JG – Why did Jesus have to die?
TM – JESUS DIED BECAUSE he was killed by people who thought that he was a risk to their livelihood, status, and power. The Roman governor (Pontius Pilate) understood that Jesus’ accusers were jealous of him (Mark 15:10).
Jesus had spent his life doing good, teaching, and healing people; showing them how to live in a way that pleases God. It is said of him, and of him alone, that he “committed no sin, nor was deceit found in his mouth” (1 Peter 2:22). Yet he was crucified. So, the death of Jesus shows us what sin is like at its starkest and darkest. As the apostle Peter said accusingly: “Him … you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death” (Acts 2:23).
Yet here is the remarkable thing. The full quotation reads: “Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death” (Acts 2:23).
Jesus was the Son of God, born of the virgin Mary. He came into the world to save humankind from sin, and its inevitable outcome death. God loved the world so much that Jesus came to save those who believe in him and who follow him (John 3:16). Jesus was completely obedient to his Father’s requests, choosing to lay down his life as a mark of his total obedience. The Bible says it was a case of the just (Jesus) giving his life for the unjust (all of mankind), so that he can bring us to God
(1 Peter 3:18).
Because of what Jesus has done, by living a sinless life and then dying as a sacrifice for sin (Hebrews 9:26), we can—through belief and baptism, by being fully immersed in water—start to live as members of God’s family, modelling our lives upon the example that Jesus has given us.
Jesus died to rescue us, but we must want to be rescued. He died to give us a new life, but we must be willing to stop living for ourselves and start living for God, and with God. That’s the challenge!