that individuals of other religions are being directed by God’s covert power to concentrate on those aspects of their religion that are in harmony with Christianity, and that they are thereby unwittingly becoming members of Christ’s body.

(178) Regardless of how much we admire Lewis, this is a fundamental misunderstanding of the Spirit’s purpose (as well as a denial of John 14:6).

The Holy Spirit does not function in a haphazard manner without the revelation of Jesus Christ in mind.

We witness the inclusivist Lewis once more towards the conclusion of The Chronicles of Narnia, when Emeth, a worshiper of Tash, is welcomed by Aslan for having been following him all along without realizing it.

This is a good novel.

Kevin DeYoung (PhD, University of Leicester) is senior pastor of Christ Covenant Church in Matthews, North Carolina, a member of the Gospel Coalition’s council, and an associate professor of systematic theology at Reformed Theological Seminary.

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Just Do Something is one of his many works of fiction, which he has authored.

Kevin and his wife, Trisha, have nine children: Ian, Jacob, Elizabeth, Paul, Mary, Benjamin, Tabitha, Andrew, and Susannah. Kevin and Trisha have nine children: Ian, Jacob, Elizabeth, Paul, Mary, Benjamin, Tabitha, Andrew, and Susannah.

“Die Before You Die”: C.S. Lewis and Cruciformity

Brenton Dickieson, our guest blogger for the month of July, has written a fantastic piece for us.

Die Before you Die: C.S. Lewis and Cruciformity

I assume that most of us have experienced one of those moments in which we are exposed to a strikingly novel notion that, despite its novelty, does not strike us as novel. We are more like we are putting into words something that has been silently building inside of us for quite some time. The reason I ended up in my graduate degree in biblical studies was because a lecturer was able to communicate my knowledge of God’s creation in a manner that I had not been able to articulate myself. Another one of these epiphanies came a few years later, when I read Watchman Nee’s presentation of Galatians 2:19-20 in his book The Life that Wins.

  1. If we are crucified with Christ, then everything belongs to him, even my guilt, my humiliation, and my helplessness to do anything.
  2. This basic, historical concept provided me with the freedom that I knew was at the center of Christ’s words, the lifeblood of the gospel, and I was grateful for it.
  3. It was via Michael J.
  4. When I first came across Gorman’s work, I was researching how the Apostle Paul employs storytelling to frame his teachings in letter form.
  5. Gorman contends that the believer’s conformity to the crucified Jesus is at the center of Paul’s spiritual theology, and that the central story of Christ is contained in the identification of the believer with the death of Christ is at the heart of Paul’s spiritual theology.
  6. According to Gorman, the term “cruciformity” originates in engineering and serves as both a metaphor and a literal definition, meaning that the believer’s life should be cross-shaped and also molded by the cross.
  7. We give ourselves over to God in the same way that Christ gave himself up on the cross.

By highlighting the role of the Holy Spirit in creating the believer’s life, Gorman’s cruciformity helps to clarify the Imitatio Christi and the Imitatio Dei.

The following remarkable line was in a letter written by C.S.

I was taken aback by the term, so I went back and read his “conversion letters.” Lewis wrote on September 22, 1931, that “the Macdonald understanding of death—or, to put it another way, the St Paul’s conception of death—is actually the response to Morris” (Letters I, 970).

My research has revealed that the idea of cruciformity at the heart of C.S.

In the event that you are a Lewis reader, your thoughts will quickly turn to the passages that you are most familiar with.

Laying down your weapons, submitting.

It entails killing a part of oneself and going through a form of death (56).

We can only succeed in this dying if we men partake in God’s death, just as our thinking can only succeed because it is a drop out of the ocean of His intelligence: but we cannot share in God’s dying unless God dies; and He cannot die unless by becoming a man, as Lewis emphasizes (58).

Furthermore, in the classic chapter “The Grand Miracle,” which you may have read inGod in the Dock, Lewis explains how the spiritual principle of death and resurrection is “the complete, immense pattern” of all of life, and how it is “the entire, huge pattern” of death and resurrection.

Following the appearance of this picture in Lewis’ apologetic works, the reader will find it everywhere, concealed in the small details of his writings:

  • “The self-rejection will turn out to be also a self-discovery” (Religion Without Dogma, 388)
  • “total surrender is the first step toward the fruition of either” (Religion Without Dogma, 388)
  • “total surrender is the first step toward the fruition of either” (Religion Without Dogma, 388). In “Surprised by Joy,” chapter 9, we learn that “every conversion entails death and re-birth.” (“that man himself must undergo some sort of death if he would truly live” (Reflection on the Psalms, ch. 10)
  • “every merely natural love has to be crucified before it can achieve resurrection” (Feb 10, 1955 letter to Sheldon Vanauken)
  • “nothing will rise that hasn’t in some degree shared the Crucifixion” (Lecture 4 of The Four Loves (1958)
  • “nothing will rise that hasn’

And, of course, there’s the well-known passage from his spiritual autobiography: Total surrender, a complete leap into the unknown, were expected. In the Trinity Term of 1929, I caved in, confessed that God was God, and knelt and prayed: “I was certainly the most despondent and reluctant convert in all of England that night.” (Joy is taken by surprise in Chapter 14) Lewis’ nonfiction is informed by his conception of cruciformity, which may be seen even in this brief review. The majority of the world, on the other hand, knows him as a storyteller.

  1. Once you understand the premise, it is easy to see how Ransom’s voyage in Perelandra (1943), which includes his plunge into Venus and return to the sky, is a form of self-death in its own right.
  2. A devastating portrayal of the mortification of the flesh for children, Eustace’s undragoning in Lewis’ novel The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1952), matches Lewis’ pattern well.
  3. Narnia is a place where the cross patterns appear not only in the so-called metaphor, but also in the death and resurrection that the characters experience in their lives.
  4. While trying to flee the unknown, John in The Pilgrim’s Regress(1933) and Orual inTill We Have Faces(1956) both find themselves on the precipice of a cliff after making frantic attempts to escape.
  5. In that moment of desperation, each of them gives in.
  6. Lewis’ principle of cruciformity appears to be unambiguous.
  7. Rather from being an unusual act, laying down our lives is the “regular Christian life” that we are all required to live, to use a word from Watchman Nee.
Works Noted

The writings of C.S. Lewis are widely available in a variety of editions. In God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics, the essays “Religion Without Dogma” and “The Grand Miracle” are reproduced in full (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1970). To read Lewis’ conversion letters, see Walter Hooper, ed., The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis: Vol. 1: Family Letters, 1905-1931 (Walter Hooper, ed., New York: Harper & Row, 2001). (New York: HarperSanFransisco, 2004). Vanauken, A Severe Mercy is a book that contains an interesting communication between Sheldon Vanauken and C.S.

Over the course of the last 15 years, Michael J.

Watchman Nee’s The Normal Christian Life (1957), which is available in a variety of versions and languages, and his more obscure The Life That Wins (1958) were the key sources for my research (1982 English translation).

Paul’s Cruciformity in C.S.

Lewis’s Narrative Spirituality,” in Rob Fennell, ed.,Both Sides of the Wardrobe, for more on this subject. C. S. Lewis, Theological Imagination, and Everyday Discipleship are three concepts that come to mind (Eugene, OR: WipfStock, 2015). You may also check out my blog, which is.

The Real Reason Jesus Had to Die

This material is now accessible in 30-minute films on our YouTube channel, which may be found at 721ministries.org. Last week, we discussed the reasons why Jesus had to die on the cross. God, in the words of C.S. Lewis, “was perfectly willing to let us off the hook, so why in the world didn’t he?” And what could possibly be the aim of punishing an innocent individual in the process? I agree with you. After all, why couldn’t God just send Jesus, allow him to live the flawless life that he did, and then provide forgiveness to everyone who placed their trust in him?

Lewis provides an answer to his own question: When it comes to punishment in the sense of a police court, I can’t think of any that stand out to me.

If you recall, we established last week that “Sin brings death” in the natural flow of our existence by establishing the truth, the reality, that “Sin brings death.” When you sin, whether against yourself or against someone else, there is a death of some type that occurs—both in your connection with God and in your relationship with that other person.

Accordingly, the global perspective, or the thirty-thousand-foot view of’sin causes death,’ is that Jesus died in order to create a road to redemption for all people on the face of the earth.

(See also John 1:29) But what about the perspective from one’s own perspective?

The point of view that takes the worldview and applies it to each of us is called the worldview.

“Every time you look in that mirror, you are staring at the reason Jesus had to die,” we explained.

Yes, you, my friend, who is reading this right now, are the very reason Jesus had to die on the cross.

Your own free will.

Notice that I am not referring to your actions per se, although they obviously have a role, but rather to your intentions and your emotions.

Almost all of you are more talented than I am.

Mr.

He had attempted to establish himself on his own, to act as if he belonged to himself.

Only by giving up, surrendering, saying “I’m sorry,” admitting you were on the wrong path, and preparing for a fresh start can we hope to climb out of our “ditch.” This process of surrender.

Since you are staring in the mirror every time you look in the mirror, you are looking at the true reason why Jesus had to die.

Allow it to soak in.

However, when you have given yourself a long, hard look, please take a step back, pause, take a deep breath, and then at yourself in the mirror again.

Yes, you are the reason he was forced to die in the first place.

As a result, Jesus lived the life I could never have lived and died the death I should have died, allowing me to begin living in eternity right now.

He is well aware that you have imprisoned yourself, often without realizing it, and he is prepared to die in order to release you.

In order to set you free to live the life that is genuinely life, the life to the fullest extent possible, which you can only have with him. Next Week:If Jesus had to die, then you must as well.

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