14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died;
because we judge thus:
“Judge” means to become convinced, to come to a conclusion. The team formed their judgment or determination about Christ for something specific. What did they judge? They made the judgment that Christ died for all sacrificially.
that if [since] One died for [in the place of] all,
Christ died for all without exception. That makes Him uniquely significant. He died for all humanity. The word “for” means on behalf of, for the benefit of. Jesus died in place of the sinner. Theologians call this the atonement, the substitutionary death of Christ for our sins. He took our hell that we might have His heaven (Ro 5:6-10; 2 Co 5:21; Ga 3:13). Jesus died where we should have died; He died on the cross upon which we should have died. No one loved people as much as this.
The “all” here refers to all believers. This does not deny that He died for every human being as well (Jn 1:29; 3:16; 1 Ti 2:6; 4:10; He 2:9; 2 Pe 2:1; 1 Jn 2:2). Everyone is savable if they trust what Christ did on the cross to pay for their sins.
The Christian’s way of evaluating things revolves around Christ’s death.
Why should we make so much of Jesus? Because He died instead of us—that is, in our place. Christ’s death became the substitute for our sin. He paid a price of such magnitude that it means heaven rather than hell for us. He met all the demands of a holy God. He died for all our guilt, all our punishment, all our sin. No one ever loved us so much.