Christ Died for our Sins

In 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 St. Paul writes:

“I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you; unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures…”

New Testament scholar Morna D. Hooker comments:

“‘Christ died for us’. What does Paul mean by this” Some commentators assume that Paul is thinking of Christ’s death as substitutionary: they assume, that is, that Christ dies in our place. This does not seem to be an appropriate description of his teaching, however, for Christ’s death does not mean that Christians do not face physical death. ‘Christ died’, he wrote, ‘in order that we might live with him.’ He sees Christians as sharing the life of Christ. This is the idea that we find him spelling out in Romans 6: ‘Christ died for us’ does not mean that we escape death, but that he dies as our representative – the representative of humanity – and those who in turn share his death (to sin) will also share his resurrection. Living with Christ, therefore, implies also dying with him. The same ideas reappear in 2 Corinthians 5:14-15, where Paul writes ‘One has died for all’. Once again, this sounds at first like substitution, Christ dying instead of all, but as we read on, we find he explains that what he means is that Christ died as our representative.” (Paul: A Beginners Guider, pgs. 106-109)