New City Catechism Week 24 Resources

Week 24 Question:

Why was it necessary for Christ, the Redeemer, to die?

Week 24 Answer:

Since death is the punishment for sin, Christ died willingly in our place to deliver us from the power and penalty of sin and bring us back to God. By his substitutionary atoning death, he alone redeems us from hell and gains for us forgiveness of sin, righteousness, and everlasting life.

Week 24 Verse: Colossians 1:21-22


The righteous, loving Father humbled himself to become in and through his only Son’s flesh, sin and a curse for us, in order to redeem us without compromising his own character…. The biblical gospel of atonement is of God satisfying himself by substituting himself for us…. The concept of substitution may be said, then, to lie at the heart of both sin and salvation. For the essence of sin is man substituting himself for God, while the essence of salvation is God substituting himself for man. Man asserts himself against God and puts himself where only God deserves to be; God sacrifices himself for man and puts himself where only man deserves to be. Man claims prerogatives which belong to God alone; God accepts penalties which belong to man alone.

John Stott (1921–2011). An English Anglican preacher who for many years served as rector of All Souls Church in London, Stott was one of the principal framers of the Lausanne Covenant (1974). His numerous books include Why I Am a Christian and The Cross of Christ (from which this quote is taken).

From The Cross of Christ (Downer’s Grove: IVP, 1986), 159–160.

Video Commentary

NCC Q24: Why was it necessary for Christ, the Redeemer, to die? from The Gospel Coalition on Vimeo.

Supporting Scriptures

Galatians 3:13, Philippians 2:8, 1 John 2:2, Isaiah 53:10


Lord, carest thou not that I perish? thou that wouldest have all men to be saved? thou that wouldest have none to perish? And wilt thou now show thine anger against a worm, a leaf? against a vapour that vanisheth before thee? O remember how short my time is, and deliver not my soul into the power of hell…. Forget me as I have been disobedient, provoking thee to anger; and regard me as I am distressed, crying out to thee for help. Look not upon me as I am a sinner; but consider me as I am thy creature…. How proper is it for thee to save! for it is thy name. How suitable is it to thy coming into the world! for it is thy business. And when I consider that I am the chief of sinners, may I not urge thee farther, and say, Shall the chief of thy business be left undone? Far be that from thee! Have mercy upon me!… Father, accept my imperfect repentance, compassionate my infirmities, forgive my wickedness, purify my uncleanness, strengthen my weakness, fix my unstableness, and let thy good Spirit watch over me for ever, and thy love ever rule in my heart, through the merits and sufferings and love of thy Son, in whom thou art always well pleased.

John Wesley (1703–1791). An English preacher and theologian, Wesley is largely credited, along with his brother Charles, with founding the English Methodist movement. He travelled generally on horseback, preaching two or three times each day, and is said to have preached more than 40,000 sermons. He also was a noted hymn-writer.

From “Forms of Prayer: Friday Evening” in The Works of the Reverend John Wesley, Volume 6 (New York: J. Emory & B. Waugh, 1831), 397–398.