Why Did He Go to Calvary


Welcome to another edition of My Thoughts and today’s segment is, “Why Did He Go to Calvary?” Open your Bible to the 1 Peter Chapter 1:18-20. There is a song the choir sings from time to time that has a first line that asks the following questions,

  • Why did He go to Calvary?
  • Why was His life’s blood shed for me?
  • Why did He suffer as no one has ever done?

There’s just one reason, mankind. The chorus of that song goes on to tell us He loves us, and this is the reason that Jesus suffered what He did on the cross.

Certainly, that is a true thought. After all, Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” However, we need to understand this is only one side of a multi-faceted jewel. Other reasons came together to make the cross a reality. The apostle Peter touches on only a few of them in this passage.

Today, I want to ask and answer the question, “Why Did He Go To Calvary?” I think the main reasons are given in this passage, and I want to share them with you today. As we consider this important passage together, let the Lord speak to your heart. If you have never trusted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, you will have that opportunity today! If you are saved, you will have a better understanding of why He did what He did for you on the cross. Either way, let’s discover, together, the answer to the question.

Passage Text – 1 Peter 1:18-20

18 Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers,

19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world but was manifest in these last times for you.

There Was a Plan to Finish

Let’s take a look at verse 20, “He was foreordained before the foundation of the world but was manifest in these last times for you.” There were only two plans and they both needed to be carried out to save humanity.

1. It Was an Old Plan

This verse tells us that what Jesus did “was foreordained before the foundation of the world.” Now the word “foreordained” is taken by some to mean “advanced knowledge.” In other words, God knew what Jesus would do and approved of His sacrifice on the cross. The primary meaning is not that of “advanced knowledge”, but that of “advanced planning.” Not only did God know what Jesus was going to do, but He planned that Jesus would come to this world and die on the cross for our sins, reconciling us to God, and redeeming us from the curse.

The plan was in the heart of God before sin was ever in the heart of man! Before Adam and Eve ever sinned in the Garden, God had already started a plan into action that would finish in the death of Jesus on the cross, and the reconciliation of lost sinners to God. As far as God is concerned, Jesus Christ died before the world was ever formed (Revelation 13:8). This is a picture of pure grace! God provided salvation before there was anyone to save, this is amazing!

2. It Was the Only Plan

Some people look at Jesus dying on the cross and conclude it must be some sort of terrible mistake. Nothing could be farther from the truth! The cross did not catch Jesus by surprise! He did not have to switch to plan “B” when everything else had failed! He planned for the cross. This was the only plan He had!

Even before man sinned in Eden, God had planned to provide for their salvation through the death of His Son on the cross. You see, there isn’t one separate plan for Baptists, Catholics, Methodists, and Muslims. There is only one plan, which says lost sinners are saved by accepting Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior!

Listen to what the Bible says about this matter:

  • John 14:6: Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
  • Romans 10:9: “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
  • Romans 10:13: “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
  • John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

The only way you will ever be saved from your sins, delivered from an eternity in Hell, and made ready to meet God in Heaven is to place your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and accept God’s plan while here on earth.

  • God never planned for us to try and work our way to Heaven (Ephesians 2:8-9).
  • God never planned for us to make our own gods and worship them to erase our sins (Isaiah 45:22).
  • God never wanted us to be trapped in a meaningless life followed by an endless eternity in hell.

It is why He sent His Son to die on the cross!

  • He did it to save man from religious traditions.
  • He did it to save men from the futility of false gods.
  • He did it to deliver lost people from the flames of Hell.
  • He did it for you!

Remember, God has one plan and if you expect to make it into heaven, you will go His way, or you will not go at all. Why did He go to Calvary? To Finish A Plan!

There Was a Payment to Furnish

18 Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers,

19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

There are three payments furnished by the precious blood of Jesus’ atoning for our sins. These payments also reconciled us to God, redeemed us from the curse of Adam and Eve, and brought us healing, prosperity, joy, peace, and many other things. So, let’s look at these three payments.

1. A Ransom Payment

When Jesus died on the cross, He paid a debt He did not owe to those who owed a debt they could not pay. Mankind sinned against God and the only way for deliverance was a ransom price to be paid for us.

The only way to understand this is to look at it from God’s point of view. When He made Adam and Eve, He made them innocent and placed them in a beautiful garden, where every need was supplied. The only restriction God placed upon them was to refrain from eating on the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God told them the day they ate of that tree, they would die (Genesis 2:15-17).

It meant they would eventually die physically, and our bodies would return to the earth. They would ultimately die eternally and be sent to hell for payment of their sin against God. However, it also meant they would die immediately in a spiritual sense and be separated from God. When they did eat of the forbidden tree, they died just as God had said they would.

In Desperate and In Dire Need of a Savior

What man needed was a Savior. Someone who could pay the debt of sin owed to God and set things right again. It is just what Jesus did when He died on the cross. He paid the debt Adam and Eve incurred when they sinned in the Garden of Eden. He also paid the debt every one of us owes to God if we only receive Him by faith.

When Jesus died on the cross, His blood canceled our debt, if you will only believe in Him. It is the theme of the Bible and what the Word of God teaches. Salvation does not come through worldly things like “silver and gold,” worthless religious activity, and rituals (v. 18). It comes only through the precious shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

2. A Redemption Payment

Verses 18 and 19 tell us the blood of Jesus brings the believer into a state of redemption. The word “redemption” (apolutrosis) in Greek means “to release on payment of ransom.” In other words, when Jesus died on the cross, He provided the means whereby the lost, heading to an eternity in hell, might be forever set free from their bondage and delivered from their torment. That is what redemption is all about!

I bless His name as He came to set the sinner free. He came to pay the price we could not pay. He came to break the chains of sin that bind us and to set us free. He came to do for us, which we could never do for ourselves:

  • He came to save us from our sins and set us free to serve the living God.
  • He came to change our Descriptions; our Directions; our Devotions and our Destinations.
  • He came to redeem the lost (us) back to God.

When we are in Jesus:

  • We are free from the dominion of sin (Romans 6:14).
  • We are free from the law of death (John 5:25).
  • We are free from the wrath of God and from eternal condemnation in hell (Romans 8:1).
  • We are free to live for God and to serve Him in the beauty of holiness.

3. A Reasonable Payment

In asking why Jesus had to go to the cross, the answer lies in the fact a holy God had been offended by the disobedience of mankind. The only thing that could set the record straight and clear the books of evil was the death of the Lamb of God on the cross. The innocent had to take the place of the guilty (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Since the first animal was slain in the Old Testament, this had always been God’s method for dealing with sin. However, not a single sin had been purged by the blood of those millions of animals that were killed. Sin had merely been dealt with for the moment. It only took care of the outside of a person, but not the inside. The heart must be cleansed of sin. When Jesus came and died on the cross, His blood did what the blood of all those animals could never do, it took away sin forever and cleansed our hearts (Hebrews 9:9-14).

Even When We Were Sinners, God Still Loved Us

All people are sinners (Romans 3:23) and God is a holy God who must deal justly with the sins of mankind. It means every person born into this world is born under the condemnation of His wrath and is headed to Hell (Romans 6:23). However, when Jesus entered the world and died on the cross, He forever satisfied the righteous demands of God, and opened the way of salvation for the lost (1 John 2:2).

We should all thank God for His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. We should thank God He made a way for our sins to be forever put away. He made a way we could be saved.

There was a payment to be furnished. Jesus did that and now the lost can be saved. Have you placed your faith in the sacrifice Jesus made at Calvary? There is no other hope nor method of salvation available for your soul, but which is offered by God through the shed blood of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Why did He go to Calvary? To furnish a payment!

There Was a People To Free (v. 18, 20b)

These verses make it clear Jesus came to redeem people from their bondage in sin. Verse 20 plainly says He was manifest “for you.” He came to set you free from what you may ask. Free from all things that bind you, so you might be free to serve Him fully. In fact, if you are not saved, you are far more bound than you can ever imagine! These verses mention two things that bind the sinner.

1. From an Empty Existence

The King James Version (KJV) mentions the phrase, “vain conversation” in verse 18. The word “conversation” refers to one’s “method of life or his behavior in life.” The Word “vain” means “empty.” Peter says those who are outside of a relationship with Jesus are living empty lives. All their planning, working, getting, giving, doing, hoping, and waiting will come to nothing. The quest for popularity, comfort, pleasure, recreation, and satisfaction will surely fail.

The life lived without Jesus is a totally wasted life. Regardless of what is accomplished or obtained as one passes through this world, in the end, it all amounts to nothing and still ends in Hell. What a terrible way to live and die! This is the thought that is expressed in Mark 8:36-37, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

On the other hand, Jesus came so mankind might have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10).

  • He came to give meaning to life.
  • He came to make your work worthwhile.
  • He came to ensure that your life would matter even after you leave this world.
  • He came to help you find direction and fulfillment in this life and contentment in His presence in the next.

Make a Wise Choice

Satan promises happiness, contentment, and fulfillment if they will do things his way. He is a liar, and you need to be aware of the traps he lays along the path of life. He promises the moon and delivers nothing but death and destruction and should never be trusted. Jesus, on the other hand, promises happiness and contentment, peace and joy, fulfillment and meaning, and He has the power to deliver them all (Romans 4:21).

Don’t just live your life and accomplish nothing. Live for Jesus and watch Him make your life count for the glory of God. That’s why He died on the cross.

2. From an Endless Eternity

While Jesus died to make life more meaningful, He also died to make eternity more pleasant. The only remedy for those who leave this world in their sins is for them to be sent to Hell. That is a place that even satan doesn’t want to go. Yet, it is the very place you will spend eternity if you refuse God’s offer of salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ.

Hell is a place of pain, misery, torment, regret, memory, thirst, separation, loneliness, unending suffering, and terrible anguish. Matthew 8:12 says it is a place where “there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Yet, the Bible also tells us hell was never intended to be populated with humans (Matthew 25:41). However, don’t let that cause you to think for a minute that He will not send you there if you die in your sins because he even sent the angels that disobeyed Him. It is His remedy.

Change Your Direction

Jesus came to change all that. In John 10:28 is His promise to those who believe in Him they will “never perish.” We can rest assured we will never feel the flames of Hell, but when we leave this world, we will spend eternity in the very presence of God (John 14:1-2).

He went to the cross so sinners might be saved from their sins, from Hell, and from the judgment of God. He also died so we might be made worthy to enter into His Heaven. That is my home, and I am headed there. Not because I am worthy, but because He went to the cross to make me ready for that place. All I did was go to Him when He called. That is all you have to do as well.


Why did He go to Calvary?

  • He went for God
  • He went for Himself
  • He went for You.

He went so that everything might change for you, and you might be saved (Acts 4:12, Romans 10:9-10, Romans 10:13). All I have said comes down to this statement and the following question. He went to Calvary for you back then, will you come to Him right now?

He will wash away your sins, change your life, prepare you for a home in Heaven, and take you there when you die. Will you come while the door of salvation while on earth before you die? He is calling you right now!

William R. Newell wrote a hymn called, “At Calvary.” I always loved this portion of the hymn:

O’ the love that drew salvation’s plan!

O’ the grace that brought it down to man!

O’ the mighty gulf that God did span

At Calvary!

Mercy there was great, and grace was free,

Pardon there was multiplied to me,

There my burdened soul found liberty –

At Calvary, Amen!

I am Dale Van De Bogart and I fully agree on God’s Word!

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