Why did Jesus have to die?


#1

Why did Jesus have to die for our sins? Why did God, who can do whatever He wants, require the death of His only begotten son in order for our sins to be forgiven? Gates of Heaven to open? He only needed to say the word! For our Salvation? No problem, let it be so! Obviously, there is a valuable lesson in there for us to learn, but I feel we’ve forgotten it. I’ve asked this to several friends of mine, and no one can give me a good response.

Yes, I do have an answer that suffices me, but I’d like to get some responses from out there before I give it, as I think this is a wonderful topic to ponder next time your visiting with God. I’m still suffering through limited internet access from Hurrican Rita (4 weeks ago!!!), so I won’t be able to get back on this topic til later today, but I’m looking forward to hearing what you think.

God Bless,

NotWorthy

P.S. For a hint, look to His Covenants.


#2

Because the wages of sin is death. Death has always been required to cover sin. In the old covenant, animals were sacrificed to God to cover sins. The new covenant offers the blood of Christ. The ultimate sacrifice/self sacrifice for the sins of the world. John 3:16 pretty well sums it up. The ultimate act of love and the ultimate checkmate against the devil.

-D


#3

IMHO, Jesus didn’t have to die to save us from our sins. He could have appeared and snapped his fingers and we could have been forgiven. Heck, he wouldn’t even have to appear or snap his fingers. He could have just spoke it.

But he loved us so much, he wanted to show us. John 15:13 (NASB) “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”

John 10:11 (NASB) I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.

[quote=NotWorthy]Why did Jesus have to die for our sins? Why did God, who can do whatever He wants, require the death of His only begotten son in order for our sins to be forgiven? Gates of Heaven to open? He only needed to say the word! For our Salvation? No problem, let it be so! Obviously, there is a valuable lesson in there for us to learn, but I feel we’ve forgotten it. I’ve asked this to several friends of mine, and no one can give me a good response.

Yes, I do have an answer that suffices me, but I’d like to get some responses from out there before I give it, as I think this is a wonderful topic to ponder next time your visiting with God. I’m still suffering through limited internet access from Hurrican Rita (4 weeks ago!!!), so I won’t be able to get back on this topic til later today, but I’m looking forward to hearing what you think.

God Bless,

NotWorthy

P.S. For a hint, look to His Covenants.
[/quote]


#4

OK, here goes. This was presented to me by Tim Gray. It helps me to (begin to) understand the limitless depths of God’s love for us. I hope you enjoy.

In Jesus’ time, Israel was still living under a covenant with God called the Deuteronomic Covenant. In the covenant treaty, which is the entire Book of Deuteronomy, there is a list of blessings for faithfulness and curses for unfaithfulness. The curses describe what will befall Israel when she breaks the covenant. The remaining prophets of the Old Testament simply tell Israel that if they continue to sin, they will suffer these curses, such as disease and illness, famine and plagues, then war and captivity to foreigners, and then after suffering exile at the hands of Gentiles, they would be executed.

           To say then that Jesus took Israel's place is to say that Jesus took upon Himself the curses that were upon Israel, as St. Paul says, "***Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us***" (Gal. 3:13).  Just as Israel was to be handed over to the Gentiles in exile, and then afflicted and finally executed, so too Jesus' Passion follows the pattern of the Deuteronomy's curses.  This is why Jesus must be handed over to Pilate, the Gentile governor, and thus experiencing a symbolic exile that precedes His execution.  Jesus becomes accursed so that Israel will be freed from the curse.

           Here we come to the core of the question of the Cross: **Why must Jesus die in order to save Israel**?  The biblical answer is the Covenant.  Israel and Yahweh had made a solemn covenant, and covenants - such as marriage - are permanent.  Therefore, the oaths that Israel swore as part of the covenant, which included the curses, could not be taken back.  According to the curses, Israel had to be exiled and destroyed for her unfaithfulness - unless one of the parties were to die.  For just as in a marriage covenant, only death breaks up a covenant ("*Til death do you part*").  Israel's death would hardly solve the problem, and God couldn't die - or could He?

           According to St. Paul, this is exactly what God does through Jesus.  God becomes incarnate in Jesus, who then takes upon Himself the curses of the covenant and dies on the Cross.  Thus the Old Covenant curses are annulled on the Cross.  God has "***forgiven us all our trespasses, having canceled the bond which stood against us with its legal demands; this he set aside, nailing it to the cross***" (Col. 2:13-14)

So Jesus dies to save Israel, but what about the Gentiles?

To be Continued…

NotWorthy


#5

Jesus died to open the gates of Heaven by atoning for all our sins (particularly the Fall).

When he descended to the dead He went to share the Good News that the covenant was fulfilled to those souls who had been waiting since the Fall for His arrival. Those who accepted the News entered into Heaven with Jesus at the Resurrection.

The gates of heaven remain open to all who accept the Good News of Christ and follow His teachings (for me, that includes accepting the Catholic Church as the protector and guide of said teachings).


#6

You can find more on this topic on this thread.


#7

Mortal sin, that sin which leads to death, is an offense against God’s love. God’s love is infinite and perfect, so mortal sin carries greater penalty than any finite creature could ever pay. Therefore, it required an infinite sacrifice to make restitution. The only person who could make this sacrifice was God.

– Mark L. Chance.


#8

Prof. Tim Gray’s answer is very good and on the money.

I think the matter is covered somewhere in the book to the Romans, that Jesus’ death was involved in the making of a covenant. The shedding of His blood was the seal of the covenant. (Just as Jesus said that the cup of His blood was the blood of the new and everlasting covenant).

This testament is, as Jesus said, everlasting, because God will not take it back. Further, the testament must be carried out according to its terms.

God’s love explains why He did this for us, as every testament is a declaration of love of some sort.

Yes, as some have noted, God could have simply forgiven mankind and “rebooted” the Garden of Eden and paradise on earth. But, that would overlook the justice of God and His providence. God would not and did not go back on His word.

In a practical sense, why would we love God, if we just took His mercy for granted? God put salvation in terms we would be able to understand.


#9

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