The Intention of the Atonement
Why did Christ come to die? Did He come simply to make salvation possible, or did He come to actually obtain eternal redemption (Hebrews 9:12)? Let's consider some passages from Scripture in answer to this question.
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost (Luke 19:10).
Here the Lord Jesus Himself speaks of the reason for His coming. He came to seek and to save the lost. Few have a problem with His seeking; many have a problem with the idea that He actually accomplished all of His mission. Jesus, however, made it clear that He came to actually save the lost. He did this by His death.
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners---of whom I am the worst (1 Timothy 1:15).
Paul asserts that the purpose of Christ's coming into the world was to actually save sinners. Nothing in Paul's words leads us to the conclusion that is so popular today---that Christ's death simply makes salvation a possibility rather than a reality. Christ came to save. So, did He? And how did He? Was it not by His death? Most certainly. The atoning death of Christ provides forgiveness of sins for all those for whom it is made. That is why Christ came.