This was a question posed to me by a student in my youth group. For the month of February, I have asked the youth at my church to submit their questions about life, theology, and all things related to God. Typically, I walk them through a book of the Bible, but I wanted to speak to their more felt needs this month.
"What would spark this question?" I asked. The students gave me a lot of different answers. I was impressed by their intuition. "I think this person must not really believe that Jesus' first death was enough and might really be struggling to believe God loves them," one 16 year old student said. "I think you're onto something," I said. Guilt is a daily human experience and, if not dealt with, it leads us to all sorts of madness, like, hiding, pretending, or performing.
Guilt (that is not dealt with) also leads us to unbelief, to question God's promises, and to believe Satan's lies. Satan would have us believe that our sin is gargantuan (which it is) and that Christ's sacrifice on the cross is not quite enough for the sin and guilt we experience, and this is a lie straight from the pit of hell.
"But wouldn't Jesus want to display his love for me again by dying on the cross just to assure and reassure me of his love?" No. I don't think so. I think we must say no biblically. When the Bible talks about Christ's sacrifice, it calls it a "once for all" sacrifice (Rom. 6:10, Heb. 7:27). Christ died once, unlike the sacrifices of the Old Testament. There was not just one bull in the Old Testament that was sacrificed for the sins of God's people... animal after animal after animal was sacrificed as a substitute for sinful Israel all pointing forward to a full and final sacrifice that could bring permanent atonement for God's people.
So, why would Christ not be willing to die again for my sin? The answer is more encouraging than it might first appear.
Praise the Lord that Jesus died once for all and that one death was all that it took to redeem sinners like you and me. Praise the Lord that He didn't lie and that redemption is truly "finished." Praise the Lord that Jesus shed his blood non-gratuitously; not an ounce of his blood was shed without effecting the purpose for which God intended it. Praise the Lord that Jesus died once and that we aren't in need of a second death to reassure us! We have all the assurance we could ever hope for or imagine!
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38–39, ESV)