“For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” 1 Peter 2
There is no healing and there would be no healing without Jesus giving himself for our sins. As sheep stray from the fold, we all have sinned and trespassed against god. But Christ died for us so that we might be healed if we return to God.
“But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned— every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.” Isa 53
As foretold in this Isaiah passage over 800 years before Jesus Christ was born into this world, this plan of redemption was in the mind of God when he created everything in the world including man. It follows therefore that God knew man would sin, man would stray like sheep, and man would be lost and in need of a savior. From before the foundation of the world the Father in heaven knew that he would offer his only begotten son so that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Paul writes, “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Tim 1:15ff
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners through his gospel. There’s no salvation apart from the gospel as it is only those who believe in Jesus Christ whom God Will save. The gospel is good news because the gospel saves. The gospel is about the death burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ which must be obeyed. In a way we all have to go through our own death burial and Resurrection as Christ did because the gospel has to be obeyed, see Romans 1:5 and Romans 16:26. Unless a person believes the gospel and obeys the gospel he cannot be saved.
Why is obedience to the gospel essential? Well it goes back to why man is lost because of disobedience to God and transgression of his law. God does not merely want us to believe in his son, but He wants us to be changed by his son and to become like Him. Romans chapter 6 verse 3-5 says that we all through baptism die, are buried, and are raised to walk in newness of life. And after baptism, the life that a believer lives is not the life that he lived and is ashamed of, Romans
To understand that Jesus died on the cross for our sins is to understand good news. And when we believe that Jesus died for our sins, we cannot help but tell that good news and confess it to the world. And when we understand that Jesus died for our sins, we also understand that we can no longer walk in those old ways that separated us from God. And God in his wisdom has asked us to die, and to act out the death, burial, and Resurrection through the watery grave of baptism, and then to live the new life.
In a very real sense we are born again through water and the spirit, John 3:3-5. That’s the good news of Jesus Christ that we can be saved and have the hope of eternal life.