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  #1  
Old Mar 30, '10, 7:58 pm
slmcnulty slmcnulty is offline
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Default Why did Jesus have to die on the cross?

This is my first ever post and I'm excited to see how many intelligent responses I get! I converted to Catholicism 10 yrs. ago this Easter from atheism. One question I struggled with before becoming a Christian was trying to understand why God willed that His own son must die on a cross so our sins could be forgiven. At the time I think I remember reading St. Francis of Assissi's explanation that the 2 main reasons were: (1) to show us how much He (God) loves us, and (2) to show us how much our sins offend Him. At the time I had never heard the second reason before and it helped me make sense of the crucifixion. God as our Father wanted to show us how much He loves us by being willing to take the punishment we deserve for our sins. I used to wonder why since He is also the judge, He didn't just forgive us w/o going through with the punishment. But that wouldn't have taught us anything. Just like if we don't punish our children for mis-behaving they don't ever learn the right way to act. He doesn't demand punishment because He's a tyrant Father wanting to get "even" (an eye-for-an-eye) for a mis-deed, but He's using punishment as a means to teach us how much our sins offend Him because they ultimately hurts us as well as others. If we know that Jesus has to suffer because of our sins, then this should motivate us (if we love God) to try to avoid sinful behavior. This thought has motivated me in my quest for holiness. I've recently read a lot of the "classic" explanations, but haven't seen it explained this way since then. Thus my question is did St. Francis really did teach something to this effect and is this view consistent with Catholic teaching? I have several atheist friends who I'm in conversation with about the faith and I'm trying to come up with a good explanation for the reason for the crucifixion consistent with the idea of God as a loving Father...

Last edited by slmcnulty; Mar 30, '10 at 8:00 pm. Reason: clarify
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  #2  
Old Mar 30, '10, 8:04 pm
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Ferds Guiang Ferds Guiang is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus have to die on the cross?

I hope reading this section of the Catechism of the Catholic Church will contribute something to understanding why Christ had to die. I know this may not be enough explanation for you but I believe others will add to this. here is the link:

http://www.vatican.va/archive/catechism/p122a4p2.htm#II
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  #3  
Old Mar 30, '10, 10:34 pm
MWL4001 MWL4001 is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus have to die on the cross?

John Paul II - Lord and Giver of Life, answers that beautifully.
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Old Mar 31, '10, 5:20 am
o_mlly o_mlly is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus have to die on the cross?

Quote:
Originally Posted by slmcnulty View Post
... I have several atheist friends who I'm in conversation with about the faith and I'm trying to come up with a good explanation for the reason for the crucifixion consistent with the idea of God as a loving Father...
The energetic words of the Greek text [Denzinger-Bannwart, n. 86 (47)], enanthropesanta, pathonta, point to incarnation and sacrifice as the groundwork of Redemption. Incarnation — that is, the personal union of the human nature with the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity — is the necessary basis of Redemption because this, in order to be efficacious, must include as attributions of the one Redeemer both the humiliation of man, without which there would be no satisfaction, and the dignity of God, without which the satisfaction would not be adequate. "For an adequate satisfaction", says St. Thomas, "it is necessary that the act of him who satisfies should possess an infinite value and proceed from one who is both God and Man" (III:1:2 ad 2um). Sacrifice, which always carries with it the idea of suffering and immolation (see Lagrange, "Religions semitiques", 244), is the complement and full expression of Incarnation. Although one single theandric operation, owing to its infinite worth, would have sufficed for Redemption, yet it pleased the Father to demand and the Redeemer to offer His labours, passion, and death (John 10:17-18). St. Thomas (III:46:6 ad 6um) remarks that Christ wishing to liberate man not only by way of power but also by way of justice, sought both the high degree of power which flows from His Godhead and the maximum of suffering which, according to the human standard, would be considered sufficient satisfaction. It is in this double light of incarnation and sacrifice that we should always view the two concrete factors of Redemption, namely, the satisfaction and the merits of Christ.
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12677d.htm
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  #5  
Old Mar 31, '10, 6:01 am
rotlex rotlex is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus have to die on the cross?

I have been Catholic all my life, but only truly, truly practicing for the past 4-5 years or so. This is still something I struggle with greatly, even after reading much of what has been posted here.

I still don't understand the need for such violence, death, and suffering. I mean, in my simple little mind, why couldn't God simply have his only son come here too teach, then leave, in not such a horrific manner? It makes it harder for me when I actually read the Gospels, and ponder\meditate on the passion. It just seems as if Christ would have spoken up more to Pilate, and others, instead of simply saying, you say that I am, etc., he could have avoided the crucifixion. Please, don't get me wrong, I am not attempting to sound blasphemous here, it's just that I truly do not understand why the need for it.

So yeah, your not the only one, I'm sure there are many, who struggle with this. In some ways, it seems as though it is done simply for the dramatics of it, as obviously, God could have chosen to save us in any way he wanted.
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Old Mar 31, '10, 8:51 am
jilly4ski jilly4ski is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus have to die on the cross?

Rolex, I struggled with this a lot when I was a teenager. I didn't understand why death of Jesus would save us. What helped me was reading up on the meaning of sacrifice in the Jewish tradition (especially that of the old testament). This really cleared up a lot for me and why Jesus had to die.
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  #7  
Old Mar 31, '10, 7:46 pm
MACHIU MACHIU is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus have to die on the cross?

Since our religion is a Judeo-Christian religion, we have the root of Jewish belief system. Jilly4ski is correct that to understand why Jesus had to be suffer and die, we first have to understand what is the significance of sacrifice in the Old Testament.

Forgiveness of sins requires blood, but instead of re-offering animal sacrifice over and over again, God gave us Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God, the ultimate sacrifice once and for all so no more animal sacrifice is needed for forgiveness of sins.

The following are a few verses to guide:

Lev 1-10 (yes, that's the first 10 chapters of Leviticus). Skim through it and see how the sacrifice is done. Basically you offer an animal for your sin. The high priest kill the animal for its blood then, have it offered to God. The high priest also 'soaks' himself in the animal blood.

Lev 17:11 Since the life of a living body is in its blood, I have made you put it on the altar, so that atonement may thereby be made for your own lives, because it is the blood, as the seat of life, that makes atonement.

So the blood of the animal was a symbolic act which substituted the victim's life for the life of the offerer, who thus acknowledged that he deserved God's punishments for his sins.

Hebrew 9 (yes the whole chapter). First half is to explain atonement of sins in the Old Testament, second half to explain the effect of Jesus sacrifice in contrast of the first half.

If someone sins, (s)he has to pay. But Jesus paid it for us millions time over, not by puncturing his finger and gave us a drop of blood, but by becoming the slaughtered sacrifice, spilling most (if not all) of His Blood for us.




Now, why the crucifixion? To break all the curses (of the Law, of the original sin, of the devil, etc) by becoming the curse Himself. Crucifixion is like death penalty nowadays that is reserved only for the worst of the worst. Evenmore, Jewish tradition even says if a man guilty of a capital offense is put to death and his corpse hung on a tree, it shall not remain on the tree overnight, otherwise, God's curse rests on him. (Deu 21:22-23)

Since we know Jesus is not cursed, then He broke the curse of the Law. Since Jesus has not sinned He broke the curse of the devil.

Hope this helps, God Bless
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Old Apr 1, '10, 12:52 am
jdnation jdnation is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus have to die on the cross?

The existence of death & suffering – The Original Sin.

If someone asked you why God created so much suffering and disasters in the world, how will you explain? What is ‘sin’ and where does it come from? The Book of Genesis gives us the answer! Genesis was written by Moses who wrote the books of the Pentateuch. Jesus Himself authenticated this fact when He said, “If you had really believed Moses, you would have believed me, because he wrote about me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how can you believe what I say?” (John 5:46-47).

Many today do not believe what Moses wrote in Genesis. Many do not even believe that Moses wrote the Pentateuch. So Christ’s words compel us that we must accept the teachings of Scripture if we want to understand who He is and why the world is the way it is. The Catholic Church teaches us that God is not the author of death; death and all the world’s sorrows infiltrated our world because of original sin. The apostle Paul tells us, “Therefore, just as through one mansin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned“ (Rom 5:12). “Creation was condemned, not of its own will, but because God willed it to be so. Yet there was the hope that creation itself will one day be set free from its slavery to decay and would share the glorious freedom of the children of God. For we know that up to the present time all of creation groans with pain” (Rom 8:20-22).

Many today, due to the mistaken idea that naturalistic beliefs such as macro-Evolution and the great age of the Earth and the universe have been proven by science, are attempting to re-interpret the Old Testament in order to accommodate the secular world. They say that Genesis is only symbolic and not real history. But the Catholic Church affirms that while the Book of Genesis does feature figurative language it “affirms a primeval event, a deed that took place at the beginning of the history of man… the original fault freely committed by our first parents” (CCC 390). Adam and Eve are the parents of all mankind and original sin is inherited by all men because they are genetic descendents of Adam and Eve. To believe that other groups of people existed with Adam and Eve or were not born from them is called ‘polygenism’ which is explicitly condemned (Humani Generis 37). While Catholics are allowed to study evolution under certain restrictions of faith, the Church has never made any formal declarations that macro-evolution is true, nor has it ever explicitly stated anything against the scientific accuracy of Genesis.

To accept secular beliefs about origins means that for millions of years before man or sin existed, there was death and all kinds of misery taking place in a brutal world where only the fittest survived. This means that God Himself had created a world full of violence, suffering and death, therefore sin is not responsible and this undermines God’s character, and the very reason that Christ came to die for us. Not only can accurate textual criticisms show that Genesis is intentionally real history, but any real scientific evidence in favor of macro-evolution or the great age of the Earth is non-existent, inconclusive or based on biased interpretations that favor an atheistic worldview. Science can be used to prove that the account of Genesis is perfectly compatible with all that we observe, and many faithful scientists and apologists have argued in favor of this while demonstrating how naturalistic beliefs defy known laws of science making macro-evolution impossible.

God inspired Moses to write the truth about how the world was created because God Himself was there and He did it! God says He did it in 6 days. Moses stresses this by including the Hebrew word for day followed by the text “evening passed and morning came” every time the day ended to emphasize that these were regular 24-hour days. God Himself repeats this clearly in Exodus 20:11 and again in Exodus 30:17. After God created everything, including the first man and woman, God declared that everything was “good.” The universe God created was a perfect paradise where there was no tragedy or suffering or death or sorrow. God gave Adam and Eve free will. In order for them to truly choose to love God, God equally allowed them to reject Him. So God planted two trees; the Tree of Life whose fruit would let man live forever, and the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil whose fruit would allow man to die. God says to Adam, “in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die” (Gen 2:17). The more literal translation of the Hebrew is, “dying you shall die” with the word ‘die’ occurring twice as “die die” to emphasize a slow death over a passage of time.


contd>
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Old Apr 1, '10, 12:54 am
jdnation jdnation is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus have to die on the cross?

contd>

One day a serpent came to Eve and questioned her. Eve knew that the Tree’s fruit was not to eaten, or else she would die. The serpent stirred up doubt in Eve by asking if God had really given such an instruction. Then it lied to her that she would not die, but would be like God, knowing right and wrong. What the serpent did was to get Eve to doubt the clear Word of God that she had heard. After that doubt was created, the serpent presented Eve with a false alternative! When we doubt God’s revelation, we become susceptible to falsehoods. Under this dilemma, Eve looked at the tree, and it appeared beautiful, and its fruit appeared good to eat, so she thought it was goodl! Eve, a human being, is now deciding for herself what is good and bad. She is being possessed by an impression of right and wrong based first on her human senses of worldly things followed by human opinion! She took the fruit and ate it, and gave it to Adam, and he knowingly also ate it. This was the sin our parents committed. Because they doubted God and set themselves as an authority of what is right and wrong they were led astray. They cut themselves off from God’s grace. As punishment, God cursed the whole of the perfect creation. Adam and Eve lost their immortality and began to die. The universe itself began to decay, and all manner of evils inflicted the land and all life. The ground grew thorns and thistles that would hurt them. They would labor for their food and Eve would labor in childbirth. The tree of Life was taken away from them. Their children, all the way down to our generation would have to survive in this cursed imperfect world that we observe today. We too are tempted by worldly things to sin in all manner of ways. Our society doubts God’s Word and is deciding what is right and wrong based on its immediate senses and emotions. But God never intended to leave us in this state. Since the beginning God had already made a plan to save us! This was accomplished by His only Son on Easter Sunday!

- Jonathan D’Souza
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Old Apr 1, '10, 12:55 am
jdnation jdnation is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus have to die on the cross?

God’s plan to free us from death and suffering – Christ’s Passion
Mankind sinned in the beginning becoming imperfect. Generations later mankind continues to sin. God, as a perfect being whose judgment demanded that the corrupted creation be destroyed, instead wanted to have mercy and save mankind. He foresaw what would take place when He created Adam and Eve. Instead of letting them die immediately, He allowed death and the decay of the universe to be slow to allow them time to reconsider their mistake and turn back to God. God to this day still allows all of us to live so we have time to reconcile ourselves to Him. But how do we do this?

After Adam and Eve sinned, God killed an animal and clothed them with it to cover their sin for the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness (Heb 9:22). Instead of God shedding man’s blood by ending his life as God’s perfect justice commands, God redirected his anger and justice upon an innocent animal. But to truly redeem the world, especially for the countless sinful generations ahead, an eternal and pure sacrifice was necessary. A standard that only God Himself can supply! So, Christ, God’s son as the second being of the Holy Trinity, became a man and came down to be that sacrifice.

A new creation had begun! First God immaculately conceived the Virgin Mary, who is symbolic of the new Eve. But unlike Eve who gave in to temptation from the serpent, who was Satan, a fallen angel that convinced her to turn away from God’s will to follow her own; Mary received a message from the angel Gabriel, and Mary embraced God’s will and put her entire life in His hands! Everything was beginning to reverse itself! Woman was originally created from man, but the new Adam, which is Christ, came from a woman who was conceived to be the new Eve!

Being man and being eternal, Christ came to free us from our sins, and death, and eternal separation from God! His scourging, pain, agony, death, and the experience on the cross is symbolic of the intrusion of death, pain and suffering that befell the world after Adam and Eve disobeyed God. The shedding of Christ’s blood is that of the animal that was slain to cover their sins and nakedness. The crown of thorns around His head is a reminder of the thorns and thistles that grew when God cursed the creation. Christ’s death was spiritual and physical because Adam and Eve didn’t just die spiritually, they also began to physically die, and the universe itself also began to decay!

Someday, the entire creation will be restored and better than it originally was! The Book of Revelation tells us that a new Heaven and a new Earth shall be created. There will be no more death or sadness again. The Gospel has plenty of parallels and types and symbolic ties to the Book of Genesis and the Old Testament. Christ encouraged the apostles to prove His divinity as the Messiah by using the Scriptures! God has written and foreshadowed Christ’s coming and glory into the very real history of the world and His chosen people since time began!

This is the redeeming work that we celebrate on Easter Sunday! Its significance cannot be overstated! Thanks to Jesus, we can be free from sin and death and attain everlasting life! We can be reunited with God our Father who created us to share in His Eternal Kingdom! But we do not have to wait long for this Kingdom! This kingdom is the Catholic Church that Christ established to be His bride! God put Adam into a deep sleep, and opening his side He took Adam’s rib and created Eve to be his wife! After Christ fell asleep in death on the cross, a Roman soldier pierced Christ’s side and opened a wound from which blood and water gushed forth! Some say that this soldier was converted. This is the Church being born from Christ’s side, so that they can be joined together as one, just as a man is to his wife!

Revelation also tells us that the tree of life will grow again and will bear its fruits for all to eat. But there is no need to wait for that day. This is because the cross of Christ itself is the tree. And hanging from it is Christ Himself whose body is the fruit of the tree of life! And we eat of it when we receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist that lets us live forever!

- Jonathan D’Souza
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  #11  
Old Apr 1, '10, 1:27 am
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DavidFilmer DavidFilmer is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus have to die on the cross?

Quote:
Originally Posted by slmcnulty View Post
Why did Jesus have to die on the cross?
It's really very simple, elegant, and logical.

The "Cross" was not specifically necessary, but it needed to be some really nasty death. Fortunately for God's plan, the Romans were especially skilled at killing people in nasty ways.

You see, God had a problem. Humans (as a species) were disobedient. We needed to learn to be obedient, which is a virtue and thus must come from God (who is the source of all virtue).

But God had another problem: obedience was not part of his nature. By his very nature, God cannot be obedient (who would he obey?) How can God help us to become obedient, when obedience is not part of his nature? As an imperfect metaphor, I cannot help anyone learn to speak Russian, because I know nothing of the Russian language.

Somehow, obedience had to become part of the Divine Nature in order for God to enable us with this virtue. How does the Father resolve this problem? Enter Jesus:

Quote:
though he was in the form of God, he did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross (Phil 2:6-8)
This is why it had to be an especially nasty death - something that requires an exceptional degree of obedience. See also the Gospel accounts of Jesus praying in the Garden, where he asserts his own desires, but submits to the Will of the Father.

Fathers have sacrificed their sons in the course of a just cause for the history of the human race (it's usually called "warfare" - but in this case, it's called "mercy").
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Old Apr 1, '10, 6:33 am
JohnCS JohnCS is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus have to die on the cross?

I wrote this little reflection down about a year ago. I let my parish priest see it to be sure that I wasn't blasphemeing =) He said that he didn't see anything blatantly wrong with it so I guess I can pass it on. Please feel free to critique.

Embrace the whole Truth

Cross or Crucifix… Do you wear one? Display either in your house? If so which one and why? A cross is much easier to gaze at. It is certainly beautiful in its simplicity, while also reminding us that Jesus our Lord has conquered death by rising from the dead. On the other hand, the crucifix is hard for us to stomach. Seeing a mangled, lifeless corpse nailed to that beautifully simplistic cross every time we turn around is a tough thing to do, thus, leading most of us to choose the cross over the crucifix. With a closer look we may be able to see the hidden beauty of the crucifix. Not the beauty of the resurrection but rather a reminder of what He endured FOR US before the resurrection and possibly why.

For days He was beaten, spit on and humiliated. When worldly judgment was finally passed He was caned and scourged. By the time the scourging was complete Jesus probably resembled a 180 pound package of 90% lean hamburger with eyes. He then had a crown of thorns pressed onto His head. It wasn’t placed there gently; the thorns were pressed down and struck with sticks until it pierced His scalp. He then carried His tree sized cross for a few miles while being whipped and kicked the whole way. Spat on and jeered by the people He was there to teach. When He got to the place of crucifixion He was NAILED to the cross, through the hands and feet or wrists and ankles depending on who you are talking to. Most likely His shoulder and elbow joints were dislocated while this was being done. He then hung in the hot sun for a few hours before finally breathing His last breath. Can any of us imagine a worse, more painful death? If so let me know because your imagination is much worse than mine. So as gruesome as the crucifix is to some, it still is only a pale representation of what Christ crucified really looked like.

To take that earlier mentioned closer look, let us remember some of what we are taught. Sacred scripture tells us that Jesus was both God and man. That by itself provokes some serious thought. Because he was one with God, Jesus the man, knew what was coming to him. He knew what He was about to suffer, and even asked God the father to let the burden pass from Him. He was terrified but said “your will be done” and marched onto His fate, accepting God the father’s will. Why? Well, again we are taught that he died for our sins so that we may go to heaven. Ok, He died for us. To die ones life must expire. I don’t think dying necessarily needed to include days of pain, suffering and humiliation. If He was going to die for us why not be pushed off a cliff, get beheaded, stabbed with a spear? For that matter, who set the prescripts of what HAD to happen in order to save us? Probably the only being that could: God. Again, I ask why? Why go through that? Why set your own price so high? Being God, couldn’t He just as easily have said: “To give my people a chance to enter heaven I will send my only Son to earth where he will (drum roll!) DANCE THE BIRDIE DANCE for the forgiveness of sins.” and BOOM Jesus is born and raised, then He dances the Birdie Dance and we are all saved? No, He had His son die the most horrific humiliating death ever. Why?


I don’t know, and until we are face to face with Him we never will. I do know that I see His crucifixion as an example. The bar has been set. Imagine this: We live our lives, we die and our souls go to the pearly gates to be judged. There sits Jesus, not shining white in glorious magnificence, but rather beaten, bloody, dirty, a tattered, mangled form of a man, as he was in death. Are we going to be able to look him in His swollen bloodshot eyes and say: “I couldn’t make it to church because I worked too late on Saturday night, I was too tired?” Or, “Surely you understand times change and it’s much harder now in this society to treat people with respect, abstain from sex outside of marriage, not lie, help those in need,” or what ever else we find to hard about what God asks of us. I can see Him now, raising what’s left of an eyebrow and saying...”Really, to hard?”

In that thought hides the beauty of the crucifix. A daily reminder to us that God isn’t asking the impossible of us. He has been there before, He has been through it and worse, much worse! And with prayer and God the father’s help He persevered. Jesus was God, but He was also a man. He had the same fears, temptations, wants and needs as the rest of us. He didn’t cave in for society or temptation but instead lead the most perfect life giving us all something to strive for. He ended that life in such a way that we will never be able to tell Him that our life was to hard, that He doesn’t understand what it was like. We should look at the crucifix daily. We should also look to it when we are in one of those moments of crucial decision where the choice we make affects our soul more than anything else. We should look to remind ourselves of what he endured for us and maybe that little reminder will help us to make the right decision. It may give us the strength to pull ourselves out of bed Sunday morning, give us the patience not to slam on the horn and give the other driver the finger, or what ever else we may need help with. So rather than trying to explain away or self justify our sins, as I have tried so often. We can recognize them for the sins they are, and before committing them, remember that it is not to ourselves that we must ultimately justify our actions.

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Old Apr 1, '10, 6:34 am
JohnCS JohnCS is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus have to die on the cross?

Continued from last-

To say that Jesus our Lord “died” for our sins is the biggest understatement of the last 2000 years, and to ignore or shy away from that whole truth is a waste of His awesome example. Cross or Crucifix? It doesn’t really matter which we wear or display as long as we embrace the whole Truth of our lords sacrifice, and use that to become better, more holy people that God not only loves, but also people that He is proud to call His own.


Anyways, that was a little reflection I had on the topic.

God bless,

John
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Old Apr 1, '10, 7:24 am
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Default Re: Why did Jesus have to die on the cross?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MACHIU View Post
Since our religion is a Judeo-Christian religion, we have the root of Jewish belief system. Jilly4ski is correct that to understand why Jesus had to be suffer and die, we first have to understand what is the significance of sacrifice in the Old Testament.

Forgiveness of sins requires blood, but instead of re-offering animal sacrifice over and over again, God gave us Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God, the ultimate sacrifice once and for all so no more animal sacrifice is needed for forgiveness of sins.
I have a hard time accepting this doctrine of vicarious atonement. How does killing a lamb make up for my personal failings? If you transgressed against a friend, do you think killing an animal would be received by him as an acceptable apology?

This all seems like a bronze age concept of causality. It's similar to all such "magical" thinking, i.e. Aztecs murdering humans to ensure that the sun rises. It sounds rather odious to me, placating gods with human/animal sacrifice.
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Old Apr 1, '10, 8:27 am
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Default Re: Why did Jesus have to die on the cross?

It's simple. God has a Law. It is an unchangeable and unending Law. The proof that it is unending and unchangeable because He didn't change or end it even if it cost His Son's own life. Now let's begin:

It is written:
In fact, the Law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
Hebrews 9:22
So this Law of God requires the blood (i.e.: death) of the one who transgressed this Law of God. It is written: ...for sin is the transgression of the Law (John 3:4), so transgression of the Law is sin. Therefore the Law requires the death (it is written: for the life of a creature is in the blood... (Leviticus 17:11) and the Law demands the blood of the transgressor of the Law, therefore the Law requires the life (i.e.: blood) of the transgressor) of the sinner (the one who sins; in other words, transgresses the Law of God), because it is written: ...for the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Sin, as I said, is the transgression of the Law, and the one who transgresses the Law dies (because the wages of transgressing the Law is death), in other words looses his life; life is in the blood, therefore the sinner looses his blood, or life.

Now we have a problem: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). This is a very big problem. All have sinned, therefore all have transgressed the Law of God; since all sinners die, all sinners loose their lives; and since life is in the blood, all sinners 'lose their blood'. The Law requires the blood of the sinner. All born of man has sinned, and the sinner dies. The Law is against us on this one.

Here is where Jesus comes in. He, that is sinless (who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth (1 Peter 2:22)), can die for another one's sins. Only He could do this because only He is sinless. Why does He have to be sinless? Because if He would have had sin, then He would have died for His sins, and not for ours. But since He is sinless, He can die for our sins, and not His. Do you understand? If He would have had sin, then He couldn't have died for us, because He would have died for Him. But because He is sinless, He could die for us.

So He came, showed us the Truth and gave His blood (i.e.: life) in our stead. He fulfilled the requirements of the Law of God, since He 'satisfied' it's 'demands' for the blood (i.e.: life) of the transgressor of the Law (sinner) by giving His blood (i.e.: life) in our name or place.

Now, when we sin, if we ask for forgiveness, its not actually forgiveness. In reality we ask Him to die for our sins. And this way, His blood is offered instead of ours. It's like He is paying the price of blood in our stead with His blood. This way, we made peace with God and His Law, and we can enjoy the grace of God, like if we were sinless, because Jesus erased all sin from us by paying our price for sin, that is: blood.

Did this make you understand Jesus' sacrifice a little better and why was it needed?

edit: it is important to understand this; because He who understand Jesus blood and body (i.e.: His sacrifice) will have eternal life
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