Marvel at God’s love, marvel at Jesus’ redeeming sacrifice, marvel at the Holy Spirit’s sovereign regenerating work. Believer, take this to heart and cherish it: Jesus died specifically for you on the cross. Your salvation is purchased, paid for. Live like it’s so.
Did Jesus die for everybody? This question seems rather simple on the surface, but if you peel back a layer of Scripture you’ll find it’s a pretty complex question. Theologians debate, friends argue, and the layperson doesn’t even know it’s a question.
So, did He die for everybody? The short answer is No. And, in my opinion, the Bible is pretty clear on that. There is a plethora of passages to visit, but let’s focus on the over-arching theme that makes this question easier to understand: substitutionary atonement.
Jesus was our substitute, in life and death (2 Corinthians 5:21). And by our, I mean, Christians. And because He was—and is—our substitute means He didn’t purchase a theoretical salvation on the cross, but salvation itself. In other words, Jesus didn’t die to simply make salvation possible, but died in place of real names.
He had the names of His elect, His church, in mind when He died on the cross—for He is our substitute. He lived in our place; He died in our place. Jesus’ death was a substitutionary death—that is central to the gospel!
With this glorious truth in mind—and if we are focused on the text of Scripture and not any biases—it doesn’t require a big leap to conclude that Jesus only died on the cross for those He was the substitute for—the church.
Think about it. If Jesus was the substitute for every single person, then everybody would be saved.