Why did Jesus die?

Last week at my Perspectives class, we were asked the following two questions:

1) What is the primary purpose of the Church (global)?
2) What is the primary purpose of Christ's death?

How would you answer?

1) _____________
2) _____________

If you answered "to glorify God" for the first one, that's right!

If you answered "to atone for our sins" or something similar for the second one, you missed it.

But don't feel too bad - I missed it, too. Twelve years as a follower of Jesus, and I missed it.

It may be the rote Sunday School answer, but we've missed it.

Jesus' primary purpose for going to the cross

was to glorify God.

(John 12:27-28 - “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.”)

And in a panic, you may be thinking: But what about John 3:16? Romans 5:8?

The fact that His PRIMARY purpose was for God's glory doesn't negate the truth that He came to die for our sin! But it simply means that the cross is not primarily about US - it is about HIM!

Well, Perspectives Class. If that isn't a game-changer.

When we get stuck on the mantras like "Jesus died for ME!" and "He had ME on His mind when He died!" and "Jesus thinks I'M worth dying for!" we make the gospel ME-centered...not God-centered.

Jesus Christ went to the cross so that the glory of God would be magnified. It's true that by His death, He atoned for our sin - and it is worth rejoicing over! We are eternally secure in His love (see Romans 8), and we are cleansed from our sins (See 1 John 1:9)! BUT IT IS NOT THE MAIN POINT.

When we fail to put the glory of God ahead of everything else, we miss the point. The Bible begins with God's glory on display as He created; it ends with God's glory on display as all the nations worship forever. And everything in between is about God's glory on display, through Israel and then to the ends of the earth!! His glory is the main point.

He saved us, not so that we could sit on the blessing of our redemption and glory thankfully in our own salvation, but so that we would run hard with His message into the midst of a world that doesn't know how glorious! majestic! holy! awesome! God is. THAT is why He died. So that He might make the glory of God known through us!!

Does that change things for you?! It should. It means that we, through no merit of our own, have all been called to partner with the living God to make His glory known through everything we do, say, think, and everywhere we go. It means that He saved us, not because we were worth dying for, but because His dying for us would magnify just how merciful, gracious, loving, just, longsuffering, and powerful He is.

If people are drawn to worship Jesus solely because He died for them - it is a self-centered worship.
If others see in our lives that Jesus is totally preeminent and glorious, they will worship Him solely because He is worthy to be worshiped, whether or not He died for us.

The speaker at our Perspectives class was a man named Bob Sjogren, from UnveilinGlory ministries - it is worth your time to check out the site.

And please, if you have a Perspectives class being offered near you, sign up and take it. Or beg them to coordinate one near you. It is a 15-week course about the glory of God, and it is worth the time invested!

I realize that I just tried to sum up 5 weeks of what I've learned in a rigorous course on the glory of the Lord in a short blog post. It's a lot to digest, and there will probably be more coming in the next couple months. But this is such a revolutionary idea to me that I couldn't keep it in! It is changing how I relate to my husband, to my children, to my family, to friends and total strangers. If I am not consistently concerned about bringing glory to the Father at all times, I am missing the point of my life. And I pray, desperately, that if you have never considered these things, that the Lord will prompt you to do all things for His glory and not stand still on the ground of your salvation while so many others just don't know how glorious He is!

I want everything I do in this life to be
for His glory!

I may be sharing this at these incredible Link-up parties!

Come and find daily encouragement through my Facebook and Pinterest pages, too!


  1. Lisha thank you very much!

    1. You are welcome - I'm grateful this was a blessing to you!

      ~Lisha :)

  2. Amen! Great to see someone sharing truth about the cross... so encouraging, and so desperately needed in the blogosphere.

    Stopping by from Titus2sdays... have a wonderful day!

    1. Thank you for the encouraging words, Elizabeth. It is so needed - I feel like I'm not impacting much, but then I realize that the Father only asks that I speak truth and let Him take care of it from there! He knows who needs to see it.

      I am thankful you've come by to visit!
      ~Lisha :)

  3. I have to admit I got both questions wrong, though from reading John Piper I should've known better! I love it when you pointed out that "When we get stuck on the mantras like "Jesus died for ME!" and "He had ME on His mind when He died!" and "Jesus thinks I'M worth dying for!" we make the gospel ME-centered...not God-centered." I think that's the problem with the world, and even with the church today - too much of "me", not enough of Him! I shared on g+1 and FB (plus followed you). I'd love to have you come visit my blog or follow me back! Nice meeting you!

    1. I listen to and read plenty of John Piper too - and I gave the Standard American Answer during class anyway. But when the course presenter framed it in light of God's glory - it made so much more sense and is so much more lovely and humbling!

      Thank you for the encouragement, Lisa, and for the the sweet invitation!
      ~Lisha :)

  4. Thank you for sharing this wonderful post at Anything Goes!

    1. You're welcome, and thank you for your kind words! :)