A photo of a lone figure standing on a hill, arms outstretched towards the sky, capturing the essence of Jesus' sacrifice and love for humanity.

What Did Jesus Do For Us?

Jesus Christ, the central figure of Christianity, is believed by Christians to be the Son of God who came to Earth to save humanity. If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to what Jesus did for us: Jesus sacrificed himself on the cross so that our sins could be forgiven, allowing us to have a restored relationship with God if we place our faith in him.

In this comprehensive article, we will explore in detail the significance of Jesus’s life, ministry, death on the cross, and resurrection from a Christian theological perspective.

Jesus as Fulfillment of Old Testament Prophecies

Prophecies About the Messiah

The Old Testament contains many prophecies about the coming Messiah. These prophecies describe key events in the Messiah’s life, ministry, death, and resurrection hundreds of years before they took place.

According to the Bible, Jesus fulfilled these prophecies, identifying Him as the long-awaited Messiah.

Some key Messianic prophecies Jesus fulfilled include:

  • Born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:18-25)
  • Descendant of Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3, Matthew 1:1)
  • Of the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10, Luke 3:33)
  • Born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2, Matthew 2:1)
  • Ministry of miracles (Isaiah 35:5-6, Matthew 9:35)
  • Triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Zechariah 9:9, Matthew 21:1-11)
  • Betrayal for 30 pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12-13, Matthew 26:14-16)
  • Crucifixion with thieves (Isaiah 53:12, Matthew 27:38)

The probability of one person fulfilling even a handful of very specific prophecies is astronomically low. The fact that Jesus fulfilled over 300 prophecies is considered scientifically irrefutable evidence that He is the Messiah.

Jesus’s Birth and Life Fulfilling Prophecies

Jesus’s miraculous virgin birth to Mary in Bethlehem, flight to Egypt, ministry across Israel, confrontations with religious leaders, betrayal, death by crucifixion, and resurrection three days later were all prophesied in amazing detail centuries earlier in the Old Testament scriptures.

A few examples include:

  • Jesus would be born in Bethlehem to a virgin (Isaiah 7:14, Micah 5:2)
  • He would be worshipped and presented gifts by kings (Psalm 72:10, Matthew 2:11)
  • Children would be slaughtered after His birth (Jeremiah 31:15, Matthew 2:16-18)
  • He would preach in Galilee (Isaiah 9:1-2, Matthew 4:12-17))
  • He would enter Jerusalem riding a donkey (Zechariah 9:9, Matthew 21:1-9)
  • He would be betrayed by a friend (Psalm 41:9, Luke 22:47-48)
  • He would be crucified and pierced (Psalm 22; Isaiah 53; Zechariah 12:10; John 19:16-37)
  • But death would not defeat Him (Psalm 16:10; Psalm 49:15, Matthew 28:5-7)

As this article shows, Jesus’s life aligned perfectly with clear predictive prophecies in the Hebrew scriptures. This gives powerful evidence that He was the foretold Messiah who God sent to be the Savior of the world.

Jesus’s Sinless Life and Teachings

Jesus Lived Without Sin

Jesus Christ, the central figure of Christianity, is revered by billions for his moral and ethical teachings. A core aspect of Jesus’s identity was his sinlessness. According to Christian theology, Jesus was the only human to live a perfect, sinless life.

The Bible affirms Jesus’s sinless nature in several verses. Hebrews 4:15 declares, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.”

2 Corinthians 5:21 states, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 1 Peter 2:22 says, “He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.”

Jesus’s sinless life qualified him to serve as the atoning sacrifice for humanity’s sins. His perfection was necessary to pay the debt we owed for our moral failures. As the apostle Paul wrote in Romans 5:19, “For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.”

In addition to affirming Christ’s sinlessness, the Gospels paint a portrait of Jesus sympathetically understanding human weakness and temptation, yet resisting sin. This is seen in Jesus’s 40 days of temptation in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11).

His ability to endure temptation demonstrated his sinlessness.

Jesus’s moral perfection is a central tenet of Christian doctrine. As the sinless Son of God, his atoning death and resurrection provide the only way for sinful humans to be reconciled to a holy God. He is the only Mediator between the Father and human beings (1 Timothy 2:5).

Core Ethical Teachings of Jesus

During his earthly ministry, Jesus provided ethical and moral instruction that served as a foundation for Christian living. Some of the most impactful principles he taught dealt with learning what it really means to “love your neighbor,” upholding the dignity of all people, and caring for the vulnerable.

When asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus replied, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself'” (Matthew 22:37-39).

Jesus emphasized that loving others is second only in importance to loving God.

In the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), Jesus taught that loving your neighbor means helping anyone in need, regardless of race, religion, or social status. He told followers to love their enemies as well (Matthew 5:43-48).

Jesus showed special compassion for people on the margins of society – the poor, sick, and sinful. He brought a message of forgiveness, hope, and new life to those who had been looked down upon or neglected by the religious elite.

As he declared, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mark 2:17).

The way Jesus cared for women in a paternalistic culture, healed lepers who were outcasts, and welcomed children also demonstrated his ethic of love and dignity for all. Even while being crucified, he prayed for the forgiveness of those killing him (Luke 23:34).

Summarizing Jesus’s moral vision, theologian H. Richard Niebuhr wrote: “The ethic of Jesus is the summary of law and gospel in the twofold love of God and neighbor. Nothing is Christian morality that does not begin and end here.”

Love encapsulates the heart of Jesus’s instructions for living a righteous life.

Jesus’s Death on the Cross for Humanity’s Sins

Sacrifice for Sins Foreshadowed in the Old Testament

The idea of Jesus dying for the sins of humanity was foreshadowed throughout the Old Testament. Animal sacrifices were a central part of Old Testament religious practice, pointing forward to the ultimate sacrifice of the spotless Lamb of God.

Isaiah 53 vividly prophecies the suffering servant who would bear our iniquities. The Passover lamb slaughtered for each household symbolized the protection from judgment through an innocent substitute.

Jesus was the fulfillment of all these Old Testament patterns, serving as the perfect and complete sacrifice for sins.

Significance of the Cross

Jesus’s death on the cross is central to Christianity for several reasons. First, it demonstrates God’s immense love in sending His Son to suffer and die for us (John 3:16). Second, Jesus’s death served as a substitutionary atonement, satisfying God’s wrath against sin in place of the sinner.

Third, Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross reconciled us to God, mending the broken relationship between God and man resulting from sin (Colossians 1:21-23). Fourth, by dying on the cross, Jesus broke the power of sin over humanity, setting us free from slavery to sin (Romans 6:6-7).

The cross is the cornerstone of Christianity, revealing the gravity of sin and extent of God’s love.

Jesus Taking On Divine Wrath

On the cross, Jesus bore the penalty for sin that should have fallen on humankind. All humans have sinned and face God’s wrath and judgment against sin (Romans 3:23; 6:23). However, God in His love sent His Son, Jesus, to take that wrath on Himself in our place.

Jesus, though perfectly righteous Himself, bore the suffering specifically to shield us from it. God poured out divine wrath due for sin on His own Son instead of on us. Jesus’s famous cry of agony on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

(Mark 15:34), reflects this aspect of taking on Himself the just wrath of God against sin on behalf of humanity. Through faith in Christ, we can be reconciled to God and spared this consequence of sin.

Jesus’s Resurrection and Victory Over Death

The Historicity of the Resurrection

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is undoubtedly one of the most significant events in human history. Most New Testament scholars agree that Jesus’s resurrection is a historical event supported by strong evidence. Here are some key points:

  • Jesus was crucified and buried. This is attested to by both Christian and non-Christian sources.
  • Jesus’s tomb was found empty on the third day after his crucifixion. Had Jesus’s body still been there, it would have quashed the resurrection story.
  • Many individuals and groups experienced appearances of the risen Jesus. These include his disciples, James his brother, Paul the apostle, and over 500 people at once (1 Cor 15:3-8).
  • The dramatic transformation of Jesus’s terrified and despairing disciples into bold proclaimers of his resurrection is inexplicable if the resurrection did not occur.
  • The founding and explosive growth of the Christian church, founded on the proclamation of the risen Jesus, was unlikely if the resurrection story was a lie.

Salvation for Believers

The resurrection validates Jesus’s claims to be the Son of God and the path to salvation. Romans 4:25 states that Jesus “was raised to life for our justification.” His resurrection demonstrates that God accepted Jesus’s sacrifice for our sins on the cross.

Those who put their faith in Christ can now have their sins forgiven and live eternally with God.

Further, the resurrection provides hope for believers. Just as Jesus conquered death, his followers need not fear death anymore, for they too will experience resurrection (1 Cor 15:20-23). Believers can look forward to resurrection bodies and new life in a restored creation.

Truly, Jesus’s resurrection secured salvation and eternal hope for all who believe in him. It was the turning point of history, changing despair into joy and death into life.

Jesus’s Continued Life and Lordship

The resurrection marks Jesus’s transition from a life on earth to a glorious heavenly life. Acts 1:9 records Jesus ascending into heaven, while Hebrews 8:1 describes him seated at the right hand of God’s throne. Jesus is alive today, actively ruling over creation as Lord (Acts 2:36).

Jesus also continues his work today through the Holy Spirit, who empowers and guides believers. Jesus said the Spirit would come after his resurrection (John 16:7). The book of Acts describes how after Jesus ascended, the promised Holy Spirit came mightily upon the disciples at Pentecost (Acts 2).

Finally, the risen Lord Jesus will return one day to consummate God’s kingdom and fulfill his victory over death once for all (1 Thess 4:13-18). Believers eagerly await Christ’s return and the resurrection of their own bodies (1 Cor 15:51-57).

The resurrection launches an exalted Jesus active even now as Lord and soon-returning King. His resurrection victory guarantees hope for all believers today and forevermore.


In concluding this overview of what Jesus accomplished in his earthly life and ministry according to orthodox Christian theology, we can see that he fulfilled messianic prophecies, provided a sinless example for how to live, died sacrificially to atone for sin, and rose victoriously over death.

As a result, Jesus made salvation available to all who put their faith in him for the forgiveness of sins and reconciled relationship with God.

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