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atpollard

Why did Jesus have to die?

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atpollard

Just like it says ...

 

Did Jesus have to die?
If so, then WHY?

What scripture do you base your answer on?

 

 

Why can’t God just “forgive sin”?

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Lee_v.2

That is a good question!  I hope I can do your question's importance some kind of justice 🙂 

 

The answer is that, in a sense, Jesus didn't have to die.  But, in another sense, the one in which reality is based, he had to die.  (I am not trying to be sarcastic.  This is the actual case of the matter; that is, a reality which could never have any other outcome.)  But, let's say he didn't have to die.  Okay.  Instead, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit could have ordained in eternity past that humans, without exception, would themselves die an eternal death as a due rendering of satisfaction to God for our repudiation of his love, majesty, and wisdom in creating us in his image, and the insurrection we incessantly wage against him as our Creator.

 

Those are the laws of reality set down by the Creator upon all that is aside from himself.  Said another way, if one is not God, then one is other.  Being other means being created.  Being created by, of course, the Creator comes with obligations of fealty and fulfilling the established purposes and requirements of being created.  That is a covenantal structure.  And since there is absolutely no way for us to be outside, let alone escape from, the covenantal structure of created reality, it is inescapable that humanity in Adam (i.e. the vassal; see Hosea 6:7) really and truly is obligated to satisfy the covenant initiator (i.e. the suzerain), God, who established the stipulations of the covenant.  And, being all wise in ordaining the best reality and history that would play out under his providential care, God chose, and ordained to pass, this reality where we are obligated to offer entire, perpetual, and perfect obedience unto God, and will be punished in due measure for our betrayal of that mandate.  That "due measure" - according to the rules of the suzerain (see Romans 9:14-24, and surrounding), requires a punishment which corresponds to the violation against the dignity and status and love of the suzerain, not us, the vassal.  And that is where the rub is.  Because of bare, unadulterated, Divine Justice - which cannot be separated from God for it is an essential perfection of his Being and Person, it is entirely fair that we would be required to satisfy justice on a divine scale even though we are as nothing in God's sight.  But, this is exactly where neither humanity, nor all of creation with all the holy angels, could ever truly satisfy God's justice.

 

Thanks be to God, this is where the Christ comes in!  Because of God's great love for his Son and us, God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) actually did covenant within himself in eternity past (see Hebrews 13:20, Revelation 13:8b) to send the Eternal Son into the world of hateful, rebellious mankind to take on a human nature and, being both God and sinless man, would then fully satisfy His own justice on our behalf.  This answers the "Why?" in a way that is amazing!!  Considering our side of the problem, Christ had to die for Divine Justice because it was the best and thus only way (see Matthew 26:39) God chose to save us from our sins so we could worship and enjoy him forever.  On God's side of the problem, it is the reality that glorifies Him the most and thus creates the greatest happiness for his creation.  And it is that reality which flows majestically in and through the covenant commitments between The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit.  It is a love for us born of the essential and simple love within the Trinity.  

 

Yes!  Jesus Christ was really the only worthy sacrifice, the only satisfactory payment, and God chose that path for Christ for his glory and our eternal happiness.  It was Perfect Wisdom and Perfect Love, and that is why we call it grace!  Because it accomplished what we could not do or devise; that is, satisfaction for all parties.  And, it was done in wisdom and love, and rests entirely upon the suffering of Christ in our place and the obedience and love toward the Father he lived on our behalf. (Now, to be clear: Jesus wasn't faking that demonstrated righteous life because he somehow cheated by relying upon his Deity.  No, Jesus of Nazareth truly did feel and express love and obedience toward the Father in every moment of his life, from conception to his final breath on the cross.)  What love it this!  Undeserved satisfaction for our sins is ours in Christ!  A grace also accomplishing something else that we could never provide:  Perfect Righteousness!  God in Christ not only pays the penalty for our hatred of him, but he also supplies to us the righteous standing of Christ through faith alone.  Praise God, in order to even begin all this, through His Word and Spirit, he even changes our hearts on his own initiative.  A change we would truly desire if we were not insane; and insane, we are, for all sin is a kind of insanity given Who and What we sin against.  This heart change is not formal, but substantial and elemental, like reversing polarity in a magnet.  The Bible calls it being regenerated, born again, and it is no mere show or sentiment.  This change in us is undertaken by God so that we, ourselves, really and truly believe the gospel and begin to love God and praise Christ as our Savior and our Lord!

 

So, we are deeply sorry that Jesus had to die for us, for sinners who would kill God if they had a chance - not that we haven't, in Adam, already tried (see Matthew 26:62-66, John 8:44).  That fact should always humble us.  But, given the unimaginably dire and hopeless situation we sinners are in, how can any Christian recognizing such grace and love not heartily praise God in Christ for the voluntary reconciling of us to himself by offering his One and Only Son as our atoning sacrifice, Jesus Christ - the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world!

 

So, the summary answer is, as I would state it:  It had to be done, and only Jesus could do it. 🙂

 

Well, I hope this gets close to providing a suitable answer.  Thanks for asking!  Others will chime in and I am sure the answers will be nice reading!

 

Peace,

Lee 🙂

 

p.s. Rather than provide only proof texts (some of which are provided above, and of which there are many more), I here list a few books in the Bible one would need to read to capture the sense of how the Bible answers your question.  Those books are:  The Gospel of Matthew, The Gospel of John, Romans, Ephesians, Hebrews.  Also, one should read Genesis 1-3, because that's where, of course, the fall of man and his dire need for a substitute, all starts.

Edited by Lee_v.2
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