Hebrews 9:27 - Was Jesus appointed to die because He was a man?
The Bible tells us every man and woman will die one day and then we will stand before God to be judged. People will either be sent to hell or allowed to enter heaven to spend eternity with God. Our question is not about what happens to sinful men and women, but did Jesus have to die because He had human flesh? That is, was Jesus appointed to die because He was a man?
Meaning of Hebrews 9:27
The opening portion of Hebrews 9:27 tells us that God will judge every person after they die.
And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him. Hebrews 9:27-28 (NASB)
The Greek word for “appointed” is apokeimai. Louw and Nida provide greater accuracy to the meaning of the word as,
To be necessary in view of something being inevitable—‘to be necessary, must.’
That is, the death of men is inevitable.” It is going to occur some day. We often think of death as the end of life or the end of our existence. But physical death occurs only when our flesh and blood bodies stop functioning. Our spirits still live. Therefore, Hebrews 9:27-28 is only describing the cessation of our mortal flesh and blood bodies (Hebrews 2:14). Our spirits continue to live.
After people die they will eventually be judged. The New Testament teaches that believers will stand before the Bema Seat judgment to be judged for the purpose of receiving rewards and being sent to heaven. All unbelievers will also be judged when they stand before the Great White Throne (Revelation 20:11-14). However, unbelievers will be sent to hell.
Was Jesus Appointed To Die?
Yes, Jesus was appointed to die. Acts 2:22-24 teaches us that Jesus was delivered over to death by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God. That is, His death was planned from before the foundation of the world.
Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know — this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power. Acts 2:22-24 (NASB)
Consequently, the Romans were able to nail Jesus to the cross and put Him to death. Yes, Jesus was appointed to die! Additionally,
A number of Old Testament Scriptures also prophesied His death (Psalm 22:16; 34:20; Isaiah 53:3-11; Daniel 9:26; Zechariah 13:7). Hebrews 9:27 teaches us that Jesus came in human flesh and blood so that He could die (Hebrews 2:14). At some point in life, every human will die—the flesh and blood body will cease to function.
Romans 4:25 states that Jesus was resurrected for our justification. That is, death could not hold Christ because He was sinless and did not deserve death.
He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification. Romans 4:25 (NASB)
1 Peter 3:18 declares that Jesus was just or sinless. But Jesus was not judged in the way that humans will be judged.
For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit . . . 1 Peter 3:18 (NASB)
Were Resurrected People Appointed To Die?
Everyone who was resurrected in the Old and New Testaments still had to die and will be judged some day. They died twice because God had intervened and disrupted the normal process. This is an exception to the statement in Hebrews 9:27. For a list of those who were raised from the dead in the Old and New Testaments read, “Who are the nine people in the Bible who were raised from the dead?”
Will Those Who Are Raptured Die?
When believers are raptured, their flesh and bodies will cease to function. They will be transformed into immortal bodies in the twinkling of an eye at the rapture (1 Corinthians 15:50-53).
Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. 1 Corinthians 15:50-53 (NASB)
When the end of the universe occurs in Revelation 20:11, anyone still having physical life in the kingdom will die, receive an immortal body, and then judgment will occur.
Was Jesus appointed to die because He was a man? Yes, He also had to die! In fact, the reason Christ was born into this world in human flesh was so that He could die for our sins—the just for the unjust (1 Peter 3:18). Jesus is the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. He is the Savior and Lord of the world.
1. Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), p. 671.
Suggested Links:When and where does the Goat and Sheep judgment occur?
Who are the nine people in the Bible that were raised from the dead?
The Church Is Missing — What is the Rapture?
Bema Seat - Judgment of Christians
Escape By His Blood
Bema Seat – When in the future will Christians be judged?