WHY DID JESUS HAVE TO DIE?
Theologians have discussed this for millennia, but we can break this down to a really simple explanation, it demonstrates the amazing circle of God’s love, righteousness, justice, mercy and back again to love:
- GOD’S LOVE:
- God loves us and wants us to be with Him forever!
- GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS:
- God’s goodness is perfect; He wants each of us to enjoy all goodness, free from the any evil influences. Through His love for us, He has provided a way to be one with Him.
- Although perfect, God is not on an ego trip. He does not expect us to rise up to His level; in fact, in His love He comes down to pursue us;
- The problem with sin is, it grows like a virus;
- Evil and sin cannot exist in eternity with God.
- GOD’S JUSTICE & ANGER:
- Too often organized denominations emphasize God’s justice and overlook His love. Thus, they present an angry, distant, ambivalent or impersonal God.
- This warped presentation causes many to either reject God completely, or to live in bondage, legalism and deceptive self-righteousness, as they attempt to reach the impossible standards set by the Ten Commandments or other religious laws;
- God does get angry, but it is always temporary and with good reason; whereas His love is never-ending, even His anger is motivated by His love and concern for his kids.
- God is all knowing, as such, He can never be surprised and therefore has NO expectations of us. If He has no expectations of us, then he can never be disappointed. When He does gets angry with us, it is only because He knows we are never going to work it out for ourselves and only His loving discipline will get our attention;
- Nobody is perfect, God knows this and loves us anyway;
- Unless we are perfect, like God is perfect, we cannot join Him in eternity, therefore, someone needs to deal with our sin problem for us;
- God pursues us while we are still imperfect, but once our sin is dealt with, then God receives us. This is like parents of a runaway son who will spare nothing to find him and bring him home. But, they will insist that their son leaves his muddy boots (his sin) at the door, before entering. In both cases, the conditions of restoration are loving, free and incredibly simple. There is nothing in the way, except pride or the fear of disappointment, both of which can be overcome by trust;
- It will seem harsh if taken out of context without His love, but God said that sin can only be dealt with through justice; and the just penalty for sin is death– eternal death, but He always had a plan to deal with that.
- On the other hand, if God simply gave us eternal life without our sin being dealt with, we might think that He is showing mercy, but that would be at the expense of His standards for Justice. If His justice is ignored, then God becomes a liar;
- God can’t lie;
- Thankfully, God has a perfect and loving plan for us that balances His Love, Justice & Mercy. So we can have eternal life, but only if we Trust Him and His perfect plan.
- GOD’S MERCY:
- Because God loves us He does not want ANY of us to die eternally. But no one else can die in our place because he or she will have sinned too– except Jesus;
- Jesus never sinned, and yet he died as if he had;
- Because He never sinned and didn’t deserve death, Jesus’ death actually becomes a “get out of jail” card for us, free for the taking by all, if we simply trust this to be so.
- This Brings Us Back To GOD’S LOVE (Again):
- Jesus had to die because He loves us and wants us to be with Him forever,
- Jesus had to die because there was no other way to purchase us back from our slavery to sin and our sentence of death.
- Jesus had to die, so that we don’t have to!
For a deeper understanding, see “WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH ‘THE LAMB’?”