“Christ died for God. Most people think of salvation as Christ dying for us, and there is, of course, a sense in which that is absolutely true and completely true and not at all untrue, but it is not the full picture. The only way that Christ could die for us would be to die satisfactorily for God Christ then died, first of all, to satisfy God and once God was satisfied, then His death could be applied to us.” John MacArthur
Christ died for God
In a world full of selfisms, it almost sounds heretical to say that Christ died for God. People nowadays want to be told how special and brilliant they are, that God had to send Jesus to earth to save them. Heaven wouldn't be heaven without us. But is this true, did Jesus really die because there was something good in us or did He die for God?
What does it mean that Christ died for God?
Of course we don't mean He died to save God, but He died for God's sake. There is nothing good that God saw in us that could've compelled Him to love us and send His one and only Son to die for us, Christ died for God. The driving force behind the incarnation and crucifixion was the Love between the Father and the Son.
Let's examine a few reasons why Christ died.
The Will of God
One of the things that Jesus made clear to His disciples and adversaries was that He came to earth not to do His own will, but the will the Father (cf. John 4:34, 5:30, 6:38). Every act that Jesus did during His earthly ministry was to accomplish God's will and purpose. He lived a life of total surrender to God's will (John 5:30). You will recall that even at His last moment His prayer was “not what I will, but what You will.” (Mark 14:36). So Jesus died on the cross to fulfil God's will.
The Glory of God
The first words we read in Christ's High Priestly Prayer are these: “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you,” (John 17:1). From this we see that the purpose of Christ's death was to glorify the Father (cf. John 2:20-28; 13:30-32). The hour that Christ had been anticipating all His life (John 12:23, 13:1) was finally at hand. He was now going to bear the sins of the world and die a shameful death, so He asks that God would glorify Him, so that at the end God would get the glory.
The wrath of God
We are told that Christ was made a propitiation for our sins (Rom. 3:25, Heb. 2:17). That means that He appeased or satisfied God's wrath. On the cross, Christ drank the cup of God's wrath. One the greatest sermons ever preached (outside of Scripture) is Jonathan Edwards' Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God. But our society cannot tolerate an angry God, but yet the Bible describes Him as “angry with the wicked everyday” (Psa. 7:11 cf. 5:5, 11:5). So Christ died in order to appease God's anger on sinners.
The Justice of God
God's justice demanded to be satisfied. God can not let guilty sinners go unpunished (Num. 14:18, NIV), His justice demanded that sin should be punished. This demanded that Jesus come and die as a substitute for those whom the Father gave Him and appease God's wrath on their behalf. So there is no more wrath for God's people because Christ absolved it all on the cross. So Christ came for God's wrath and “God was satisfied with Christ“.
The Love of God
There are many other things that we could look at, but we will conclude by looking at How Christ came to demonstrate God's love. Christ demonstrated to us how much He loves us by dying for us (1 John 3:16, Rom. 5:6-8). And the Father showed His love for us by sending and allowing His one and only Son to die for sinful humanity (John 3:16).
But what we usually fail to see is that Christ laid His life down not so much because of His love for us, but His love for the Father (John 14:31). It is this love for God, His commandments and His Glory that made Him die for humanity. It is also this love that should compel us to love one another (1 Cor. 5:14).
“Christ died for God
To pay the debt owed his inflexible justice
To legitimise the manifestation of His merciful forgiveness
To quench the thirst of His offended righteousness
The propitiate the wrath of His blazing holiness
Christ died for God”
Arturo G. Azurdia
Soli Deo Gloria