Why Did Jesus Have To Die?Comment
Why did Jesus have to die, couldn't God just have forgotten about it?
“...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished – he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.” (Romans 3:23-26)
The Lord said, “I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight.” (Jeremiah 9:24)
The sacrifice of Jesus Christ is a demonstration of these things. It was an act of kindness, justice and righteousness because the death Jesus suffered was what all men deserved (and still do deserve) – the stories in the old testament are evidence of that.
But why not dismiss the wrong doing of mankind? If God is kind, why did he not say “past is past”? The truth is that while God is compassionate, he is also just. Imagine a courtroom in which a thief stands trial before a judge. Imagine the judge saying to the thief, with no conditions attached, “you don't need to face justice, you are free to go.” Imagine every court was like this, seeing criminals walking free from their doors, out into the world. Everything would be chaos before long; laws would mean nothing. Now if it is unjust for a judge to let a thief go, how much more unjust is it for him to let a murderer or a rapist go?
Theft. Murder. Rape. All these things are heinous crimes. But what of the crimes committed against the infinite and eternal God? These are crimes which deserve infinite and eternal punishment. God is a judge, the ultimate authority; he must punish, there is no other option. For God to be God, he cannot be unjust, even in the littlest things - “He repays a man for what he has done; he brings upon him what his conduct deserves. It is unthinkable that God would do wrong, that the Almighty would pervert justice” (Job 34:11-12). God cannot have anything to do with evil.
So you can see that the constant sinning of mankind deserves the harshest kind of punishment, we deserve death. But God had a plan and his name was Jesus Christ. God had planned to send him from the beginning. He was a man perfect in every way; though tempted, he did not once give in to the pattern of mankind and follow the path of sin. He was sent to be this way, so that, thirty three years into his earthly life, he might become a perfect sacrifice, “because by one sacrifice he has made perfect for ever those who are being made holy [i.e. those who have faith in Christ]” (Hebrews 10:14). Jesus died so that we would not have to. But there is much more to Jesus’s story – he didn’t just die and that was that, he rose again 3 days later.
Do you see the need for justice in this world? What do you think about God’s plan?