Why did Jesus die on the cross?

I was looking at the first page of this site,under Fundamentalismand I read this.

In reaction to the Social Gospel advocates, who said Christ gave nothing more than a good moral example, the early Fundamentalists insisted on their third doctrine, namely, that he died a substitutionary death. He not only took on our sins, he received the penalty that would have been ours. He was actually punished by the Father in our stead.

This is not true.What did Christ’s suffering and death actually accomplish that allowed the Father to provide the human race with salvation? Did Christ take within himself the sin and guilt of mankind and suffer the specific punishment for that sin and guilt, as Protestants contend? The answer is no…Christ did not take upon himself the entire punishment required of man for sin. Rather, Scripture teaches only that Christ became a ‘propitiation,’ a ‘sin offering,’ or a ‘sacrifice’ for sins…Essentially, this means that Christ, because he was guiltless, sin-free and in favor with God, could offer himself up as a means of persuading God to relent of his angry wrath against the sins of mankind.

whats the difference? I at least am not getting you. There is a arguement in atheist circles that Christs death isnt very special in that He knew He was going to die, so it was no big deal, being God and all. So if He was just a offering like a symbol with no ramifications what did it matter to Him to be killed?

But if He had to take on the sins of the world then thats suffering and a different thing altogether.


Are both of these paragraphs from the Fundamentalism page? Or is the last one your comments?

last one my comment. 1st 1 fome this site.

Ok… was just wondering.

I’m not going to pretend to know more more then the EArly Church Fathers and theologians who spent the last 2000’s contemplating this topic.

;):wink: That’s a really old Theologian who has been contemplating for 2000 years. :smiley:

I used the plural of the word.

That is what the Catholics believe, we Muslims don’t believe that JesusYeshuaIssa ever died a cursed death on Cross, he was saved and died a natural, peaceful and respectful death afterwards.
Catholics, must differ with me unless they are convinced at heart, no compulsion.

Hi well I guess my classification is protestant, Baptist if thats easier for you to think of.

I would never say that Christs death on the cross was disrespectful. Certainly not natural or peaceful, I will give you that, but because of His death on the cross and His sacrifice made for myself who is unworthy, but His willingness and determination to allow this to happen to Him, even though He did nothing, I did, He deserves my utmost respect.

I think the Baptists should not believe that JesusYeshuaIssa was put on the Cross willingly, he prayed to GodAllahYHWH even on the Cross that he should be saved from the Cup and his prayers were accepted and he was saved from the disrespectful and accursed death on Cross, he later died naturally, according to one tradition at the age of 120 years.That is reasonable.

Why do you talk such rubbish and try to spread these lies.

I’m no theologian, but I have several evangelical protestant friends. From them, I get the idea that protestants see salavation/redemption as a rather extremely legalistic principle.

As it was explained to me by many of them (several in teaching positions), God’s perfect justice demands that consequences be dished out (Romans “The wages of sin is death.”). To them, God’s ingenious plan was to satisfy His perfect justice and perfect Mercy by substituting the punishment we deserve onto himself in the person of God the Son. In return, the righteousness of Christ is legally imputed onto us instead. It seems to me that this view of God has him function nearly robotically, capable somehow of LESS forgiveness than ordinary humans and capable of self-delusion as well.

I’m no official spokesman for catholicism, but my perception is that Catholic teaching on the matter is more subtle and more consistant with the truth that God is in every way greater than us puny humans. Christ DID need to die on the cross. But the need was not on God’s side, it was on ours. WE needed to come face to face with the consequences of our own sinfulness, WE needed to experience how great His love for us is in spite of that sinfulness, WE needed to hear from His own lips that we could be saved and transformed into something greater than we have made of ourselves. By accepting the rotten fruit of human sinfulness in his crucifixion, Jesus broke the cycle of sin-harm-more sin and gave us something to hope for! The OT demonstrates that none of this was possible through mere prophets and laws. It set the stage for the coming of Christ who, when you know who he IS, is the undeniable proof of God’s Mercy and Grace.

This is also why other religions are so DESPERATE to deny Jesus’ divinity. When you don’t recognize who He is, it is much easier for the evil one to make you miss the message he brought and lived.

To me, this is a major defect of protestantism. It projects a character defect onto a perfect God and people recoil from it (consciously or not). In catholicism, we do not enter heaven because we are ‘covered’ by the righteousness of Christ or have righteousness imputed onto us as if Jesus were some sort of lawyer that found a loophole for us. Instead, we enter heaven only when we are actually transformed and sanctified. We are no longer the sinful men who nailed God to a cross.

paarsurrey, you are misinformed. Jesus prayer on the cross is a quote from the OT. I forget the reference, but it isn’t hard to find. Most bibles will give your the reference in the footnotes. The full passage gives rather a different message than you think.

You should also ponder why there is no historical record of your revisionist story of the crucifixion before the invention of Islam came to be. It is a fabricated story concocted by Islam long after the fact to deny the divinity of Jesus.

I think that the Protestant concept of salvation is somewhat more complex than you think.

First, Protestants generally view regeneration, justification and sanctification as separate but inter-related concepts.

Regeneration is the change that takes place that allows us to seek God and doing things that are pleasing to Him.

Justification is a forensic or legal concept. By it, through faith we are declared righteous by God because of Christ’s sacrifice. God has a number of attributes. He is perfectly just and perfectly loving. In order to be just He must punish sin. To be loving he forgives us, but not without satisfying his justice. Jesus became the new Adam so that He could be our representaive or substitute. By being man He was subject to the law, which He satisfied perfectly. He did not merit any punishment. As our substitute He became sin by taking on our sin. He received the punishment due to us for that sin. Since He is God that punishment is of infinite value and is able to pay for all men if they simply accept it. God declares us just because the price has been paid for us. We have put on Jesus, we are hidden in Him. As long as we remain faithful the verdict will be not guilty by virtue of Jesus’ payment for sin.

Sanctification is the process by which we become more and more like Jesus. Even after we believe we still have a sin nature but because of regeneration we can resist it and do things that are pleasing to God. Sanctification is the process by which we work out our own salvation. Sanctification will never be complete in this life. It is only after death that we will be completely holy.

Since we are justified when we believe, if we were to die at that moment we would be saved. As life goes on we struggle to become more like Jesus and if we aren’t doing that then we have never truly believed. Some Protestants believe that justification is a one time event which cannot be lost. Others believe that we can lose our faith. I like to view it as if we are wearing an electric sign that says not guilty. As long as we are connected to Jesus through faith, that light receives power and it flashes not guilty. If we sever the connection by not believing the light goes out.

Catholics believe:
**426 **“At the heart of catechesis we find, in essence, a Person, the Person of Jesus of Nazareth, the only Son from the Father. . .who suffered and died for us and who now, after rising, is living with us forever.” To catechize is "to reveal in the Person of Christ the whole of God’s eternal design reaching fulfillment in that Person. It is to seek to understand the meaning of Christ’s actions and words and of the signs worked by him." Catechesis aims at putting “people . . . in communion . . . with Jesus Christ: only he can lead us to the love of the Father in the Spirit and make us share in the life of the Holy Trinity.”

and we believe:

**649 **As for the Son, he effects his own Resurrection by virtue of his divine power. Jesus announces that the Son of man will have to suffer much, die, and then rise. Elsewhere he affirms explicitly: “I lay down my life, that I may take it again. . . I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.” “We believe that Jesus died and rose again.”

Jesus died and rose again as part of the plan of Salvation, to open the Gates of Heaven to humankind who had, by their own choice, shut those gates.


Your summary still contains the two things I find repulsive:

  1. The idea that God has a compulsion to punish for sin. That isn’t justice, even in human terms. If I, a puny man can truly forgive another for his crime, how can it be that God cannot? When the man who does me harm repents of it and asks me forgiveness, it is even easier for me to forgive and mend the relationship, but God needs vengeance? I don’t think so. When scripture speaks of Christ accepting the consequences of our sin (dying the death we deserve), I think it speaks not of God’s burning need to punish somebody (anybody), but of the inevitable consequences of sin, the harm done to both the sinner and the entire world as a consequence of the sin committed. The culmination of all the sins of history are the murder of God himself made incarnate out of love for us.

  2. Your electric sign idea is also IMO offensive to God. You basically say that God deludes himself into believing that we are innocent, when in reality, we are guilty. Pshaw. What a puny, schitzo god. My God is omniscient. He KNOWS I am guilty, always will, but loves me anyways and is able to heal me of the damage I have inflicted on myself and others through my sins. He will always know that I have committed these sins, as will I. This will make my perfect state of sanctification in heaven all the sweeter! Protestants are unable to embrace this approach because it requires a Purgatory, which they are unable to accept because misunderstandings and genuine abuses related to Purgatory are what started Protestantism to begin with!

The sticky issue is How do I receive salvation through Christ? We are all sinners and sin must not go ignored. On Earth we suffer the natural consequences of our sins. However, once dead, we are still sinners, and our souls require sanctification.

Well along comes Jesus and tells us all, “Lucky Day! I am the last sacrifice that sins may be forgiven and I take away the sins of the World!”

The Protestant (and Mormon, as I was raised) explanation is faulty, I believe. How can God’s justice be satisfied by punishing one person for another’s sins?

Here’s an analogy: If a thief steals a car and her friend repays the owner so that she gets off the hook, the owner has been reimbursed, but where is justice? The thief has still not been punished. Even if she appreciates the friend’s compassion, he has only covered up the effect of her crime. “But,” you may object, “justice has not been done away with, only it must now be paid to the friend, and not the victim of the crime. As long as the thief remains indebted to him, and he through his mercy contracts to forgive her debt as long as she does XYZ that he requires, Justice and Mercy are both satisfied.” Good point, but this is just an analogy, and where this one falls apart.

When we sin (in this case the thief stole a car), there is more than just the one victim. Not only has the rightful owner been injured by the theft, so has the thief, the merciful benefactor and the authority that enforces justice. In the real world of good and evil, the Benefactor and the Enforcer are one and the same: they are God. Because God is infinite, our rejection of him severs our divine friendship and infinte justice requires infinitely severe punishment for our sin.

God out of his infinite Mercy gave us Jesus Christ his only Son as the benefactor to take away our sin. However, merely doing nice things for Jesus are not enough to satisfy justice. As Romans 4 teaches,

“to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.”

We are not saved by doing good–we cannot buy our way into Heaven. We are obligated to be righteous, and it is not to our credit to be good, because that is performing the function that we are *required *to do. And yet, if we believe in Christ and keep his commandments we are promised everlasting life, that the

“Lord will not impute sin.”

We know that all have sinned, that we cannot buy our way into Heaven, and that only God is “big” enough to make things right. We also know that God sent his own Son to answer for our sins and to bring us into God’s presence. So how do we reconcile what we know with what we believe?

Jesus reveals that unless Man is born of the water and of the Spirit he cannot enter into God’s kingdom. (St. John 3) We are also taught that “outside the Church, there is no salvation.”

Protestants find this difficult to accept. Most of them don’t believe Jesus when he institutes sacraments. And of course they can’t believe him, or else they would cease to be Protestants! The Sacraments are given to Christ’s Church, and can only be administered according to his dictates. Fortunately, many Protestants still baptize themselves, even though many feel it is a waste of time. But they do it because Jesus required the ritual, and not because they believe it is a sacrament. While it’s good that they receive baptism, it is unfortunate that they view it as little more than throwing water on a person. The sacrament is valid, but the Protestant heresy inhibits their ability to understand why God requires it.

When we are baptized we experience the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and are afterward incorporated into the Body of Christ–the Church. Christ’s Body is holy and pure because he is holy and pure. By virtue of being members of his Body, we are also made holy and pure. When Christ brings his Body into Heaven, all his members are brought with it.

We are justified by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. The Protestant heresy is that faith is “mere.” That somehow we must “merely” have faith. Well, faith is not “mere.” Faith does not “merely” mean that I do not argue against what Christ preaches, or that I am passive in my beliefs. Faith is *active *and moves people to do extraordinary things.

"So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. But some one will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe – and shudder. Do you want to be shown, you shallow man, that faith apart from works is barren?..You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone…For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead. " --James 2

Well to udnerstand “Why did Jesus die on the cross” I think one must read the book of Job.
We as human being are not all able to love a God that just created us with all our miseries and pains we have in our lifes.

Therefore we had the need of a God that is not only the creator but the one that humiliated himself and gave his life because of the love he has for us. That give us a reason for all our miserys and pains and problems. God suffered as we suffer , he was humiliated as we are, he loved us to the extreme, and therefore we should try to love him.

On the OT there are analogys that describe the icnarnation of God in order to save us and at the same time to show his extreme love to us.

The jewish culture believe that God is the only one that can forgive sins.

also the jewish culture believe that the life is in the blood.

They used to sacrifice lambs in order to bring back the life to their place and to redem themselves from the sins.

God is the only one that can forgive sins and the blood of the lambs was what was used to forgive the sins of the jews.

So Jesus was portrayed as the lamb the one that was gonna take away the sins of not only the jews but of the entire world, and win their salvation and bring back the friendship with God and men.

Thats why Jesus is call the new Adam the one that brought the friendship of God and men, and brought salvation to mankind.

I believe that in the gospel Jesus depicts all the miseries and pains of men, exept for sin.
depresions, temtations, desilutions etc.

It gives a reason and an answer why to carry on, why awfull stuffs happen, why the pain etc.
It gives an answer and reason for every human misery.

Jesus died for my sins, because He loves me THAT much. He died for you too, for the same reason.

Laudatur Iesus Christus.

I hope the following is helpful, though I acknowledge it starts at a place where not everyone is willing to begin. (This is a recent effort on my part; I will be grateful for any help in discerning its faults and testing its joints.):

The Blessed Trinity is one God, in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

God is love.

Beginning with these, I think the following account makes sense of the other truths of Revelation:

All of creation is a gift from the Father to the Son. The Father wills that His gift please and serve His Son. When true to its nature, every creature pleases the Son. In turn, the Son loves His Father and wills that all things be dedicated to the service and delight of the Father. This mutual, total donation is the love, which is the life and being of the Trinity.

Human nature entails an especially delightful expression of honor for the Son: freewill.

When tempted, man chose not to serve freely as an instrument of the Father’s love. This decision to sin – to separate human will from God’s will – contradicted human nature at its roots; it destroyed man’s integrity and peace; and had two inevitable fruits: suffering and death.

Both fruits of man’s choice were offensive to God; they established a separate sphere of action and intent, expressing neither the Father’s love for the Son or the Son’s love for the Father. In this sense, Adam’s choice severed man’s life from the life of the Trinity. (“Grace” is a term for “the life of the Trinity;” hence, we say, ‘man fell from grace.’)

Once fallen, man could not recover. On his own, the best man could offer to God were expressions of man’s love. The best forms of this human love were symbolic imitations of the Trinity’s life; they could imitate and parallel, but they could never actually be conduits of love between persons of the Trinity.

To picture this think of two men: The first takes a note from a lover to his beloved. This man is a messenger, an agent of the lovers, freely serving communication between them. Imagine the second man declines to accept the lover’s note and rather writes one himself. When the second man delivers his note to the beloved, though it imitate and accurately symbolize the lover’s regard for the beloved, it cannot be a message from the lover to the beloved. Because the second man declined to be an agent of the lover, the link between lovers does not pass through him. Nothing the second man can do can change this.

Having removed man from the flow of Trinitarian love – from grace – Original Sin had other consequences for man: the contradiction between man’s will and his nature fractured man within himself. Man lost his ability to act with integrity. Because of this, even man’s attempts to love God became diffuse and halfhearted. This had broad ramifications: While even the best human effort could not return a man to grace, most men did attempt the best. Most men’s choices diverged more and more from God’s will. The separation of man’s will from God’s – sin – grew and spread, and with it: suffering.

This is the unredeemed world: Man’s will is severed from God’s and does not serve the loving purpose of creation. God’s will is frustrated by man, because man’s innovations, sin, suffering, and death, do nothing to express God’s love either for the Son or for man. Man is trapped in a world separate from grace and he cannot save himself.

This is the fractured state the Father willed the Son to heal.

The Son took on humanity. He freely accepted suffering and death, as an act of love and obedience to the Father. Only this could convert man’s offenses against God’s love into expressions of the love of the Son for the Father. Only a person of the Trinity could do this. By adopting suffering and death as expressions of His love for the Father, the Son redeemed them and admitted them into the stream of self-donation within the Holy Trinity. By this same act of submission and love, the Son accepted the necessary fruits of sin as instruments of His own will, bringing them into compliance with the Father’s will that all things belong to and serve the Son. By Christ’s death on the Cross, suffering and death were “redeemed” and became conduits of grace.

He took the consequences of our sins onto Himself, and thus saved the world.

Since the birth of the true Israel, man has been able to become a gift to the Son, in fulfillment of the Father’s will. Since the Crucifixion, man has been able to join his sufferings to Christ’s and thus allow them to be changed from an offense against God’s will into an expression of Christ’s love. Since the institution of the Holy Mass, by the grace of Christ, man can offer himself, his joy, and his suffering as acceptable offerings to God. Thus men have again been given the opportunity to freely render to God the obedience of sons rather than the compliance of slaves.

Gloria in altissimis Deo.

John Hiner

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