Why did Jesus have to die?
When we meditate upon the amazing events that took place from the birth of a babe to His death on a tree, it's astounding when we realise that God sent His son to die so that we may live. But why did Jesus have to die so that we may live? Sending Jesus His only son to die was always part of God's eternal plan to save the world from sin.
Let's start at the beginning. Sin first came into the world because of Satan. In Genesis 3 we read how Adam & Eve were tempted by the serpent with the fruit from the tree they were specifically told by God not to eat from. As a result of this, mankind gained the knowledge of good and evil, this being the first sin which separated mankind from God "And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” From that moment on, mankind although still made in the image of God was no longer perfect. If a criminal is found guilty in a court of law for committing a crime the judge must award the correct sentence. In the same way, just like the judge has no other option to punish the criminal God in His perfection, holiness and righteousness couldn't just see our sin and pardon it without someone taking the punishment. It is for this reason “The wages of sin is death” as we read in Romans 6:23. Sin must be punished, the punishment is death, we are all sinful...This leaves mankind with a big problem. How can they find favour and forgiveness for sin in Gods eyes?
Through the Old Testaments, the Jews were required to sacrifice a completely unblemished and perfect lamb once a priest had laid the sins of the people on it. This event was called Passover (Deuteronomy 16:1-8). Although God accepted this sacrifice it was not enough to fill the void which man had created between himself and God. This sacrifice was only exclusive to the Jews until God could fulfil his plan, a plan conceived out of love, grace and mercy.
The answer to the question is simple yet astounding; Jesus had to come to earth in human form to be a pure sacrifice for our sin. God is just and because God is just sin must be punished, it is the only possible outcome. Out of love God sent Jesus to suffer in our place and take the punishment we deserve. John 3:16 says "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
The account of the sacrifice Jesus paid can be found in Matthew 27: 1-54. Dying, buried and rising again, Gods plan to save His people had been fulfilled. Death had been defeated, the punishment paid and the bridge back to God restored. Ever since this extraordinary event, anyone who truly believes upon the Lord Jesus Christ can be forgiven and welcomed into the family of God without the need for Priests, sacrifices or temple worship. No matter your age, race or situation in life you can come to God and ask him to forgive you. This is the ultimate purpose of Jesus' death: to save us from our sins. Do you realise the need for a saviour? Are you amazed at the sacrifice Jesus paid so you could be free? Do you want to be forgiven and welcomed into the family of God today? If so click here to discover how to become a Christian today.