How Did Christ Die? And Why Is It Important?

By Wayne Turgeon

Jesus Christ died a shameful death for all of our terrible sins. But how could this strong, physically fit human being have died before the miserable thieves who were crucified alongside Him?

“The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus, and saw that He was dead already, they brake not his legs” (John 19:31-33).

That high day in a.d. 31 was the first day of the feast of Unleavened Bread. It officially began at sundown, Wednesday evening, about three hours after Christ’s death. Roman soldiers were dispatched to break the legs of Christ and His companions so they would suffocate and the bodies could be buried before sundown (Deuteronomy 21:23). But they found Christ already dead. This was surprising news even to Pilate (see Mark 15:42-45). So how was this possible?

Many have wrongly assumed that Christ was dead before His blood was shed. Some believe and teach that Christ died of a “broken heart” and that the fluids that had collected around His heart only dribbled out a little blood mixed with water after He was struck in the side.

We will see from the Bible, however, that it was the severe and sudden loss of blood that caused His death. If His life’s blood was not poured out before death to completely blot out our sins, you and I do not have a Savior!

If Christ died of a “broken heart” due to His own physical weakness and suffering, that means He would have had His own physical sins to die for—instead of dying for our sins! He could not have qualified as our Savior. But we know that in Christ there was no sin.

Christ Our Passover

Anciently, the Israelite slaves in Egypt could never have been delivered out of bondage if the original passover lamb had not been slain for sacrifice by having its blood shed.

Notice the original command in Exodus 12:4-6: “And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.”

As the lamb was a type of Christ and had its own blood shed, so Christ also had to shed His own blood to pay for our sins—something animal sacrifices could never do. It required the life of the Creator, which is greater than the sum total of all our lives. “… For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us” (1 Corinthians 5:7). If not, we are without a Savior and, therefore, without hope.

According to Hebrews 9:22, without the shedding of blood there can be no remission of sins. God requires that we have a broken, humble spirit—but that doesn’t pay the penalty of our sins. What does pay the penalty is the Passover—Christ—who shed His blood. Leviticus 22:8 and Deuteronomy 14:21 tell us that we are not to consume any animal that dies of itself. If the passover lamb had died of itself, it could not have been eaten. Similarly, if Christ died of Himself, His blood was not shed for us. God’s plan demanded He be killed by the shedding of blood.

In John 19:33, we see that Christ was already dead by the time the soldiers came to Him, thus eliminating the need for them to break His legs in order to hasten His death. These men did not realize that they helped fulfill this prophecy: “He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken” (Psalm 34:20).

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12 thoughts on “How Did Christ Die? And Why Is It Important?

  1. i have been getting to know who God is and i have made him number one in my life, water is life but the LORD JESUS CHRIST is everlastaning LIFE i have been raeding some of Mr H.W.Armstrrong book with my Holy Bibly; it has been one day at a time for me and my fammly but we love the LORD JESUS CHRIST

  2. Praise, honor and glory be to God the Father and Jesus Christs for ever and ever. Thank you Mr Turgeon for this vital expalanation

  3. Excellent article Mr Turgeon,its very important for us to know about the death of our saviour,and if christ died befor he was speared blood wouldnt have poured out of his body like the scripture says as blood doesnt pour out of a dead body.many thanks.

  4. Thank you for your article and explaining this life changing event for us. There is really a lot to learn about it and only so we can understand Christ sacrifice. He really has shed his blood for us as it was prophesied and only so we can inherit eternal life.

  5. Thank you very much Mr. Turgeon. The explanation on how Christ died was so clear and simple yet without God’s Holy Spirit, it’ll be very difficult to understand. Thanks again!

  6. [ If Christ died of a “broken heart” due to His own physical weakness and suffering, that means He would have had His own physical sins to die for—instead of dying for our sins! He could not have qualified as our Savior. But we know that in Christ there was no sin. ]

    False teachings of this world and just my own idea’s…. before (having been called)coming to the knowledge of the truth in print IS CHRIST the WORD of GOD; I thought it was impossible for Christ to have nor couldn’t ever sin? and to have my mind opened to the truth of so many things in the beginning this was questionable? but why? how? what did it all mean? It takes deep faith to grasp truths we just take for granted!! How great and honorable it is to be put face down in the dirt and crushed….. finally to see He CHOSE TO NOT SIN! FOR THE SAKE OF ALL Mankind !! Thankfully our minds are made moldable so we too can choose not to sin!. only by His power can one even be drawn unto this incredible understanding that a GOD had to die! and what He ask’ of us is to overcome as he has overcame, whereby……asking for and receiving that kind of faith, then growing in all He gives is one gift that will never ever fail us. As we learn this lesson by means He gives to you (Ministry) for teaching sheep’s and lamb’s how to make a better sacrifice unto our Father, we must receive HIS WORD is Truth and live by every one, accepting his sacrifice and forgiveness of sins. To walk worthy of our calling, and realize God’s Way of Life is everything about true love (LAW). Thank you for this clarification in sequence of Christ’s death (sacrifice)that is omitted in our KJV Bibles, this surely sheds light on ones (very elect) partaking of the Memorial Passover this Holy Day.
    Proving this fact to be true, all things are as he said/says it will be; continuing to declare the Father in all He does. Agape’

  7. Thank you, Mr. Turgeon, for this explanation of a puzzling scripture. It’s easy to see how one could assume that John 19:34 says that Christ was pierced with the sword after His death, but the other scriptures you cited obviously contradict that. I made copious notes in my Bible. Thanks for clearing that up.

  8. For many years I was under the misapprehension that our Lord was Stabbed after His death. And it did not compute. Thank you for clearing up this vital fact. May God continue to bless you.

  9. It appears u really know plenty regarding this particular subject and that exhibits through this blog post, labeled “How Did
    Christ Die? And Why Is It Important? | The Philadelphia Church of God”.
    Thank you -Celeste

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