That seems like an easy question to answer. After all we are told that Jesus died on the cross for our sins. What does that really mean? What seems simple at first glance is not so easy to completely understand.
It is sometimes said that Jesus died in our place, so that we do not have to die, and if you view that statement from one angle it is true. However, if taken literally it would mean that I would not have to die: but of course I must die. (Exo 33:20 NIV) But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”
Jesus died a physical death, partly to show how terrible it is to die, but that is not all his death means. Actually it is not the main purpose of his sacrifice.
The result of my sins, any sin, no matter how small that sin seems to man, is to be removed from the presence of God forever. That is the second death. My physical death is not punishment for my sins, but the second death is the true punishment for sin.
That is the punishment that God has ordained and God must inflict it on anyone that sins. Not to do so would brand God an unjust judge. And, of course God is not unjust.
Now, I do not want to be removed from the presence of God and God does not want to see me removed from His presence, so He devised a plan to save me. Not just me, but anyone that reveres Him and learns to love Him.
That plan is Jesus Christ. You see Jesus was removed from the presence of God when he took my sins as his sins. That, to both our Father and Jesus, was much worse than a physical death, no matter how horrible that death might be; and the cross was certainly a horrible way to die.
That in itself is a wonderful thing for me, but if Jesus was removed from the presence of our Father, forever, it would be too great a price for one such as me. However, God knows that Jesus is perfect and therefore had no sin of his own to be punished for, so he has not been permanently banished from the kingdom of God.
So, to be as accurate as I can be, and I do like to be accurate, Jesus died the second death for me and I will never be banished from the presence of my Father!
Jesus is in me (John 14:20) or part of me and because he will never die, I will never die (John 14:19).
Now, I know that you already know this. So, you are asking yourself why I took the time to write this post. Well, it seems to me that when we say that Jesus died for our sins that we should be as accurate as we can be. Therefore, I think that we should always say, “Jesus died the second death in my place” and that might induce the unsaved to ask what the second death is. They only know about one death and they believe it is the end of life, so to say Jesus died for us would not make a lot of sense to them.
Actually, the more I understand about God, it seems the less I make sense to the unsaved (and even, sometimes, the saved)!