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  #1  
Old Oct 13, '08, 5:31 pm
Journeyman Journeyman is offline
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Default Why did Jesus have to die?

Many Catholics have been taught that "Jesus died for our sins" but they do not have any idea why. Why did Jesus die for our sins? Why was His death on the cross necessary to save us?
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  #2  
Old Oct 13, '08, 5:41 pm
Homerun40968 Homerun40968 is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus have to die?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post
Many Catholics have been taught that "Jesus died for our sins" but they do not have any idea why. Why did Jesus die for our sins? Why was His death on the cross necessary to save us?
This takes some background knowledge. In the Old Testament, God's chosen people were required to perform sacrifices, generally on lambs and other animals. Then, the Mosaic covenant requred them to eat the flesh of the animal for the forgiveness of sins.

When Jesus came along, he put himself on the cross. He was, in a sense, just another Old Testament sacrifice. But this sacrifice was unique: Jesus was playing the role of the high priest (sacrificer) and the lamb at the same time. Additionally, both roles were perfect without sin.

By having a perfect sacrifice, it is now eternal. Jesus told us to eat his flesh, or the Eucharist. Since the eternal sacrifice is complete, the bread presents Christ's original death once more in an unbloody manner. As were the Jews, we are called to eat the flesh for the remission of sins. Additionally, since the blood is pure and without stain, we are permitted to drink it. This is the new and everlasting covenant.

Also, if there was a perfect priest and a perfect lamb who had undergone a sacrificial ceremony, Christ would not have been needed. However, fallen human nature and the stain of sin prevents man from being perfect - thus, God saved us.

That is how Jesus died for our sins. This is also why I didn't truly understand how Jesus died for us until I converted to Catholicism, with its emphasis on Holy Communion.

I hope this answers your question.
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  #3  
Old Oct 13, '08, 6:37 pm
Journeyman Journeyman is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus have to die?

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Originally Posted by Homerun40968 View Post
This takes some background knowledge. In the Old Testament, God's chosen people were required to perform sacrifices, generally on lambs and other animals. Then, the Mosaic covenant requred them to eat the flesh of the animal for the forgiveness of sins.
Why the sacrifices? Also, did the Israelites essentially break the covenant in Exodus 24 and the penalty for this was death. The animal sacrifices were offered, but it took the death of the perfect man, the perfect sacrfice, Jesus, to redeem man who broke the covenant?
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  #4  
Old Oct 13, '08, 11:49 pm
dmar198 dmar198 is online now
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Default Re: Why did Jesus have to die?

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Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post
Why the sacrifices?
He already said why: "...for the remission of sins." And he further elaborated: "fallen human nature and the stain of sin prevents man from being perfect - thus, God saved us." If I didn't trust the good will of evangelical Christians, I'd think you were trying to put him on the defensive and weren't really looking for an answer.
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  #5  
Old Oct 14, '08, 1:03 am
Jimdandy Jimdandy is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus have to die?

This has been discussed here many times-you might try researching what more has been said.

Simply put, God wanted to share His life and love with us-mankind.
He gave us a precious gift of free will-so the choice would be our own. Knowing that man would sin, He was willing to become like us in every way but sin in order to show us all how it is possible to live a holy life.

Jesus chose to live and die as a man, so that we would be able to live and die and then live forever with Him. This plan was His choice as a way to restore us to union with Him, which was lost by sin.
Jesus always put God the Father first, and his neighbor second.
Jesus was born poor, and He remained very poor all of His life.
His example shows us all how we should live.(It is the Spiritual life that is important)

By offering up our suffering up to God for the reparation of sin, the conversion of sinners, and peace in this world we are allowed to participate in the Passion of Christ.

Jesus gave us the Beatitudes to help form good habits and pious, humble behavior.

The easiest way for one begin to understand this is to talk to God, and He will send His Spirit to enlighten one.

May His Blessings always be upon you.
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  #6  
Old Oct 14, '08, 4:54 am
Journeyman Journeyman is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus have to die?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmar198 View Post
He already said why: "...for the remission of sins." And he further elaborated: "fallen human nature and the stain of sin prevents man from being perfect - thus, God saved us." If I didn't trust the good will of evangelical Christians, I'd think you were trying to put him on the defensive and weren't really looking for an answer.
No, I am not trying to put anyone on the defensive. It is a real question. If I were to ask many Catholics why did Christ die on the cross, they would say "He died for our sins." But then if I followup with them as to why e had to die for our sins, they would probably not have a clue.

Therefore, I am attempting to get a better understanding as to why Christ HAD to die for us. Is he dying on the cross tied to the covenant in Exodus 24? To say that God saved us by having His son die for us because we are sinful begs the question---Why did He have to die for us? Wasn't there another way?
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  #7  
Old Oct 14, '08, 5:00 am
Journeyman Journeyman is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus have to die?

One more thing, I once went to a lecture by a priest who said that Jesus died on the cross because he was human. He died because all humans die. It was not because of the need to die for our sins.

Now, I knew that was not correct as that is not the teaching of the Church. But several hundred people were in the room listening to what he said and no one knew enough to be able to stand up and say the priest was wrong. Since then, the diocese has prevented the priest from publicly saying Mass,
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  #8  
Old Oct 14, '08, 6:17 am
davidv davidv is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus have to die?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post
No, I am not trying to put anyone on the defensive. It is a real question. If I were to ask many Catholics why did Christ die on the cross, they would say "He died for our sins." But then if I followup with them as to why e had to die for our sins, they would probably not have a clue.

Therefore, I am attempting to get a better understanding as to why Christ HAD to die for us. Is he dying on the cross tied to the covenant in Exodus 24? To say that God saved us by having His son die for us because we are sinful begs the question---Why did He have to die for us? Wasn't there another way?
I believe that the "HAD to" thinking is incorrect. Jesus "chose to".

Another Old Testament concept that must be kept in mind is that of "covenant". In the OT the parties entering into a covenant promised to fulfill their part of the agreement on penalty of death. God entered into a covenant with His chosen people. His people failed to live up to the terms of the covenant. As a consequence, they deserved death. Jesus offered Himself as a ransom of this death.
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  #9  
Old Oct 14, '08, 9:51 am
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Default Re: Why did Jesus have to die?

Why the cross though, how come Jesus didn't pick to be beheaded or drawn and quartered or anything else?
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Old Oct 14, '08, 10:10 am
BlestOne BlestOne is offline
 
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Default Re: Why did Jesus have to die?

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Why the cross though, how come Jesus didn't pick to be beheaded or drawn and quartered or anything else?
Because this was the most despicable way to die according to the Jews...
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  #11  
Old Oct 14, '08, 10:23 am
Jimdandy Jimdandy is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus have to die?

Originally Posted by Fox
Why the cross though, how come Jesus didn't pick to be beheaded or drawn and quartered or anything else?

In order that Scripture would be fulfilled-in other words, because God said it would be.

In addition, God in His wisdom understood the symbol the Coss would be for man-as He wanted it to be.
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Old Oct 15, '08, 12:22 pm
Shana Shana is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus have to die?

This is a topic I continue to explore and suffer through, I understand where you are coming from. I encourage you to read this excerpt from Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis.

http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/mis...ewisatone.html

This will not answer your question completely, but it is the best explanation I have found yet and will hopefully be of some benefit to you!

-Shana
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  #13  
Old Oct 17, '08, 5:50 am
patrick457 patrick457 is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus have to die?

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Originally Posted by Fox View Post
Why the cross though, how come Jesus didn't pick to be beheaded or drawn and quartered or anything else?
Because crucifixion is one of the most brutal methods of death (in both the physical and emotional sense) that man had ever devised. Dying by crucifixion is considered a very shameful way to die that some have said that it was "status degradation ritual" designed to humiliate in every way, including the symbolic pinioning of hands and legs signifying a loss of power, and loss of ability to control the body in various ways, including befouling one's self with excrement. It was an utterly offensive affair; 'obscene' in the original sense of the word. Even trying to describe the whole thing was considered too revolting that the Gospels turn out to be the most detailed description of a crucifixion from ancient times (and even they restrain themselves from describing the details too much).

As for why the cross, Paul (1 Corinthians 1:19-31) wrote that:

Quote:
The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the learning of the learned I will set aside."

Where is the wise one? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made the wisdom of the world foolish? For since in the wisdom of God the world did not come to know God through wisdom, it was the will of God through the foolishness of the proclamation to save those who have faith.

For Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

Consider your own calling, brothers. Not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.

Rather, God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise, and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong, and God chose the lowly and despised of the world, those who count for nothing, to reduce to nothing those who are something, so that no human being might boast before God.

It is due to him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, as well as righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, so that, as it is written, "Whoever boasts, should boast in the Lord."
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  #14  
Old Aug 16, '09, 5:31 pm
Elmer333777 Elmer333777 is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus have to die?

Journeyman,

Please explain to me as simply as possible why Jesus died for mankind on the cross when, being the son of God, he could have done it in any other way without suffering and dying. Please include the biblical references, if any, so i can take note of them and learn more about the Catholic or Christian faith.

I grew up with very little knowledge about faiths and am confused by the differences between among the Catholic faith (which i know was the first Christian faith) and the very many other Christian congregations.

Maybe getting enlightened on this question will be my starting point in shoosing which congregation I will join.

Thank you.
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  #15  
Old Aug 16, '09, 5:34 pm
1catholic 1catholic is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus have to die?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post
Many Catholics have been taught that "Jesus died for our sins" but they do not have any idea why. Why did Jesus die for our sins? Why was His death on the cross necessary to save us?
Hey-

I didn't really get this either until my awesome religion class this year

Anyway, the simplest way to summarize what my teacher said:

God is just. God is loving. God wants us to be with him but in his justice we must suffer the price of sin, death. God loves us and made himself man. As man he could pay the price for our sins, and as God he could be the man that would be able to live up to God's justice. Thus "man" has died for sin and now man can go and be with God

I hope this helps and that i explained it well
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