How did Jesus save us?


I feel like this is a ridiculous question especially coming from one who has always been a Catholic since infancy and goes to Mass every single week, and believe me I am embarrassed to be even asking it, but this has always been on my mind and I just really need to ask, so here goes:

How did Jesus’ death on the cross save all of humanity? I mean, what would have happened to us if he hadn’t been persecuted and killed? How did his death free us from our sins?

I have never really fully understood this most basic of Christian concepts. My apologies ahead of time for being a Catholic and not knowing this. I will feel humiliated in front of my 8th grade CCD class if any of the kids ever asks me this :blush:

Thanks :slight_smile:


There is a principle at work that is present in the work of salvation by God. It is that there is no forgiveness of sin without the shedding of blood. The first time we see this principle at work is after Adam and Eve sinned, they covered themselves with leaves and later God covered them with animal skins. Here we see an example of the slaying of life and the shedding of blood in order to cover mans shame. Later we see the role of sacrifice in the story of Cain and Abel. Abel’s was the fitting sacrifice because it came through the shedding of blood. Cain’s did not and so was not satisfactory to God. Throughout the Old Testament we see again and again the role of blood sacrifice (such as that of a lamb etc.) as atonement for sin and as a sign of covenant between God and Man. This means of atonement and covenant between God and man was fulfilled and perfected in the sacrifice of Christ on the cross and is entered into at every sacrifice of the mass.

Through sin man incurs an infinite dept because he has committed an offence against an infinite being, God. Man being finite cannot pay the infinite dept that he owes in order to have his sins remitted. Therefore an infinite being, God, had to become a man to pay a dept God did not owe but that man could not pay. Through the mystery of incarnation Christ became man for this purpose in order for man to be redeemed and be able to enter into eternal life with God. That’s why we call Jesus the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.


A beautiful first post…Welcome refugio


The vastly intelligent tetra-powerful, superpower we call God…and dare to call ‘Father’, as victim should humble to pay the supreme price for the faults of a microscopic part of creation is beyond me.

Th crucifixition blows my mind


The vastly intelligent tetra-powerful, superpower we call God…and dare to call ‘Father’, as victim should humble to pay the supreme price for the faults of a microscopic part of creation is beyond me.

The crucifixition blows my mind


How did Jesus’ death on the cross save all of humanity? I mean, what would have happened to us if he hadn’t been persecuted and killed? How did his death free us from our sins?

I had always been confused about that too, until I saw a movie one time about Abraham.

In the movie, little Isaac is about to make his first sacrifice from among his little flock of lambs and kids. He asks Abraham, “Which one should I pick to sacrifice?” Abraham answers him, “The one that you love best.”

Because our sacrifices were never enough to cover our sins, God Himself became both the High Priest and victim of Sacrifice for sins. By offering up Himself, God gave the infinite and ultimate Sacrifice for sins. Of course, in order to do so, He needed to become flesh and blood - a man.

The rest, you already know. :slight_smile:


To be honest, I never really fully understood it either,


There is another point of view we can look at to answer the question: “How did Jesus save us?” Consider Jesus from the standpoint of example. Jesus is the ultimate example to us of a person who had faith in God and followed God’s commandments to the point that he willingly suffered death on the cross. What was the result? Resurrection and eternal life. Jesus’ example really does save us in that we can be assured that if we follow it we too can hope for eternal life in the presence of God.

And this does not mean that the Incarnation isn’t vitally important. On the contrary, that God and Jesus are one let’s us know that God was really also part of this example (life, death and resurrection of Jesus) for our sake. Nor does this mean that the explanations already given in this thread are not perfectly legitimate. Like most things divine, there is more than one message given on how Jesus Christ has saved us.


Well done, refugio.


Before God’s covenant with Noah, humans were vegetarians. So the animal Abel sacrificied was not being bred for food. Hence there were likely no attachment barriers put in place between the herdsman and the herd.

Likely the ‘first and best’ was also the ‘cutest and most lovable’ in the eyes of the herdsman. And this animal is the one Abel chose to KILL. Hence Abel’s sacrifice of the animal was prefered by God over Cain’s sacrifice of grain. Because it was a sacrifice of the heart.

Part of all this prefiguration throughout the Bible is about the meaning of death. Remember when Adam and Eve inherited death, they and their children had no idea what that meant.


Dear Ellej,

Look at this way: I read a story of a young high school man who raped a girl simply because he was looking for some pleasure.

In effect, it is not simply that this young man caused the girl physical pain. For if that was all, why then have eternal physical pain?

But there is something deeper. God has created every human creature for the purpose of giving His Total Self, which is Inifinite, All-penetrating Love and Truth, to the creature, and, by the power of His created grace, to receive the supernatural love of the creature back, and for an endless duration.

It is for this reason that every human creature is priceless, immeasurable.

hence, when some other creature treats another human creature as though it is but an object to used for mere superfiical gain, and then discarded, one is insulting the worth of the creature in an INFINITE manner, for the sinning creature is consdering the worth of the human to be merely finite when it is in fact immeasurable.

hence, with an immeasurable insult, the debt is immeasurable.

Therefore, no human creature can atone for a mortal sin, seeing as the punishment for such a crime must be the counterpart, which is then unending emotional and physical torment, seeing as the victim is called to unending bliss and joy.

So only God can repay the debt by joining His Divine Essence with a created body and soul and suffering physically, emtionally, and spiritually. And because it is actually the Infinite God who does this, it has immeasurable worth.

For more info, I have an article called:

Darth Vader, Lust, and Hell

Blessings to you, Ellej! :slight_smile:


I thought that Jesus’s obedience even unto death was the cause of our salvation. I had a good and holy priest tell us once that God did not will that His Son would die, just that the Son would be obedient.


Let’s not forget what our Lord told his disciples on the road to Emmaus.

Luke Chapter 24

26 Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and enter into his glory?"

44 He said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.”

45 Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures.

46 And he said to them, "Thus it is written that the Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day


And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
John 3:14-15

That’s it.


Yes. And how about this from the Luke Chapter 22.

Then he took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me."
And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you.


Thank you, everyone, for all your replies. It’s really helped me to begin my understanding. It seems I have a LOT to learn. You would never know I was baptized Catholic as an infant with how little I really know :frowning:


I think Jesus saved us from sin by destroying the gap it formed between God and man. By willingly suffering the ultimate pain, Jesus took away our ultimate pain of never being with God. Well…then you get into the discussion of “did Jesus have to suffer so?” My response to that is that God wanted to show us just how much H loved us. He could’ve just snapped His fingers and forgiven us, but he went to the length of suffering the most terrible pain achieveable in public at the time. How Great is our God and His Love!


God does not change. He is indeed Merciful. But He is also Just. His Justice requires that a sacrifice be made for the sins of men, not just to cover the sins as was the previous practice, but to erase them and redeem humanity from the wages of sin which were death. Humanity could not do this. A Divine source of Redemption was necessary. Hence Jesus.


I hear you loud and clear on this one!! Dont worry, your not alone. My knowledge of the catholic religion is not the best, but im constantly learning now and loving it!
In time, we will know everything there is to know.
God bless you on your journey
[SIGN]Catholic in learning[/SIGN]


Of course God doesn’t change, did I say that?

Well, the point is that God could’ve abolished previous standards and simply snapped His fingers to redeem us. Nothing was necessary except the smallest action of God…He loved us so much that he went to the length of suffering the worst pain possible just to show us how much he loved us. Technically, if we’re going by previous standards, Jesus could’ve just been cut enough to have a bloody sacrifice and then could’ve just been quickly killed. I’m just trying to get across that Jesus didn’t have to do it, especially since it was so painful, but He did it anyway because He loves us so much.

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