Introduction: Much has been said about the accomplishments of Jesus life and death, justifiably so. The negative approach is productive and often used by inspired writers (I Jn. 3: 11, 12). We hear a lot about Christs death and consequent results, but what if Christ had not died?
I. If Jesus had not died, there would be no perfect sacrifice and no justification
A. The writer of Hebrews repeatedly addresses Jesus perfect sacrifice (Heb. 10: 1-4, 5-7).
B. Jesus sacrifice of himself was so perfect it was "once for all" (Heb. 10: 10, cf. Jude 3).
B. If Jesus had not died, there would be no grace (Jn. 1: 17).
C. Without grace, the only way man could be justified would be by perfect law keeping, which no man has ever done (Rom. 3: 23).
a. Hence, Jesus was "delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification" (Rom. 4: 25).
II. If Jesus had not died, there would be no ultimate example of love
A. Jesus divested himself of heaven's glory and the Father sent his only begotten Son (Jn. 3: 16; 2 Cor. 8: 9). There has never been such an example of love!
III. No prayer in Jesus name
A. Prayer in Jesus' name is predicated on Jesus' death and triumphant resurrection (Jn. 16: 23, 24, I Jn. 2: 1).
a. Hence, if Jesus had not died there would be no prayer in Jesus' powerful name and no advocate.
IV. If Jesus had not died, there would be no church
A. Salvation is in Christ, his spiritual body (the church, Eph. 1: 22, 23, 2 Tim. 2: 10). Jesus' death benefited those before the cross and after the cross (Heb. 9: 15).
a. In the absence of Jesus' death, man would be without hope.
V. If Jesus had not died, there would be no perfect example of obedience and no access to heaven
A. Paul wrote thus of Jesus, "And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" (Phili. 2: 8). Jesus obedience was necessary: "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him" (Heb. 5: 8, 9).
Conclusion: If we cannot appreciate Jesus death from the perspective of its accomplishments, we should appreciate his death from the consideration of what the case would have been like if Jesus had not died. However, He did die for us!