Why Did Jesus Have To Die?

Timothy-David's picture

Why did Jesus have to die? I'm not asking what he accomplished by his death. Therefore, when I asked, "Why did Jesus have to die?" I am not looking for the reply, "In order to redeem the world."
I don't understand this passage.

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish, but might have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him."

Why did he need to give up His son? Why did God need to be crucified to undue man's sin? Why couldn't God have simply done away with it? I don't understand how the Incarnation and Crucifixion were an act of love. God the Father said to God Son, "We love the world so much that you should be tortured and killed so that by your death, blood, and rebirth, man can bypass the Law, which no man can fulfill but you, my son, Jesus, the man-God." If no man but God (Jesus) could fulfill the Law then why should God bother dying to free men from the Law? Why not say, "Well, none is righteous, no not one, so therefore enter in."

How does Christ's blood wash away our sins? Someone once put it this way, "Say your brother is arrested for murder. It is for sure he is guilty, and the wise judge knows that it is so. Now, just as the judge is about to condemn the man to Death, you come into the courtroom and speak to the judge saying, "Judge, if you will but spare my brother, and forgive him his murder, you may take my life instead of his." To which the judge says, "Very well, it is known that you are a good man and that you have done no wrong, therefore I will let your murdering brother go, and his crime will be paid for by your Death." And then the judge lets your brother go, though he is a murderer still, and you, the innocent man are killed for his crimes."

Forgive me if I don't understand. Where is the justice? Where is the love?

I'm not trying to challenge anyone's beliefs. I've come here for help to save my own!

michael_legna's picture

Is there a paradox between justice and mercy?

I think the difficulty in accepting the idea of Christ having to die on the cross comes from our idea of mercy. We all think to ourselves something like - "If I were God - I would have just given the gift once I decided to do this. No need for my Son to die."

This seems to us to be perfectly merciful, efficient and the quickest solution.

Of course we are quick to forget about justice (not surprising since we are the guilty in this situation).

So because God is both perfectly merciful and perfectly just there seems to be the need/requirement that someone pay the price of the eternal punishment for our sins.

Can we understand this dynamic between perfect mercy and perfect justice at a detailed enough level to see that the solution had to be the death of His Son? No probably not. There are hints of course regarding the types or models from the Old Testament and the fact that Christ was spotless and so was the perfect sacrifice, but if we are honest and admit to ourselves our limited understanding of the paradox between mercy and justice we just have to say we don't know and accept it on faith.