Why did Jesus have to die?
Why did Jesus have to die? Why did he die on Good Friday? The truth is, you already know. If you let your conscience loose long enough, you already know your anger hurts people you care about. You already recognize you put images in front of your eyes that God, out of love, would have you avoid. You already know how slow you’ve been to step up and contribute to your family, the way you know God would have you to.
You already know you lack humility before God.
You already know.
And so does God.
God is perfect. And God’s justice is perfect. And God’s love is perfect. So what is He to do then? How can God reconcile His perfect justice with His perfect love? Here we have a seemingly impossible dilemma because one thing is certain: you sin against God, and so do I, and so does every living human being on the planet. Even a glance at Matthew chapter five confirms it. (Matthew 5:21-48) Yet when you look at the life of God in flesh and blood, when you look at the life of Jesus Christ, it’s impossible not to see how He loves us, in spite of our sin.
So what is God to do then, with His perfect justice and His perfect love? God reconciles His perfect justice with His perfect love by reconciling you to Himself. And the way He did that was to provide His own Son as a sacrifice, to pay the price for your sins against God, to pay the price for my sins against God.
And the only way that could happen was if Jesus died, on Good Friday–on your behalf.
God loves you so much, God’s desire to reconcile with you runs so deep, He said: Yes, you can reject Me, die in your sins, and go to hell–but you’ll have to do it over My dead body.
Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe and went up to him again and again, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they slapped him in the face.
Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews gathered there, “Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him.” When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!”
As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!”
But Pilate answered, “You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him.”
The Jewish leaders insisted, “We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.”
When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid… John 19:1-8 (To read the conclusion click on the link to John Chapter 19)
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[Image via Christopher Brown – Creative Commons]