Why Did Jesus Have to Die?
To answer this question, we need to walk through the judicial logic of God’s plan. If someone violated one of your family members in some way you would expect justice. The level of justice we would expect would depend on the violation. For example, if they keyed your car you would obviously be far less demanding of justice than if there was an unspeakable assault.
The point is, it is in us to expect justice to be done. When we expect God to wink at sin and take the “what’s the big deal” approach, it would be the same as someone telling you the same thing after a monster violated your family.
Let’s take the hypothetical example of a neighborhood punk keying your brand-new car. Let’s say your next-door neighbor saw him do it, went to the kid’s house, told his parents, and the parents drug the kid by the ear to your house to apologize. Through tears the kid apologizes, and he even seems sincere. Do you say, “don’t sweat it, try to do better next time”?
Of course not! You might say something like, “I accept your apology, and you seem genuinely sorry, but you need to pay for the car to be fixed.”
This is the same in God’s judicial system. You may be genuinely sorry for your sin, but there is still the “cost” of that sin. You have sinned against a Holy God, your Creator that must punish all types and kinds of sin. Even if you think of your sin as “no big deal”, that’s is not how God sees it. One transgression of the Law of God has and eternal consequence. A keyed car only costs about two grand to fix, but violating God’s Law cannot be paid with an admission of guilt and an apology - “I’m sorry, I’ll try not to do it again”. The demand for justice is abiding under the Wrath of God for eternity.
A person might say, that’s not fair, just because I told a lie, or I stole a pencil, or I fornicated once, I will go to hell forever. That is correct. But, the issue isn’t just one sin, it is that humanity does nothing but sin. Even if you were perfect from this moment forward, you have still violated God’s Law.
If you recognize that your sin is deserving of this consequence you are ready to hear why Jesus had to die; if not, there is no need to read on. If you think, “my God wouldn’t send me to hell” – you’re right, because “your god” can’t send you to hell, he doesn’t exist, he is a figment of your imagination.
The God of Scripture, our Creator demands justice, He is perfectly Just. He cannot deny Himself, He executes justice perfectly. He is not a corrupt judge that sweeps lawlessness under the rug. But, He is also a God of Love.
In His perfect Love, God the Father, sent God the Son, in the Person of Jesus of Nazareth to live the perfect life, die a brutal death, rise on the third day to redeem His creation. Most of us have heard that, but that is not the entire story. The rest of the story is, on the Cross, God the Father poured out His Almighty Wrath on His Son. Jesus became sin for us, and since God cannot have sin in His presence He had to forsake His Son and pour out His Wrath on Him. Jesus drank the full cup of the Wrath of God that you deserve.
So, why did Jesus have to die? Because He loves His creation, he loves you, so much that He wanted to redeem you from the eternal Wrath you deserve. PLEASE KNOW THIS: this doesn’t happen by default! You cannot say, “great, Jesus dies for my sin, now I get to go to Heaven when I die”. We are not born children of God, we are born children of Wrath, with the right to BECOME children of God.
Jesus said, “repent and believe the Gospel”. Repentance is having your mind changed in such a dramatic way that you see your sin for what it is, and you see God for who He is. You rightly understand the consequences of your sin and you are determined to turn from your sin and live for the One you redeemed you from sin’s penalty. To believe the Gospel is to know this to be true and put your faith (your trust) in Christ alone to save you from the Wrath of God, knowing that Jesus Christ satisfied the Wrath of God on your behalf because He loves you; the reality of this causes you to quit living for yourself and live for Him; not to earn His favor, but because you are thankful for Him, you love Him for saving a wretch like you.
That’s why Jesus had to die – love – redemption!
The next logical question is, do you believe it, or is the Gospel still foolishness to you?
Below you will find Scripture to support this Truth:
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
Ephesians 5:6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
John 1:12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,
Matthew 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" that is, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
1Corinthians 1:18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
Isaiah 53:10 Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him;
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Mark 1:14-15 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel."
Luke 13:3 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.