Why Did Jesus Have To Die?

Posted: May 31, 2014 in Christian Living
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As much as it is true that God is love, it is also true that God is justice and judgment. We may initially have a negative view of this quality, for it comes with the image of God high in the clouds, watching our every move and sending fire and brimstone to consume those who step out of line. In reality, justice is what makes it possible for there to be a sharp line between good and evil. It’s what makes the distinction real, for without it, the two will blur and become meaningless. Without justice, we will fail to even comprehend what goodness is.

For me, the hardest part of understanding God’s plan of salvation is simply this – why did Jesus have to die? For many years I have heard it explained that Jesus had to die in order to pay the price for my sin. But if I cry out to God to be forgiven of my sins, why can’t that simply be done and over with? Why did Jesus have to suffer and die? On the surface, it seems horribly unfair. Jesus was the most perfect person who ever lived, yet he suffered unimaginable pain and agony for my sins. Why did God allow this? Why not just make my sins vanish away?

God created all humans in His image. He is supposed to be perfect. But if that is the case, then why, when He created humans, did He create them imperfectly? — Because if they were perfect, they would not sin.
I do my best to teach my children right from wrong. I really truly do love my children, and if I could make them perfect, I would. But just like everyone else, my children have free will to choose to be holy or not. God doesn’t punish people and cause them anguish when they don’t act perfectly any more than you punish your imperfect children so that they will learn to act more perfectly.

God doesn’t send the ones He created into a post life hell of pain and agony just for being imperfect. Not only would it not have the same corrective effect; it would be like creating a rabid dog to have as a pet then kicking the dog into oblivion when it attempted to bite you. It just doesn’t make sense.

Imagine a virus that infected all the people in the world that would leave them delusional and unable to think clearly. (Much like Huntington’s disease or Alzheimer’s) Now imagine that that same virus genetically mutated and was passed on from generation to generation. But there was only one person in the whole world that was naturally immune to the virus. And his blood could be used as a vaccine. There was just one problem—in order to make the vaccine, this man had to die.

We had a virus called sin and Jesus was the only person who was naturally immune. That’s why he had to die in order for us to be saved. And dying for us was his CHOICE. (John 10:17-18) Jesus died in order to save us—out of love. He also chose to die in order to become even more powerful. After his resurrection Jesus was no longer confined to the finite limitations of a mortal body.

Things Jesus Did After The Resurrection:
We see Jesus appear to a sobbing Mary Magdalene in John 20:13-18. Mary did not recognize Jesus and mistook him for a caretaker. But with one simple word, “Mary”, and Mary’s eyes were opened to who was speaking to her and Jesus restored her faith and gave her hope.

Then in John 20:19-30 Jesus simply ‘appeared’ to the apostles who were hiding behind a locked door! Jesus “showed them his hands and side”, which had been pierced for their sin. Then we’re told that the apostles were “overjoyed when they saw the Lord.”

Again in Luke 24:13-32, we read that the disciples were talking with each other on their way to a village called Emmaus about everything that had happened since Jesus’ crucifixion. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they didn’t recognize who he was. Jesus then explained to his disciples what was written in the Scriptures concerning the Messiah. As they approached Emmaus, Jesus acted as if he were going farther. But the men urged him to stay with them because it was almost evening. Jesus agreed to stay and when he broke bread and gave it to them, their eyes were opened and they suddenly recognized him! At that very moment Jesus disappeared from their sight! Verse 32 says that the disciples’ “hearts burned” as Jesus “opened the Scriptures” to them.

Jesus presented himself to his followers many times and gave many convincing proofs that he was in fact, alive! He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. In Acts 1:2-11 we find Jesus giving the apostles commandments and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. In verse 9 we read that, “After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.” But before being taken up he said, “John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

His disciples thought that this was when Jesus was going to restore the kingdom to Israel. But Jesus told them that that time was none of their business and told them, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Jesus lived, died and was resurrected as an example for us and to let us know what we have to look forward to. At our own resurrection just like Jesus, we will no longer be confined to our finite mortal bodies! Every follower of Messiah should be rejoicing in this!

Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory. “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. (1Cor. 15:51-58)

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