When most Christians think about what Jesus did on the cross, we know He died for our sins. He died to bring salvation. To most, Jesus died to make salvation available to all people and, in a sense, that is biblically true (John 3:16).
However, Jesus’s sacrifice was far more specific than that—more definite. Jesus did not die on the cross to merely make salvation available to all; He died on the cross to actually secure the salvation for all those whom the Father gave Him.
In short, Jesus didn’t gamble at the cross. Our salvation was not left to chance. His death was not a roll of the dice—maybe people will believe in His work or maybe they won’t! Jesus will not play the slot machines concerning those whom He died for. Ultimately, God did not leave our salvation up to us (Ephesians 1).
In a very literal sense, your salvation was paid for, purchased, and secured at the cross. He actually saved you on the cross! To be sure, this plays out in real life when you repent of your sins and believe in the gospel. However, you were truly redeemed when He died for you 2,000 years ago.
Scripture is clear that this was not a vague, potential atonement but a very specific and personal one. When He was breathing His last breathe, He had you in mind. That is not some sentimental, lovey-dovey theology. That is reality. The atonement was personal. Jesus had in mind each person He came to save when He died on that cross.
Oh boy, some may say. Here goes Blake on the Calvinism train. Let me assure you, this is not about Calvinism, but about the sacrifice of Jesus on your behalf.
I’m not inviting you to ponder the tenets of Calvinism—though I think they are true that’s not a hill I die on in the slightest. I am asking you to think deeply on the reality that Jesus’s death for you was just that—for you. It was a substitutionary atonement (2 Cor. 5:21). He took your place. He knew your name, story, and sins, yet He still died for you. He understood your struggles, pains, and temptations, yet He still went through agony on the cross for you.
Again, the cross doesn’t merely make salvation available to all people, but actualizes the salvation of God’s people, His elect. Jesus died for His sheep (John 10:11). The cross didn’t make salvation possible, but made it a guarantee. The debt was paid; the deed was done. As Jesus said, “It is finished” (John 19:30).
RC Sproul said this on the matter:
Even though Christ’s death is valuable enough to meet the needs of everybody, there was a special and unique sense in which He died for His sheep,” RC Sproul said in a lesson definite atonement. “He laid down His life for those whom the Father had given Him.”
You can argue until the cows come home about Calvinism, but at the end of the day the Bible is clear: Jesus died for the church (Ephesians 5:25). That was His goal, His mission.
And if you’re born again, that means He died specifically for you. He paid for all your sins on the cross! That is a reason to rejoice.
Friends, let us marvel. Marvel at God’s love for us that He sent Christ to die. And not merely to die for all people, but personally for His bride.