Why did Jesus have to die to free us from sin?


I just got posed this question and I am a little confused, so any insight would be great…

Why did God have to become human and die to break the curse of sin? Why couldn’t God just say “okay I will now allow people into heaven when they die if they are good”? Was there some sort of “constraint” on God’s plan that didn’t allow humans into Heaven until the time came when he sent his son to earth to be killed by the humans?

Thanks! :thumbsup:


because if there is a cost, people are more apt to believe it…

forgive me for not able to quote the study but…

In Africa, there was a program to pass our condoms in an effort to quell AIDS… they were free…

Response was, well, lack luster…

However, they then charged 1 penny for it…
Response was overwhelming…

Point is, if it is free, it somehow losses its value…

If there was a cost… it has more value to someone…
If the cost was someones life… it has the utmost value

Just one perspective, but there are plenty of other reasons (IE fulfillment of the OT)

In Christ


It’s a matter of justice. The sin of Adam had eternal repercussion, i.e., eternal punishment attached. The only way to satisfy eternal guilt is through eternal atonement. This atonement could only come in suffering the penalty of sin, which is inflicted on makind - that is - DEATH. Because man is a temporal creature, the death of a mere mortal cannot settle the eternal account payable that Adam inflicted on man. That account can only be settled by the death of one who IS eternal, and the only One who is eternal is God. Thus, for the purpose of justice, God freely chose to become man and suffer the punishment of our sins to atone for Adam, who, prior to his sin, was immortal.

All this, because He loves us, and wants us with Him in heaven.


This makes sense. But it seems like sin isn’t a physical thing, but more of a mental or spiritual thing. In that case it seems like it could be removed differently than physical things. For example, if you want to unlock a lock, you need a key. But it seems like in this case you have sin (a spiritual or mental substance) that was removed by Jesus’s death. Jesus is both man and divine, so is this divine act what removes the spiritual stain of sin? Or does that human act of death play a part as well?


Short answer - Because God Said So.
Not a very satisfactory answer but - - -

To me, the most important lessons in Jesus ministry and mission are the example he set. Jesus, the man, fully submitted to God. He did so in such a way that He could never be seperated from God by sin. All of Jesus actions were intended to demonstrate the Beauty and Glory of God’s great Love for us and tremendous benefits to be derived from such submission.

Of course the ultimate test in any such submission has to be submitting to God’s will even unto death. Which Jesus did, even though He prayed for God to let the cup pass Him by. Not only did Jesus Submit to God on the Cross, He forgave those who killed Him. Again the idea of total submission. God then raised Him up bodily and Glorified Him.

Adam and Eve, by defying God, by failing to submit completely to Him, brought death into the world. Jesus, by demonstrating His complete submission to God even to the Cross and death, showed how death is defeated. Through Love, Forgiveness, and Faith.
No one was going to believe this truth if it was simply “preached”. It had to be shown. It had to be demonstrated.

I’m sorry if this is not clear or is confusing. I always have trouble trying to explain this. :shrug:



God does not “have” to do anything, including admit us to the Beatific Vision.

God chose to redeem us in the way he did because it was fitting.

I suggest you review the Catechism on this topic.


:doh2: :doh2:

What a V8 moment that is.

We should always strive to check the catachism fist shouldn’t we.

Thanks 1ke



I’m not 100% sure what you’re driving at, but I think the answer to your question is “It’s both.”

In my view, tm30 hit the nail on the head with a lot of this. Death is an eternal consequence of the Fall (Gen 2:17), and this is not just spiritual death, but physical death (Gen 3:19). The eternal imperfection that we bear because of the Fall could only be remedied by someone who is eternally perfect: the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who is fully God. But because it is humans who are imperfect, the perfect, eternal sacrifice we need also had to be a human, and as such Jesus had to be fully man (see 1 Cor 15, which happens to be the second reading at Mass today).

Jesus had to be one person with two natures because this was the only way that his death could allow us to be saved. If Jesus isn’t fully God, then his death isn’t sufficient to make up for the Fall; if he isn’t fully man, then regardless of the sufficiency of his death, it cannot be applied to man for his salvation. (And he must be one person because people are born and die, not human natures, and it was a person who was born of Mary and died for our sins. If Jesus is two persons, one divine and one human, then only the human one died on the cross, and the atoning power of his death is nonexistent.)

Note that Jesus’ dual natures merely make it possible for us to be saved. His divinity makes his death an infinite source of grace; his humanity allows that grace to be applied to us; but God must still give us the grace, either of his own accord or as a free reward for our faith and charity.

Hope that helps.


This isnt the Churchs understanding at all

We need to understand what went wrong first in order to know what Christ death did.

Catholics understand the fall of Adam to be first and foremost the loss of Adam’s original "holiness and justice.” this is commonly known today as sanctifying grace and was an added gift by God, not part of human nature itself, thus when it was lost human nature was not corrupted, though it suffered serious physical and spiritual consequences. Protestants see the fall of Adam as a corruption of human nature (which is far more devastating than the Catholic understanding) which included the disease of concupiscence which for Protestants is itself sin.

In the Catholic model original sin as the lack of gasoline in a car, in the Protestant model it is as if the car was totaled in a severe car wreck. In the Catholic model God is displeased with the car not operating at potential, in the Protestant model God is displeased because the car is literally a corrupt mass of metal with only slight evidence it is still a car.

The Catholic model teaches man can still do “natural good” but apart from grace cannot do supernaturally pleasing works in God’s sight. While the Protestant model logically means man cannot do even “natural good,” none the less Protestants insist man is not ‘as evil as he could be’ Given that we see non-Christians doing good works like giving to charity, caring for their family, being an upright citizen, etc, this good is purely on the natural level and apart from grace these good works are unable to rise to the supernaturally good level which God’s standards require. The Catholic model does a far better and clearer job of explaining why man is not as evil as he could possibly be, because his nature is not corrupt.

THE Atonement

.” Protestants and Catholics agree that sinful man deserves both temporal and eternal punishments, however the historical Protestant position teaches that Jesus took this punishment you deserved, in other words instead of God punishing you He punished Jesus in your place.

catholic view
How was God’s wrath towards sinful man appeased? The simple answer is that it was pardoned through an alternative to any punishment. God does require satisfaction to be made for offences against Him, but this satisfaction need not come through punishing an innocent party

Jesus offered Himself up to the Father not as a whipping boy but purchasing God’s favor by being an obedient servant (Phil 2:5-11) and displaying the greatest act of love possible, obeying God - even if it leads to your death (remember in this case the death was unjust and caused by those who did not want to hear and obey the good news Jesus was sent to preach). Christ did as a man what God originally intended to see Adam do: show perfect love. Jesus demonstrated perfect love for God and neighbor. If this sounds confusing hopefully the following example will explain the difference between the historical Protestant and Catholic position:

Lets say some children are messing around with their Father’s expensive artwork after being warned not to touch it. Yet the children through disobedience damage the artwork. The Father’s wrath flares up against the children and the children deserve to be punished. However before the children get punished the mother of the home steps in to help, and here is how:

The Protestant would understand this to mean that the mother stepped in and received the equivalent beating that the children deserved, thus satisfying the Father’s wrath.

The Catholic would understand the mother’s intercession in a different matter. The mother would spend all day preparing the Father’s favorite dinner, sacrificing her time and energy to please the Father. The Father was so pleased at this act of love that in turn He would allow the children to get off with a sincere apology.

The Catholic understanding rightly points out that the Father could never be justified in beating His wife, and in fact such a “solution” to His wrath should be deeply disturbing to anyone reading this. The interesting thing is that more and more Protestants today are moving away from their historical Protestant roots and some have rightly described their historical Protestant understanding as "Divine child abuse.”



Credited to him as righteousness:

Protestant teaching in a nutshell: Justification comes about by the imputation of Christ’s Righteousness to the sinner’s account (though the sinner’s actual account is actually unrighteous), and God declaring sinner to be righteous based on this imputation only, this imputation is received by faith alone. As you have already probably guessed the ideas which the Protestant quotes above condemned are the very ideas which the Catholic Church considers essential and orthodox. Most notably that justification is by infused righteousness, and not on the “righteousness of Christ” basis of Christ taking your punishment and perfectly fulfilling God’s commandments in your place. Here is how the Catholic Church defines justification in its essence, from the Council of Trent:

By which words, a description of the Justification of the impious [unrighteous] is indicated,-as being a translation, from that state wherein man is born a child of the first Adam, to the state of grace, and of the adoption of the sons of God, through the second Adam, Jesus Christ, our Saviour. And this translation, since the promulgation of the Gospel, cannot be effected, without the laver of regeneration, or the desire thereof, as it is written; unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.

CANON XI.-If any one saith, that men are justified, either by the sole imputation of the justice of Christ, or by the sole remission of sins, to the exclusion of the grace and the charity which is poured forth in their hearts by the Holy Ghost, and is inherent in them; or even that the grace, whereby we are justified, is only the favour of God; let him be anathema [excommunicated]. [5]

Justification for Catholicism is first and foremost about going from the state of “the first Adam” in which we lack sanctifying grace in our souls, to having that grace put back in our souls resulting in true inner righteousness and adoption as sons of God. This is in direct and irreconcilable contrast to the Protestant view of imputation. It is the difference between being truly righteous (“just”) in God’s eyes and merely appearing or accounted as righteous in God’s eyes though not being so inwardly.

Lets see how things fit together. Recall that the protestant view of Original Sin is not one in which sanctifying grace is lost and needs to be restored, but rather the corruption of the human nature in which man’s soul is like a “contaminated spring” which cannot produce pure water and is unsightly to God. With this in mind you can kind of understand why the Protestants believe in the imputation model, the “contaminated spring” must be overlooked, bypassed, covered, etc, or else God will never be able to see you as “righteous” and save you. The Catholic infusion model makes sense in that the undoing of Adam’s sin is restoring to the soul the sanctifying grace, in which the soul is “incomplete” without, and which God looks at to see who His adopted children are. Next fits in the views on the Atonement where for the Protestants using the imputation model need Christ to do for the corrupt man what he cant ever do, while the Catholic infusion model needs Christ to open the floodgates of grace to flow back into our souls to enable us to do what God requires of us.

Finally it is important to realize that when a Protestant uses the term “Justification by faith alone” it more accurately means "Justification by imputation of grace by faith alone,” where as Catholics teach it is by infusion of grace. Again this is NOT essentially a matter of “faith” for Protestants versus “works” for Catholics, but rather what justification means to each side.

What does the “blood” of Christ do?

If you look at other references to blood in the New Testament here are some verses you will find:

Heb 9: 12and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 13For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, 14how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, **cleanse your conscience **from dead works to serve the living God?

Heb 10: 29How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?

Heb 13: 12Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate.

1 Jn 1: 7but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

Rev 1: 5To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by **His blood **

Rev 7: 14I said to him, “My lord, you know.” And he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

That is a real change not a cover up

Mat 23: 25"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. 26"You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also. 27"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28"So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

Luke 11: 39But the Lord said to him,** "Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and of the platter; but inside of you, you are full of robbery and wickedness.** 40"You foolish ones, did not He who made the outside make the inside also? 41"But give that which is within as charity, and then all things are clean for you.

Look at the Matthew 23 and Luke 11 passages quoted above. Jesus explicitly condemns the idea of appearing righteous on the outside while leaving the inside filthy. Does it make sense for God to declare a unrighteous soul to be righteous because they “appear righteous” on the outside but in fact their soul is actually unrighteous? Catholics and the Scriptures clearly say such a teaching is unacceptable and even abominable.

This is what Christ’s death did for us
He gave us the gas you just have to put it in drive

hope this helps

by the way I stole this from Catholic Dude he want mind you can find the whole article here catholicdefense.googlepages.com/article.htm


To Odell, I am not quite sure that justice is not involved, but I know it is not the main point. Jesus offered himself as a sacrifice which to me says that it is to atone for something. To atone means that something had gone wrong in the past that had to be righted.
What had gone wrong in the past now causes humans to die. Since Jesus was human he had to die as an atonement like the offerings in the old temple services on the day of atonement. The type of death he chose was the one that the Father picked.

Jesus then did the Father’s will. Jesus died on a cross with the hope that the Father would accept the sacrifice that we could not do or give the necessary atonement since we were not of a divine nature to correct a divine problem.

If anyone sees anything I may have misconstrued, please let me know.



Jesus did not “have” to die and Jesus did not die “just” to save us from sin as if He can do nothing else. Jesus’ death is a challenge on too many levels…it is a challenge to humanity , and death. There isn’t one and single reason to His death. He knew about it and accepted it, not because He cannot do otherwise, but to prove many points to humans, in human means, caused by humans. Do you want to kill me? go ahead and i will raise myself…do you want a sign that i am who i say I am? kill me and you will see am the resurrection and life…do you want to see how much am serious about you? you will see it is to the point of death…do you want to see how much i love you? you will see it is to the point of death…do you think death is the end? you’ll see it will be the biggest starting point because many doubts will be removed (including the apostles’)…all in all it was not " i can do nothing else" but it is " i can do everything" with how I chose to deal with you, on your terms.


Jesus didn’t have to die, He could have willed it but He wanted to show us what true love was and we are so blind it took the cross for us to recognize Him.

Mark 15
39 And the centurion who stood over against him, seeing that crying out in this manner he had given up the ghost, said: Indeed this man was the son of God.

In fact, I read somewhere (probably an ECF) that the blood lost by Christ during His circumcision was enough to redeem us.


It all started in a garden…

Sometimes we forget what the cross was made of.


From a tree.

At the begining of Genesis we remember another tree.

Genesis 3:17
Then to Adam He said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have **eaten from the tree **about which I commanded you, saying, **‘You shall not eat from it’; **Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it All the days of your life.

Adam disobeyed God’s command to not eat from the tree. The first sin. We call Original Sin.This sin is called original because it comes down to us through our origin, or descent, from Adam.

**Romans 5:12 **
Therefore as **through one man sin entered into the world **and through sin death, and thus death has passed unto all men because all have sinned.

The chief punishments of Adam which we inherit through original sin are: death, suffering, ignorance, and a strong inclination to sin.

**Wisdom 2:24 **
But, by the envy of the devil, death came into the world.

Genesis 3:19
In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread till thou return to the earth, out of which thou wast taken; for dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return.

Because of Adam’s sin heaven’s doors were closed to us.God the Father promised us someone who would redeem us.

**Genesis 3:15 **
I will put enmities between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed; he shall crush your head, and you shall lie in wait his heel.

Jesus the Christ bore all the sins of the world and sacrificed His life for us. He redeemed us.And God opened the doors to heaven for us.

1 Peter 2:24
24and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.

Galatians 3:13
**13Christ redeemed us **from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us–for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE”–

**1 Corinthians 15:3 **
3For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,

It had been written in the Old Testament that …

Deuteronomy 21:22
22"If a man has committed **a sin worthy of death **and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree,

Well Jesus was carrying all our sins on His body.

1 Corinthians 15:22
For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.

Acts 10:39

39"We are witnesses of all the things He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem They also put Him to death by hanging Him on a cross.

Through a tree came death, Adam’s sin. And through a tree came life, Jesus’ crucifixion


Also if you look back to Genesis 3

Because of Adam and Eve’s sin a sacrifice was made…

21The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.

Blood was shed (where do you think the skin came from?) because of their disobedience and it continued on that way until Jesus.

I think the word “sacrifice” is first used in Genesis 31:54


hey mdcpensive the main point I was tring to make is that we both believe in a atonement but Protestants believe Jesus took on our punishment and Catholics believe Jesus purchasing God’s favor by being an obedient servant (Phil 2:5-11) “EVEN UNTO DEATH”

remember no greater lover than to lay down ones life

He was not punished in our place

now regarding the fathers will of Jesus being sacraficed on a cross. I dont know how the Chruch interprits this maybe someone who knows there stuff better than you and I could come along and help us here.

I dont think the Chruch teaches that it was though


Because the wages of sin is death.


Man - Adam and Eve, made in The Image of God , were made to live lives of love and holiness and thus to be ever close to The Father !

For that love to be real they had the freedom to choose …and to trust - either The Father or the enemy …

In trusting the liar , we also chose our sufferings and our unholy nature - of not being able to be close to The Father …to be able to love or trust in that Father’s Love with a full heart …a Father who is All Holy …

And we lost the ability to also unselfishelssly see the other as a beloved child of God …instead only as someone who is a cause of our own problems

The Holy Spirit no longer able to abide in us …to help us to focus and trust in The Father …to be able to love others even when it hurts and when they hurt us …

to help us be freed from the serpentine selfishness that make man coil in themselves …to think that all that is , is there to only please ones’ animal nature that was empowerd by the fall…

We had to be freed from simmering hatreds that can poison our bodies and minds , to bring on wars and powers of darkness …

The fallen flesh had to be restored so that The Spirit could abide in again …so that we children could call again - "Abba "

And The New Adam came …to break the hold of evil and fear of death …

so that in a world that is still made up of free men who can be used by evil , God’s children can see and trust in The Father’s Love …without being afraid of death itself for the sake of goodness of love and holiness …to be with The Father …

when human love fails or the anguish of seeing the falls and lukewarmness or hardness of hearts of ourselves or our brethren, we can repent, look gratefully at The Cross - In His Humanity , He has loved The Father…and us …sacrificed Himself …and given The Perfect Love …in the place of our own wicked moments and of all those children who are not able to show any love for The Father …

And the powers of evil take notice …that their claim of ownership over us has lost hold …

So that we can have our journey Home , in dignity as well as peace and joy even here , joining in The Worhip of The Father , with all of heaven …as when we partake of The Holy Mysteries !

peace !


But doesn’t it bother you even a little bit that God knew how it was all going to happen and He still let it all happen? He knows how it’s all going to play out so what’s the big deal to Him? And He could change it at anytime but He doesn’t seem to. I don’t get it.


It is o.k , I would think - to be bothered about ourselves and to have fear and trembling too …that the nature of Love and Holiness is such that it does allow freedom …and is just …

Yet , we also know that ’ love is patient ’ …means trusting … to wait for that day - when ’ we will have no more questions’ …

True , reading The Salvation History in The Book already gives us a pretty good picture of a God who in such love and respect for our dignity and freedom let us make choices and works within the context of the same ,all the while wishing that none would perish !

And it is true too that in the midst of trials , we can question and doubt… may be esp.so if we have not stayed awake enough and prayed …as our Lord has asked us to …or have wanderd off to enemy territory …(and in case of saints who are called to extraordinary sanctity , even in the midst of very holy lives , still facing these - to come out may be with renewed love and trust ! )

So, we can use our time here to fret and doubt or as our Lord reminded us again in Fatima through our Bl.Mother - “pray …pray a great deal …”

May The Holy Spirit come in to all areas of our hearts and minds - to cleanse and strengthen us, in faith, hope and love !

Blessings !


Jesus taught that there was no greater way to display your love than to give up your life for those who you love, lay everything you have down for them. THAT is why Jesus chose to redeem us in that manner,** it was the BEST of a multitude of options** (even if we cannot fully see it).
St Thomas Aquinas teaches:

I answer that, Among means to an end that one is the more suitable whereby the various concurring means employed are themselves helpful to such end. But in this that man was delivered by Christ’s Passion, many other things besides deliverance from sin concurred for man’ssalvation.
In the first place, man knows thereby how much God loves him, and is thereby stirred to love Him in return, and herein lies the perfection of human salvation; hence the Apostle says (Romans 5:8): "God commendeth His charity towards us; for when as yet we were sinners . . . Christ died for us."
Secondly, because thereby He set us an example of obedience, humility, constancy, justice, and the other virtues displayed in the Passion, which are requisite for man’s salvation. Hence it is written (1 Peter 2:21): "Christ also suffered for us, leaving you an example that you should follow in His steps."
Thirdly, because Christ by His Passion not only delivered man from sin, but also merited justifying grace for him and the glory of bliss, as shall be shown later (48, 1; 49, 1, 5).
Fourthly, because by this man is all the more bound to refrain from sin, according to 1 Corinthians 6:20: "You are bought with a great price: glorify and bear God in your body."
Fifthly, because it redounded to man’s greater dignity, that as man was overcome and deceived by the devil, so also it should be a man that should overthrow the devil; and as man deserved death, so a man by dying should vanquish death. Hence it is written (1 Corinthians 15:57): “Thanks be to God who hath given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” It was accordingly more fitting that we should be delivered by Christ’s Passion than simply by God’s good-will.
ST III:46:3
The Cross had nothing to do with God wanting to punish someone or see someone suffer, the Cross was to show just how far true love should go, especially in the face of adversity.

In fact, I read somewhere (probably an ECF) that the blood lost by Christ during His circumcision was enough to redeem us.

Not even that. St Thomas Aquinas teaches that the level of humility in just choosing to become Incarnate was meritorious enough to save the whole world. The Cross was going even further than that, it was the frosting of the cake.

This is why the Eastern Catholics (and Orthodox) tend to put more emphasis on the Incarnation aspect while Latin Rite Catholics tend to put more emphasis on the Cross aspect. Though we all hold each aspect in the highest of regards.

That’s the Catholic Church bro, isn’t it amazing! :thumbsup:

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