How Does This Ques­tion Mat­ter: Why Did Je­sus Have to Die?

Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - CHURCH - GENE LINZEY IS A SPEAKER, AU­THOR, MEN­TOR AND PRES­I­DENT OF THE SILOAM SPRINGS WRIT­ERS GUILD. SEND COM­MENTS AND QUES­TIONS TO MAS­TERS.SER­VANT@COX.NET. THE OPIN­IONS EX­PRESSED ARE THOSE OF THE AU­THOR. Gene Linzey

First: an over­view. God cre­ated Adam and com­mis­sioned him to rule the world. But Adam com­mit­ted high trea­son, and turned the world over to Lu­cifer. That act plunged mankind un­der Lu­cifer’s harsh do­min­ion, and God had a choice: ei­ther de­stroy mankind and start over or res­cue mankind. What was God to do?

The Coun­cil of Heaven, with Lu­cifer look­ing on, con­sid­ered the facts. Je­sus, called The Word (John 1:1, 1:14, Ge­n­e­sis 1:1-31), de­cided not to start over.

How­ever, of the many fac­tors to con­sider, the first was: God is holy and just and sin­ful ac­tions and at­ti­tudes could not be over­looked. God could not al­low sin in any form to go un­pun­ished, and the penalty for trea­son was death. Adam and Eve had to die, and Lu­cifer knew this as well as God did. The Apos­tle Paul ad­dressed this con­cept in Ro­mans 6:23 - “The wages of sin is death.” God’s plan would be over­turned, and Lu­cifer was gloat­ing over his bril­liant sub­ver­sion of God’s plan.

Now, for the man’s ques­tion: “Why did Je­sus have to die?” An overly sim­plis­tic re­sponse is: Je­sus died for us so we could be for­given of our sin and go to heaven to live with Him eter­nally (John 3:16-18).

Be­fore we go any fur­ther, I might ask, why does the ques­tion mat­ter?

It mat­ters be­cause, pay at­ten­tion now, Je­sus did not have to die.

Re­ally? Then, why DID He die? Read the fol­low­ing state­ment and think about it: Je­sus wanted to die – for you.

In Matthew 26:53-54, Je­sus in­formed us the Fa­ther could have sent more than 12 le­gions of an­gels to res­cue Him, but he didn’t want to be res­cued. In­stead, He was on a mis­sion to res­cue us. If Adam died for his own sin, Adam would have been con­signed to hell. Any­one who has done some­thing wrong would die for their own sin, but can­not save any­one else.

How­ever, one who had never sinned, had never done any­thing wrong, would be legally able to bear the penalty for some­one else. Je­sus did that for us.

That’s why The Word/ Je­sus left heaven. That’s why He came to earth as a baby. Je­sus, the man who never sinned, wanted to re­deem mankind from the obliv­ion of hell. Je­sus wanted to re­store the fel­low­ship that He planned for mankind. In John 18:37 Je­sus told Pi­late His rea­son for be­ing born. Je­sus’ birth was in­ten­tional, His death was in­ten­tional, and his res­ur­rec­tion was in­ten­tional.

Je­sus did not have to die. He was never trapped where he HAD to do any­thing. He is man, but also God.

Je­sus freely chose to die and re­store the orig­i­nal plan He in­sti­tuted from the begin­ning.

It was His Love for us (Ro­mans 5:5) that prompted Him to die for us and res­cue us. Now His orig­i­nal plan, as re­ferred to in Eph­e­sians 1:4-7, can be ful­filled.

We can talk about the at­tributes of God: holy, sov­er­eign, right­eous, just, et.al. But in ful­fill­ing His mis­sion, Je­sus em­pha­sizes the Love of God. (John 3:16)

Be­cause of His love for us, He suf­fered and bore the penalty for ev­ery kind of sin, mis­take, or er­ror, in thought, word, or deed. Any kind of evil we can pos­si­bly dream or think of, Je­sus en­dured the penalty for it on the cross.

That means you and I don’t have to be pun­ished in eter­nity for it. We need to ad­mit the er­ror and fool­ish­ness of our ways, ask the Lord to for­give us, and in­ten­tion­ally live for Him.

Sun­day is Easter, and to­day that is as­so­ci­ated with Je­sus’ res­ur­rec­tion. But there is no res­ur­rec­tion with­out the suf­fer­ing and cru­ci­fix­ion. Je­sus so loved you that He will­ingly died to res­cue you; so if you will be­lieve on Him and live for Him, you will not per­ish eter­nally, but en­joy ev­er­last­ing life.

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