What I mean by this is: could God have saved us through some other means (besides Jesus’ death), or would it have been impossible for Him to do it any other way?
I’ll just leave this here and leave it for people wiser than me to go into more detail:
And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.”
Seems to me as if we have an effective answer as to what was possible. Given that we know how this story ends.
But I imagine you’re seeking a specific apologetic answer for ‘why’ some other means couldn’t/didn’t happen. So I’ll leave this thread mainly for those people who might be able to go into the type of depth you’re looking for.
Nothing is “impossible” for God. He could have saved us all through any means he wished.
However, God chose to save us through his Son’s death. That was God’s plan.
I believe that each of us needed know that God was willing to accept such a terrible suffering for us, in order to really trust God. Every man needed that proof of love, and God, who knew this, has accepted to give him what man consciously or unconsciously asked to Him. Jesus had to suffer and die that way to convince us about God’s goodness and God’s love towards us. It is man’s obstinate distrust against God that has forced God to give man that proof of love, the proof he needed to trust God. By His death on the cross, Christ destroys our distrust and our doubts, and He gives us the strength to believe in Him and trust Him. This means that each of us is personally responsible of Jesus ’ sufferings and death.
Man cannot really accept to be sanctified by God and he cannot be in comunion with God as long as even a shadow of doubt and distrust remains in his heart ( it must be stressed that such a distrust may exist even without the man is aware of it, at the unconscious level). God had to destroy every shadow of doubt and distrust in our heart and He has chosen to give us the greatest proof of love that may exist: Christ’s Passion. Christ’s Passion has reconciled us to God because it has uprooted from our heart, our distrust and doubts about God; it has satisfied our (conscious or unconscious) desire and need of a proof of love, so that it has given us the strength to trust God and feel loved by Him.
Thank you-that article was good. It made me think that Jesus endured the worst that human sin/evil would muster against God in man’s hatred and jealousy of Him, and by enduring it He proved the desire and power of sheer love to triumph over sin. The resurrection was the final capstone. Love doesn’t die.
We could have simply embraced the kingdom of God.
Because we wandered into the foreign land, God “comes looking for us” and enters into our condition. God embraces the full human condition to such a complete degree that he takes on human nature.
Love goes all the way without limit, if that answers your question.
I think often of Leah Darrow’s story and her father’s reply to her predicament that went something like this: “Where are you, I am coming to get you.” I think her parents lived in Texas and she was in New York. And they came and plucked her out. They didn’t do it by sending a bus ticket or by admonishing her to straighten up and find her way home, they went to where she was, all the way.
How much more does Christ come to meet us, all the way to the bottom of the pit.
Asking why didn’t God do it some other way doesn’t make sense to me. This is what love does and that’s what God did for us. Grace is not cheap. It doesn’t come with a wave of the divine hand. Grace comes with a great cost, and it is we who have set the price of it and God who has paid it by Christ’s blood.
And he said to them, “O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?”
Luke 24:25-26 RSV-CI
I also think of our local basilica. There is a pieta there, Mary holding the body of Jesus. The Sorrowful Mother. The saying under it is “All ye who pass by the way, look and see, that there be no sorrow like unto my sorrow”
What is this sorrow? Christ is risen. To me it is the sorrow over those who do not accept the gift. The suffering of Christ has meaning. And we cooperate with and help “fill up” that meaning by accepting redemption and converting. And that must bring joy to his mother’s heart that his suffering brings life to us.
That’s great. “This is what love does”, countering what sin and pride and hate does. God’s coming here in human flesh really stirred up some passions in man at the end of the day. Their actions against the most Perfect and Innocent demonstrated just how opposed to love and light man can be in his rebellion against God and desire for the autonomy that Adam made his bid for. It proved just how depraved and ugly sin really is.
Since Eden God allowed man to go his own way, and experience the consequences, and much later, on Calvary, He still wouldn’t force man to go His way, but appealed to man’s will instead, finally with an act of radical love and humility, of all things. A real Hero, and quite contrary to our worldly superheroes.
After all of His patient work with man down through the centuries through a chosen people, teaching His will and way as those people continuously failed at obedience, He was setting the stage to prove that man needs Him first of all, man needs to know Him, personally, directly: man needs communion with God, critically so in order to have life and life abundantly, life truly worth the living of it.
“Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.“ John 17:3
So in the person of Jesus He finally shows us what He’s all about when the time was ripe, beginning with every word and deed of Jesus but then culminating in an act of love so wide and vast and deep that we shouldn’t be able to turn our gaze away from it for long, from the cross. That was God suffering in human flesh, turning the other cheek and forgiving all the way through it; that’s what God would do-the extent He’d go to in order to prove a love that He wants us to also come to exalt and embrace now, having finally become jaded by the sin that would crucify that love. As St Teresa of Avila put it,
“Its love alone that gives worth to all things”.
At the end of the day only love makes life worth living, eternally.
And we’re here to learn that lesson from a very patient and kind Tutor who won’t force His creation to do the right thing but seeks to draw us to the perfection He has in mind for us. The will of man is intrinsically bound up in his own perfecting. So much for Calvinism, incidentally-the cross, itself, gives glaring testimony against strict predeterminism. Humble love, as our option to accept it, is Who saves us.
Absolutely, no, since God is omnipotent. But it was, in the sense that He always does what is wholly fitting. The Cur Deus Homo by St. Anselm is all about this.
It was certainly not necessary, in the sense that Jesus was sinless so he didn’t have to experience death. However, it was done as an act of love for us, because God’s mercy exceeds His justice.
The answer is no… God could have done it anyway he wanted … it is what it is though
When man sinned against GOD, he created a situation for himself that could not be corrected by man.
When the affront is to an infinite being we cannot possibly have the means to offer the remedy.
Which meant that left to our own devices man would never be able to be reconciled with GOD.
GOD then because HE loves us so much, stepped Himself in our place to pay the price and reconcile us to HIM.
Christ handed himself over to the free will of man. My thought is he redeemed us by entering into our existence and taking whatever we did to him until he died. We killed him. In that sense he had to die via crucifixion. But regardless of how he died I think he would have lived out a whole life - conception, birth, growth, death. And then resurrection. To save us by living as the New Adam and rising as only God can.
Was Jesus’ death necessary for our salvation?
YES! Resurrection won’t be possible [but nothing is impossible with God] without Christ’s death and Resurrection is the most significant in the history of salvation because it proves Jesus’ triumph over sin and death!
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