The Mystery of the Death of Christ
A Sermon on Ephesians 6:18-20
18With every prayer and request, pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be alert with all perseverance and every request for all the saints, 19and pray in my behalf, that speech may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to …
18Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20For …
In this sermon on Ephesians 6:18–20 titled “The Mystery of the Death of Christ,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains the two natures of God and man in one person. Having considered the mystery of the person of Christ, he now considers the mystery of His death. This aspect of Christ’s person is central to the message of the gospel. Because of how crucial it is, this is another point at which the devil concentrates his attacks. False teachings about the death of Christ have plagued the church since the very beginning. Many evangelical teachings communicate misunderstandings about His death. Even the disciples were confused by His death as it didn’t fit well with their understanding or experience of His Messiahship. It seemed to contradict His power and purposes. They didn’t understand that Jesus’s purpose in coming was to die, even though He continually told them it was His great aim. This all had been planned by God before the foundations of the world. The only way to deal adequately with sin is through the perfect sacrifice of the death of Christ. This was, and is, God’s way of providing a way of salvation for sinners. This is the mystery of the cross: He came that He might bear the sins and guilt of humanity, satisfying the wrath of God.
- The death of Christ is a mystery that cannot be fully understood by human reasoning.
- Even Christ's disciples did not understand his death and were confused by it.
- The mystery stems from the apparent contradiction between Christ's power/authority and his death in weakness.
- Popular modern explanations remove the mystery and wonder from Christ's death.
- Christ himself taught that his death was necessary and preordained. He willingly laid down his life.
- Christ's transfiguration shows his death was known and discussed in heaven.
- Christ wept at Lazarus's tomb because he knew death entered the world through sin, and he would have to die to conquer it.
- Christ agonized in Gethsemane because he knew he would be temporarily separated from the Father in order to save humanity.
- At the Last Supper, Christ explained his death was to establish the new covenant in his blood, shed for the forgiveness of sins.
- After his resurrection, Christ explained his death and resurrection were foretold by Scripture. His death provides repentance and forgiveness of sins.
- The apostles taught Christ's death was planned before creation, necessary to satisfy God's justice, and provides propitiation and redemption.
- Christ is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. His blood redeems us and washes away our sins.
- God sent his Son to die in our place to reconcile us to himself. Christ bore our sins and tasted death for every person.
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.