Why Did Jesus Have to Die?


#1

Couldn’t God have just forgiven mankind if Jesus asked him to? Why would God want his son to die?


#2

[quote=BBachman]Couldn’t God have just forgiven mankind if Jesus asked him to? Why would God want his son to die?
[/quote]

As God, by definition, he can do anything he wants to, so there is never a question of “could” when it comes to God.

So your question restated would be “Why did God effect the Redemption in the manner that he did and not some other way?”

Just to start off, the reason there needed to be a Redemption at all was because there was a breach between God and man caused by man’s sin. An offense against anyone demands justice to set it right. Since God is infinite and eternal, the justice owed God was also infinite and eternal, so that man, being finite, could not possibly be able to pay this debt of justice on his own, and, as St. Paul tells us, the wages of sin are death. By all rights, God should have just wiped us out and started over. But God loves us so much that he gave (in the Incarnation* and* as a Sacrifice) his only begotten (i.e. eternal) Son who alone was able to pay the debt by satisfying God’s justice. All he requires of us is to believe in that Son and be obedient to him (John 3:16).


#3

[quote=BBachman]Couldn’t God have just forgiven mankind if Jesus asked him to? Why would God want his son to die?
[/quote]

Well, first of all, I think we have to ask, what is death? If we are holy, then earthly death brings us eternal life, yes? In this sense our earthly death is a good thing, not a bad thing. So when one says God wants his death, God is bringing him closer to him and home in heaven.

Secondly, perhaps God already forgave mankind, by sending us himself/son in the flesh. Now that Jesus come in the flesh, all we have to do is ask and confess (sacrament of confession) and we will be forgiven.

I think more importantly is not why Jesus died, but rather, why did he have to suffer, and be tortured? This question I can’t answer. I would like to see other answers to this question.


#4

[quote=Chipper]Well, first of all, I think we have to ask, what is death? If we are holy, then earthly death brings us eternal life, yes? In this sense our earthly death is a good thing, not a bad thing. So when one says God wants his death, God is bringing him closer to him and home in heaven.

Secondly, perhaps God already forgave mankind, by sending us himself/son in the flesh. Now that Jesus come in the flesh, all we have to do is ask and confess (sacrament of confession) and we will be forgiven.

I think more importantly is not why Jesus died, but rather, why did he have to suffer, and be tortured? This question I can’t answer. I would like to see other answers to this question.
[/quote]

well, it’s my opinion… and that’s all it is… lol

that God, gave man perfection, in Eden… but, He also gave
man “free will”… and man fell…

and God might have thought,
man does not appreciate anything ‘given’, …

salvation is a free gift… but for anything to be valued
by man, it has to have a price…

Jesus, had to suffer and die, before man valued that gift…

what is of value, that has no price?

does that make sense to anyone else… ? i’m having trouble
putting it into words… but, we just don’t appreciate anything
that is free… it’s disposable… we have to be shown the price.

:slight_smile:


#5

Although our redemption could have been effect another way, I think Jesus allowed himself to suffer the cruel death of crucifixion that we might have an example to follow of perfect obedience to God even onto death:

21For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. 22He committed no sin; no guile was found on his lips. 23When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he trusted to him who judges justly. (1 Peter 2:21-23)


#6

Hello BBachman,

Jesus came to fulfill the law. God’s Word, the law, states that if man sins, he will die. God cannot lie. His Word is truth and can be relied upon. Jesus dies in our place, in fulfillment of the law, so that we may live.

NAB GEN 3:1

Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the animals that the LORD God had made. The serpent asked the woman, “Did God really tell you not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?” The woman answered the serpent: "We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; it is only about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, ‘You shall not eat it or even touch it, lest you die.’" But the serpent said to the woman: “You certainly will not die!..”


#7

He came to earth to SHOW us how much He loves us. There can be no greater love than to give your life for a friend.

He also, through His passion and death, made suffering a holy thing when we offer it to God. This takes away the power the devil had over suffering and death. Now our death, if we are following Jesus, leads us to everlasting life! Death where is your victory? Death where is your sting?


#8

[quote=BBachman]Why Did Jesus Have to Die?
[/quote]

Because people murdered him.


#9

[quote=BBachman]Couldn’t God have just forgiven mankind if Jesus asked him to? Why would God want his son to die?
[/quote]

\

Regarding the necessity of Christ to die on the cross, this is what St. Thomas Aquinas said in his summa.

A thing may be said to be possible or impossible in two ways: first of all, simply and absolutely; or secondly, from supposition. Therefore, speaking simply and absolutely, it was possible for God to deliver mankind otherwise than by the Passion of Christ, because “no word shall be impossible with God” (Lk. 1:37). Yet it was impossible if some supposition be made. For since it is impossible for God’s foreknowledge to be deceived and His will or ordinance to be frustrated, then, supposing God’s foreknowledge and ordinance regarding Christ’s Passion, it was not possible at the same time for Christ not to suffer, and for mankind to be delivered otherwise than by Christ’s Passion. And the same holds good of all things foreknown and preordained by God, as was laid down in the FP, Question [14], Article [13].

Summa Theologica: Third Part, Question 46, Article 1

There are several theories about this. There is the view that Fidelis posted above. There is also the view of St. Thomas Aquinas. Aquinas gave several reasons why Christ had to die on the Cross. Here is what he says.

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’s salvation. 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 (Rm. 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 Pt. 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 (Question [48], Article [1]; Question [49], Articles [1], 5). Fourthly, because by this man is all the more bound to refrain from sin, according to 1 Cor. 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 Cor. 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.

Summa Theologica: Third Part, Question 46, Article 3

I think this is far better than the arguement based on Justice. This is what Aquinas says about the arguement that Christ had to die because if He did not then justice would not be satisfied.


#10

This is a very simple and very profound question. The description of God’s plan for creation and the need for Jesus’ death that we might become aware of the enormity of sin, given in Mary Agreda’s City of God is very profound and would cause awe in even the most hardened of hearts at God’s infinite perfection, wisdom and love. A difficult but rewarding read.


#11

Even this justice depends on the Divine will, requiring satisfaction for sin from the human race. But if He had willed to free man from sin without any satisfaction, He would not have acted against justice. For a judge, while preserving justice, cannot pardon fault without penalty, if he must visit fault committed against another—for instance, against another man, or against the State, or any Prince in higher authority. But God has no one higher than Himself, for He is the sovereign and common good of the whole universe. Consequently, if He forgive sin, which has the formality of fault in that it is committed against Himself, He wrongs no one: just as anyone else, overlooking a personal trespass, without satisfaction, acts mercifully and not unjustly. And so David exclaimed when he sought mercy: “To Thee only have I sinned” (Ps. 50:6), as if to say: “Thou canst pardon me without injustice.”

Summa Theologica: Third Part, Question 46, Article 2

For my answer, I would say that the primary reason for Christs death is to merit us grace that we may see God. All salvation is by Grace. I would say that tthe instilling of grace is what forgiveness of sins is from my understanding. Sin is simply an absence of Grace where there should be Grace, basically. Original Sin denies all people the Sanctifying Grace which was given to Adam and Eve. We lose Grace when we sin and we do not get grace if we do not pursue the faith. So, since man is reconciled with God by Grace, therefore that was the main reason for the passion. The forgiveness of Sins is the same as the giving of Grace.

Also, since Christ is “full of Grace and Truth” and the Spirit resides within Him, it was necessary that it be Christ that would die for our sins rather than someone else.

My analysis could be wrong though.


#12

[quote=BBachman]Couldn’t God have just forgiven mankind if Jesus asked him to? Why would God want his son to die?
[/quote]

Because it is difficult for man to believe in God’s forgiveness.

Besides if the son did not die, satan would argue with God this way : "what knowledge do you have about “death” ?

Thus man will follow “gods of death” because man fears death.

If Jesus did not die, man will not BELIEVE TRULY that immortality have power over mortality.

Even if they know a bit about it, yet they would not know the path to go there. Unless God give this knowledge to man, man will never know the way to the “highest heaven”.


#13

[quote=jimmy]I think this is far better than the arguement based on Justice. This is what Aquinas says about the arguement that Christ had to die because if He did not then justice would not be satisfied.
[/quote]

:slight_smile: Oh, I wouldn’t say better, as if it has to be either/or or one answer excludes the other. The sacrifice of Christ for our salvation is such a profound mystery, all the explanations we offer here could never exhaust it.


#14

Jesus Christ (who was a Godman) was brutally and needlessly killed by the Jews, because they were afraid of his powers and miracles. How did him being crucified help mankind? Maybe someone else can answer that.


#15

[quote=BBachman]Couldn’t God have just forgiven mankind if Jesus asked him to? Why would God want his son to die?
[/quote]

God allowed Jesus to die to show the magnitude of his love for us. This article, “Jesus reveals God’s Love” explains it much better than I can.


#16

[quote=Dave_N]Jesus Christ (who was a Godman) was brutally and needlessly killed by the Jews, because they were afraid of his powers and miracles. How did him being crucified help mankind? Maybe someone else can answer that.
[/quote]

Yowza :bigyikes:

Jesus of Nazareth is God Incarnate. He is fully God. He is fully man. He is not Godman (half man/half God).

He was killed by the Jews because they were not able to see He was speaking the Truth. His teachings appeared blasphemous in their eyes and the penalty for blasphemy is death (God Himself set that penalty, not the Jews). Several of Jesus’ teachings addressed how overly fixated the Pharisees were with the letter of the Law instead of the Spirit of the Law. His execution was a further demonstration of that narrow focus.

The manner in which Jesus was killed was absolutely necessary according to God. He set the terms, Jesus offered Himself, and mankind participated in it’s execution.

How did that help mankind? It opened the gates of heaven for our souls so that they may be reunited to the full glory and presence of God for eternity.


#17

[quote=Dave_N]Jesus Christ (who was a Godman) was brutally and needlessly killed by the Jews, because they were afraid of his powers and miracles. How did him being crucified help mankind? Maybe someone else can answer that.
[/quote]

As the high priest said, it was imperative that one man die rather than every man. Christs death and ressurection brought about our ressurection and our remission of sins.


#18

I overhead someone say Thomas Aquinas was excommicated during his lifetime. Is this true? What were the circumstances?


#19

[quote=BBachman]I overhead someone say Thomas Aquinas was excommicated during his lifetime. Is this true? What were the circumstances?
[/quote]

Absolutely not! On the contrary, Popes, Bishops and pretty much anyone with a problem sought his advice. He was even called out of “retirement” to be present at the Council of Lyons II, and died en route. He was likely the closest thing to a Catholic “celebrity” in his day.

The Summa Theologica was consided the “standard” for Latin teaching for a very long time, and has thankfully begun to make a come back :smiley:

Peace and God bless!


#20

Allot more comments on, “WHy Did Christ have to Die?” forum

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=102673


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