He died for sin, bearing its curse, and suffering death as God's righteous judgment on account of it. His death opened up the way to God for us. It did for us what we cannot and need not do; it wrought out a finished salvation, which we have but to accept and repose upon. According to the other aspect, He died to sin. His death was a proof of His resistance to sin and its temptation, of His readiness rather to give up life than yield to sin; a proof that there is no way of being entirely free form the flesh and its connection with sin, but by yielding the old life to death, in order to receive afresh and direct from God a life entirely new. The faith in the death for sin, must lead us into the death to sin. The one view is that of substitution: Christ doing what I cannot do. The other that of fellowship: Christ working in me what I see in Himself. The former is a finished work, and gives me boldness at once and forever to trust God. The latter is the power of sanctification, as the death and the life of Christ work in me.
It is because of the suffering of death, that He has been crowned with glory and honor. "He was made a little lower than the angels that He might taste death for everyman," might drink the cup of death, as the fruit of sin, for all. . . Jesus tasted its bitterness, as the curse of sin, in full measure. . . to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. All these expressions--suffering death, tasting death for all, bringing to nought the devil, making reconciliation for the sins of the people--refer to the finished work which Christ wrought, the sure and everlasting foundation on which our faith and hope can rest. Begin here and strike the roots of our faith deep in the work which Christ, as our Substitute, wrought on Calvary.
Let us study the words carefully, and remember them well, and believe them fully: Christ has tasted death for all, and emptied the cup; Christ has brought to naught the devil; Christ has made reconciliation for sin. Death and the devil and sin: these have been put away, have been brought to naught. a complete deliverance has been effected. The sufferings and death of Christ have such an infinite worth and preciousness in God's sight that no soul, who is resolved to have nothing more to do with sin, need any longer fear, but may with boldness meet its God. The death of Christ has wrought with mighty power in heaven and earth and hell. It has finished, and delighted God; it has conquered death and sin and hell; it has redeemed and delivered mankind. Let that death live in your heart; it will work there its mighty wonders too. And you shall find Jesus in your heart, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor.