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This is an attempt at answering Gary Creel's question which has been merged. https://ebible.com/questions/12187-why-did-jesus-suffer-and-die-for-so-many-if-so-few-are-actually-going-to-be-saved. Going back to Genesis 2:17 "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." In order for God to be just and righteous with himself he must carry out sentence and man must die. 1.Adam died physically in that he began to age. 2. The previous relationship between Adam and his creator was severed/altered. 3. Left in this present condition Adam would one day die eternally, separated from God. We read in Genesis 3:21 "Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them." Blood was shed, the life of Innocent animals was sacrificed to cover the guilty. This no doubt inaugurated the sacrificial system which in return pointed to the ultimate sacrifice of The Lord Jesus Christ for sin. In this act of infinite wisdom, mercy and grace God established substitutionary atonement. As a God of jots and tittles (Matthew 5:18) substitution was the only way God could be holy, righteous and just with himself. The innocent would die for the guilty. However, we know that "For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins." (Hebrews 10:4). So what was accomplished by sacrifice? Sins were atoned, temporarily covered, God was appeased "temporarily". In further support of the meaning of atonement let's look at Genesis 6.:14 "Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch." The word pitch means to cover, make reconciliation, pacify, propitiate. Back to your question, (almost). Had God not devised and implemented His plan of temporarily covering or accepting atonement for mans sin and thereby being appeased, His righteous, just and holy nature would have demanded that He zap Adam and Eve. Otherwise He would have been a liar but we know God cannot lie. (Numbers 23:19,Titus 1:2) So yes, Christ suffered terribly and as 1 John 2:2 states: "And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." and again in 1 Timothy 2:6 "Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." Yes, the ransom price has been paid but the unsaved have not been freed, redeemed and are still dead in their sins, still in bondage. The key word here is propitiation, atonement. I.e. His blood is SUFFICIENT to pay for ALL sin for every person on the planet, past, present and future. This is evident because mankind still exists and was not terminated in the garden of Eden. However, His blood is only EFFICIENT and redemptive in nature for those who believe. "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." (Isaiah 1:18)
Despite being the Son of God and God, all powerful, the LORD of all, Jesus experienced much suffering. Why so? Firstly, the suffering was a tale of how much God detests sin. By offering Himself in our place, Jesus provided a way for God to vent His anger against sin, without destroying any more human life. That Jesus had chosen and agreed to die in our place sinners; He had to take on all our sufferings. We should therefore stand fairly warned if we don’t repent and allow Jesus into our lives. Sin has consequences, just as anything else (Romans 6:23) Secondly, it was to approve Jesus; the only man to have ever lived in flesh with no sin. All had fallen prey to the demands of nature and the wiles of the devil. This had been of the devil's making, that nobody in flesh can ever overcome his wiles. The devil's ultimate goal was to try to fail any project that had been aimed at the salvation of man. It required a holy and righteous man to do it, whom is Jesus. By enduring to the end, it proved to us that holiness and righteousness weren't simply granted to Him. Jesus was never a pretender, He is equally exactly what He said and did. The devil assumes that we can’t be and remain holy and righteous if we are faced with overwhelming life threatening challenges. So, he always makes accusations against us before the Father (Job 1:10-22). Jesus endured to the end, we surely can. It is not a bed of roses, yet it is the assured way. We are equally approved when we endure. Apart from the above, the suffering of Jesus also proved to us more of the following: Unconditional love for us Jesus is not a self-seeker Had it not been for His amazing, unconditional love, and considering the magnitude of the suffering He underwent, Jesus wouldn't endure to the end. Recall that He had nothing to gain from this, personally, other than to save man. Jesus expresses this in John 15:13. Great love is said to be great and remain so if it doesn't wane even when in hard times. That Jesus endured all such suffering is proof to God the Father and to men that He indeed loved to save man. Jesus proved His LOVE to us by enduring all the suffering; we equally have to prove ours to Him. The suffering also proved to us that Jesus had not been a self-seeker. This is evidenced in the fact that before He came on earth, He had lacked nothing. The only thing He was to gain from this whole project was to set man free of the devil. Had He been a self-seeker, you and I can't envisage any reason as to why He should have carried on despite all the humiliating sufferings He underwent. There wouldn't have been a single reason. It had been all for us. Jesus’ endurance makes His sacrifice worthy for us. We are equally worthy because of the same sacrifice. We, as well should never be self-seekers in all. We should be open and genuine in everything we do, just as Jesus is. Our LOVE should remain the same at all times! This therefore teaches us many things, the most of which is LOVE as it is taught by the Apostle Paul in 1Corinthians 13. In John 13:34-35, Jesus commands us to love one another, just as He loved us. Meaning, had it not been for LOVE, maybe He wouldn't have come to our rescue. The LOVE of Jesus makes us worthy. Secondly, we learn that our love for God should be much in confession as it should be in deed. Let us therefore confess to love Jesus and equally follow in His footsteps. What was to be approved of Jesus, yet there had been no sin seen in Him? As that, the sufferings that we undergo in our Christian journey may not only relate to having sinned against God, they may only be a process of approval, just as it was to Jesus. Our endurance is proof of our commitment to God and His will. Above all, what is most exciting about Jesus, is that He didn’t only direct and instruct us on what to do, he equally went ahead of us to engage in all which He directed and instructed us to do. WHAT A FRIEND!
You stated "If only a few will be saved, then why did Jesus have to suffer so much?" Other answers have addressed the suffering. I would like to address the statement that only a few would be saved. In Revelation 7:9, the Bible tells us that there was a great multitude that no one could count from every nation, tribe, people and language standing before the throne and the lamb wearing white robes. These are the saved so not just a few will be saved. That's great news indeed because there is room for all to be saved. Jesus took on the sins of ALL! He died for you and me as well as the twelve apostles, Paul, Billy Graham and everyone else who will believe. From the above verse, we can see that his suffering was not in vain. The verse that says the road is narrow and few will find it, to me is only pointing out that more will be lost than saved, because He, Jesus, is the only way. Numbers 23:19 NIV says "God is not man, so he does not lie. He is not human so He does not change His mind. Has He ever spoken and failed to act? Has He ever promised and not carried through? Romans 10:9 says" If you declare with your mouth and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved! "
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