So I’ve been told that Jesus died so that our sins could be forgiven. Couldn’t the Lord just have forgiven us because “he wanted” to and not have to have a sacrifice? Why does blood have to be shed to “cleanse the way?”
Sorry if this is so blunt, but I’m puzzled by the “standard” answers I get. I mean, I get it, but I don’t get WHY it HAD to be this way. With God, all things are possible right? So why did Jesus have to be murdered to save us?
I’ll keep it simple because there are a million ways to approach this and it’s probably the best question that could ever be asked:
To stand before God with sin would mean that our sin will not allow us into His kingdom. When Jesus took sin and brought it to the grave He left it there and then resurrected, sinless. Now placing our Faith in Him and being Baptized is the acceptance of the gift of sinlessness by adding our sin to the grave where Jesus left it, thus making us blameless on the day of our Lord.
That’s the simplest way that I know how to explain it. The contrary would be God ignoring our sin and allowing our sin to enter His kingdom, which obviously goes against His righteous judgment. No sin can enter the kingdom of a perfect God without blemish.
Covenants only end when one member of the covenant dies. The old covenant between God and man, mediated by Moses at Mt. Sinai, ended when God in the person of Jesus Christ died.
Sacrifice was part of making a covenant. Look in the Old Testament and you will see that every covenant was formalized with sacrifice and a shared meal. A sacrifice had to be made to make the new covenant. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice for a perfect covenant between God and man because Jesus was both God and man. Jesus the Paschal Lamb is also the shared meal.
In the absolute sense it wasn’t necessary that Jesus die for our sins. God could have chosen another way to make his covenant with us, it’s true.
So, why did God do it that way? To prove to us that he loves us that much. It was love that sent Jesus to the cross. The Father’s love for us and Jesus’ love for us and for the Father.
Even a single drop of Jesus’ blood would have fulfilled the letter of the law, but Jesus wished to give us his all. How could God ask us to give him our all if he would not do the same? Love demands giving all, not stinting on the offering of ourselves in love.
When Jesus took our sins, everyone’s that is, upon Himself, He paid the “ransom” and the price of this “ransom” was hell and spiritual death, the netherworld as it is referred to in the bible.
Everyone’s hell is personally constructed by that person, hell is not some kind of monolithic place, state or whatever but is, one way of looking at it, seeing all of one’s wrongdoings and the ramifications associated with these wrongdoings, with the “Eyes of Pure Love”.
Jesus went to everyone’s hell and “won” the “keys” to everyone’s hell and will use these keys in due time, God’s Time.
God knew before the Incarnation, indeed before creation itself, that not everyone would “repent” this side of death so God came up with a Plan, as I said before creation itself with the Incarnation being part of this Plan and this Plan is unfolding before our very eyes and this Plan will come to Fruition.
Our free will may end with our physical death but God’s dealing with us, with what God accomplished in the Incarnation, is not ended with our physical death.
Divine Mercy and Divine Justice are so intertwined as to be One and one of the prayers that we pray at Mass “Lord have Mercy on us all”, we should think about taking to heart.
God spoke of this accomplishment in Genesis when He said, concerning satan, that he would strike at Your Heel while You crush his skull, or words to that effect, in other words all of satan’s power, including being prince of this world, being destroyed.
The Good News is that God’s Victory is absolute and satan’s defeat is absolute.
Why did Jesus Have to die on the cross for our sins. Well – the Roman soldiers Were crucifying Him because according to their law – it was justified. But while On the cross – He gave up His life – He said "it is finished’ – His death was the Final blood sacrifice needed to pay for mankinds sin Forever. The Old Testament required blood sacrifices to be offered yearly by the high priest – whomever that was at the time.
Because God is perfect, sinless, after the fall in the Garden of Edon, Adam and Eve tried to ‘cover’ their nakedness that they discovered as a result of disobeying God’s command to Not eat of the particular fruit. They had believed the lie of satan. So instead of accepting Their attempt at covering their own sin – He provided the skin of an animal. In order to get the skin – an animal had to be killed and the blood shed. to ‘cover their sin’. But That wouldn’t be going on Forever. Because --the blood of bulls and goats were Not able to take care of the sins of the people – It Would take the Perfect Lamb of God / Jesus Christ / To die In Our Place on the cross. It would take a person who was Both man And Deity – to rise again In our place. It required the power of God to raise Jesus Christ from the grave. No further sacrifice was needed. Mankind no longer had to fear death as a consequence of sin. We can look to the empty cross – because Jesus Christ has risen from the dead – His gift to us. Salvation From having to end up in hell.
John 3:16 “For God So Love the world (us) that He Gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Did He Have to die? That was His destiny / His reason for coming into this world. To point us to the Father Through Himself.
On a practical level, I believe our Lord also knew that the Passion would resonate with us mortals for time immemorial. To quote Bishop Sheen: “But if our Lord took the worst the world had to offer, and then by the power of God rose above it; if He, the unarmed, could make war with no other weapon than goodness and pardon, so that the slain had the gain, and they who killed Him lost the day; then who should ever be without hope? Who shall ever despair in any momentary defeat by evil? Who shall fail to trust when he sees walking in the darkness the Risen One with glorious scars on hands and feet and side?”
On its face, mercy and justice are opposing attributes. A merciful person will forgive people of their debts, and a Just person will make people pay their debts. In order for God to be both Infinitely JustandInfinitely Merciful there must be a way by which God can demand payment for the penalty of sin (Justice), and whereby God can also save mankind from having to pay it(Mercy). Since God is infinitely Just and infinitely Merciful, the only answer was to pay the debt of sin himself. In this way, through the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the act of sacrificial Love satisfied the infinite qualities of Divine Justice and dispensed the infinite graces of Divine Mercy.