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!

HAD to die?

I realize, Melville, that you may no longer be checking this thread, but I must say that I'm sincerely glad you prayed and have moved closer to Jesus; trust is a difficult thing for me, and I'm always saying "But why? Why that way? Why not THIS way?"

Essentially, Jesus had to die because he violated the legal-religious system of his day.

Yeah. He embarrassed the various leaders (Sadducees, Pharisees, scribes, whatever...), humiliated them in front of the people, rejected their authority to forgive sins (based on their unfitness) and supported (according to Mosaic law) what was an illegal method for the forgiveness of sins--water baptism.

Jesus, it appears, was stuck on the idea that the longed-for "kingdom of the heavens" had arrived, in his own person. And the kingdom of Israel that had once stood had proven woefully inadequate to their calling as God's nation. So he worked outside of the proper channels of authority. And that got him killed--in the gospel of Mark, Jesus' outrage in the temple is very specifically the trigger event for his cruxificion.

Coincidentally, as it turns out, Israel had been enduring a long period of exile because of what the prophets described of as "idolatry." Because Israel failed over and over again in obeying God, God was punishing them. But in Isaiah especially, and in a handful of other places, the prophets described some kind of substitute for Israel, an Anointed one that would sufficiently satisify God's justice and wrath against Israel with his death (Isaiah 53, specifically).

Jesus offered a way back to God outside of the temple--shoot, Jesus WAS the temple, right? (John 2.21) And Jesus called himsel the Son of man, too, who in Daniel represented the entire nation of Israel (Daniel 7). So when Jesus was rejected by Israel's leaders, and executed for his behavior in the temple, his disciples connected a few dots and came to the conclusion that there was a way to BECOME ISRAEL outside of being Jewish--by following Jesus, they could become sons of God, in the same sense that the Jews had ALWAYS been sons of God (Exodus 4.22). And to do this, the temple was unneccessary. Being Jewish was unneccessary.

The only necessary thing was to pick up the cross and follow Jesus. (To where? Well, where did Jesus take HIS cross?) ANYONE could do it--women, Gentiles, children, servants, slaves... it was a very new and liberating thing to the ancient world. Changed absolutely everything.

And through the several centuries, people have erected their various arguments and theological systems of exactly what and who and how it all went down. But I've been trying to pay more attention to Jesus than to what other people say about him, or wrote about him.

"Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life." John 5.39-40




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