Why did Jesus have to die?

214 why did jesus die?Jesus' work was amazingly fruitful. He taught and healed thousands. He attracted large numbers of listeners and could have had a far greater impact. He could have healed more thousands if he had gone to the Jews and non-Jews who lived in other lands. But Jesus allowed his work to come to an abrupt end. He could have avoided arrest, but he chose to die instead of carrying his message out into the world. Although his teachings were important, he not only came to teach, but also to die, and with his death he has done more than in his life. Death was the most important part of the work of Jesus. When we think of Jesus, we think of the cross as a symbol of Christianity, of the bread and wine of the Lord's Supper. Our Redeemer is a Redeemer who died.

Born to die

The Old Testament tells us that God appeared several times in human form. If only Jesus had wanted to heal and teach, he could simply have "appeared". But he did more: he became human. Why? So that he could die. To understand Jesus, we need to understand his death. His death is a central part of the message of salvation and something that concerns all Christians directly.

Jesus said that "the Son of Man did not come to be served, but that he should serve and give his life for salvation [Lot Bible and Elberfeld Bible: as a ransom] for many" Matt. 20,28). He came to sacrifice his life to die; his death should "buy" salvation for others. This was the main reason why he came to earth. His blood was shed for others.

His suffering and death Jesus announced to the disciples, but they apparently did not believe him. "Since then, Jesus began to show his disciples how to go to Jerusalem and suffer much from the elders and chief priests and scribes and be killed and resurrected on the third day. And Peter took him aside and touched him, saying, God forbid, Lord! That would not happen to you! "(Matthew 16,21-22)

Jesus knew he had to die because it was written that way. "And how then is written of the Son of man, that he should suffer much and be despised?" (Mark 9,12; 9,31; 10,33-34.) "And he began with Moses and all the prophets and laid them out, what was said of him in the whole Scripture ... Thus it is written that Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day "(Luke 24,27 and 46).

Everything happened according to God's plan: Herod and Pilate only did what God's hand and counsel had "previously determined that it should happen" (Acts 4,28). In the Garden of Gethsemane he prayed in prayer, if there was no other way; there was no (Luke 22,42). His death was necessary for our salvation.

The suffering servant

Where was it written? The clearest prophecy is found in Isaiah 53. Jesus himself quoted Isaiah 53,12: "For I say to you, this must be accomplished in me, which is written, 'He has been counted among the evil-doers.' For what is written by me is completed "(Luke 22,37). Jesus, sinless, should be counted among the sinners.

What else is written in Isaiah 53? "Indeed, he bore our illness and invited our pain. But we considered him to be the one who was plagued and beaten and tortured by God. But for the sake of our iniquity [apostasy] he is wounded and crushed for the sake of our sins. The punishment is upon him for us to have peace, and through his wounds we are healed. We all went astray like sheep, each one looking his way. But the Lord threw our all sin upon him "(verse 4-6).

He was "plagued for the misdeeds of my people ... though he did no wrong to anyone ... so the Lord wanted to smite him with sickness. If he has given his life as a guilt offering ... he [bears] his sins ... he [has] borne the sin of the many ... and asked for the evildoers "(verse 8-12). Isaiah portrays a man who suffers not for his own, but for the sake of others' sins.

This man should be "torn away from the land of the living" (verse 8), but that's not the end of the story. He should "look the light and have the fullness. And by his knowledge he, my servant, the righteous, will render justice to many ... he will have offspring and live long "(verse 11 and 10).

What Isaiah wrote fulfilled Jesus. He left his life for his sheep (Joh. 10, 15). With his death he took our sins upon himself and suffered for our transgressions; he was punished so that we can get peace with God. Through his suffering and death, the illness of our soul is healed; we are justified - our sins are taken away. These truths are developed and deepened in the New Testament.

A death in shame and shame

A "Hanged man is cursed by God," says 5. Moses 21,23. Because of this verse, the Jews on every crucified Jesus saw the curse of God burdened, saw him, as Isaiah writes, as "struck by God." Probably the Jewish priests thought this would deter and paralyze Jesus' disciples. In fact, the crucifixion destroyed their hopes. Dejected, they confessed: "We ... hoped he was the one to deliver Israel" (Luke 24,21). The resurrection then restored their hopes, and Pentecost filled them with renewed courage to proclaim, as savior, a hero, who was, according to popular belief, an absolute antihero: a crucified Messiah.

"The God of our fathers," proclaimed Peter before the High Council, "raised Jesus, whom you hanged and killed on the tree" (Acts 5,30). In "Wood" Peter lets all the shame of the cross death sound. The shame, he says, is not on Jesus - she lies on those who have crucified him. God blessed him because he did not deserve the curse he suffered. God has reversed the stigma.

The same curse Paul addresses in Galatians 3,13: "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, since he became a curse for us; for it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who hangs by the wood' ... "Jesus became ours instead of the curse, so that we may be released from the curse of the law. He became something he was not so that we could become something we are not. "For he hath made him who knew no sin to be a sin unto us, that in him we might become the righteousness that is before God." (2.

Jesus became a sin for us, so that we can be declared righteous by him. Because he suffered what we deserve, he redeemed us from the curse - from the punishment - from the law. "The punishment is upon him for us to have peace." Because he has shed the punishment, we can enjoy peace with God.

The word of the cross

The disciples never forgot the ignominious way Jesus died. Sometimes she was even at the center of her proclamation: "... but we preach the crucified Christ, the Jews a nuisance and the Greeks a folly" (1, 1,23). Paul even calls the gospel "the word of the cross" (verse 18). He tells the Galatians that they have lost sight of the true image of Christ: "Who has charmed you, for whom Jesus Christ was painted before the eyes as the crucified one?" (Gal. 3,1.) In it he saw the gospel's central message.

Why is the cross "gospel", good news? Because we were redeemed on the cross and received our sins there, the punishment they deserve. Paul focuses on the cross because it is the key to our salvation through Jesus.

We will not be resurrected to glory until our sin-guilt is eradicated, when we have become as righteous in Christ as is "before God." Only then can we enter into the glory of Jesus.

"For us," Jesus died, says Paul (Romans 5,6-8, 2, 5, 14, 1, Thessian 5,10); and "for our sins" he died (1, Cor. 15,3, Gal. 1,4). He has "carried up our sin Himself ... on his body upon the wood" (1, Petr. 2,24, 3,18). Further, Paul says we died with Christ (Romans 6,3-8). By faith in him, we participate in his death.

If we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, his death counts as ours; our sins count as his, and his death abolishes the punishment for those sins. It is as if we were hanging on the cross, as if receiving the curse our sins have us. But he did it for us, and because he did it, we can be justified, that is, considered just. He takes our sin and our death; he gives us justice and life. The prince has become a beggar boy so that we may become beggar boys princes.

Although it is said in the Bible that Jesus paid ransom (in the old sense of salvation: trigger, buy free) for us, but the ransom has not been paid to any concrete instance - it is a figurative phrase that wants to make it clear that it is him cost an incredibly high price to free us. "You are dearly bought" Paul describes our salvation through Jesus: this too is a figurative turn. Jesus "bought" us, but never "paid" anyone.

Some have said that Jesus died to satisfy the Father's rights - but one could also say that it was the Father Himself who paid the price by sending and giving His only Son for it (John 3,16 ; Roman 5,8). In Christ, God himself has taken the punishment - so that we do not have to; "For by the grace of God he should taste death for all" (Heb. 2,9).

Escape the wrath of God

God loves people - but he hates sin because sin harms people. Therefore, there will be a "day of wrath" when God judges the world (Romans 1,18, 2,5).

He who rejects the truth will be punished (2, 8). He who rejects the truth of divine grace will know the reverse side of God, his wrath. God wants everyone to repent (2, Petr. 3,9), but those who have no regrets will feel the consequences of their sin.

In Jesus' death our sins are forgiven us, and through his death we escape the wrath of God, the punishment of sin. This does not mean, however, that a loving Jesus has appeased an angry God or, so to speak, "quietly" bought it. Jesus is as angry with sin as the Father does. Jesus is not only the world judge who loves sinners so much that he pays the sins, but he is also the judge of the world (Matt. 25,31-46).

When God forgives us, he does not simply wash the sin and pretend that it never existed. Throughout the New Testament, he teaches us that sin is overcome through the death of Jesus. Sin has serious consequences - consequences that we can see on the cross of Christ. It cost Jesus pain and shame and death. He bore the punishment we deserved.

The gospel reveals that God acts justly when he forgives us (Romans 1,17). He does not ignore our sins, but masters them in Jesus Christ. "God has placed him for the faith as atonement in his blood for the proof of his righteousness ..." (Rom.3,25). The cross reveals that God is just; it shows that sin is too serious to be ignored. It is appropriate that sin be punished, and Jesus voluntarily took our punishment. In addition to God's righteousness, the cross also shows God's love (Romans 5,8).

As Isaiah says, we have peace with God because Christ was punished. We were once away from God, but came near him through Christ (Eph. 2,13). In other words, we are reconciled to God through the cross (verse 16). It is a basic Christian belief that our relationship to God depends on the death of Jesus Christ.

Christianity: this is not a catalog of rules. Christianity is the belief that Christ has done everything we need to be at peace with God - and He did it on the cross. We have been "reconciled to God ... through the death of his Son when we were still enemies" (Romans 5,10). Through Christ, God reconciled the universe "by making peace through his blood on the cross" (Col. 1,20). If we are reconciled by Him, all sins are forgiven us (verse 22) - Reconciliation, forgiveness, and justice all mean one thing: peace with God.


Paul uses an interesting picture of salvation when he writes that Jesus "dissected the powers and powers of their power and publicly displayed them and made them a triumph in Christ [a. O .: through the cross] "(Col. 2,15). He uses the image of a military parade: the victorious general leads enemy prisoners in a triumphal procession. They are disarmed, humiliated, showcased. What Paul wants to say here is that Jesus did this on the cross.

What looked like a shameful death was in truth a crowning triumph for God's plan, because only through the cross did Jesus gain victory over hostile forces, over Satan, sin and death. Your claims to us have been fully satisfied by the death of the innocent victim. They can not demand more than has already been paid. By his death, we are told, Jesus took away the power "that had power over death, the devil" (Heb. 2,14). "For this the Son of God appeared to destroy the works of the devil" (1, Joh. 3,8). The victory was won on the cross.


Jesus' death is also described as a sacrifice. The idea of ​​sacrifice draws on the rich Old Testament sacrificial tradition. Isaiah calls our Creator a "guilt offering" (53,10). John the Baptist calls him "the Lamb of God who sins the world" (John 1,29). Paul presents him as an atonement sacrifice, as a sin offering, as a Passover lamb, as an incense offering (Romans 3,25, 8,3, 1, corpus 5,7, Eph. 5,2). Hebrews call him sin offering (10,12). John calls him atonement sacrifice "for our sins" (1, Jn 2,2, 4,10).

There are several names for what Jesus did on the cross. The individual New Testament authors use different terminology and images for this. The exact wording, the exact mechanism is not crucial. The deciding factor is that we are saved by the death of Jesus, that only his death opens salvation to us. "Through his wounds we are healed." He died to deliver us, to redeem our sins, to suffer our punishment, to buy our salvation. "Dear Ones, God has loved us so much, so shall we also love one another" (1, Joh. 4,11).

Healing: Seven key words

The riches of Christ's work are expressed in the New Testament through a whole range of linguistic imagery. We can call these pictures parables, patterns, metaphors. Each paints a part of the picture:

  • Ransom (meaning almost coincident with "salvation"): a price paid to set someone free. The focus is on the idea of ​​liberation, not the nature of the prize.
  • Redemption: in the original sense of the word also based on the "Loskauf", also z. B. the free buys of slaves.
  • Justification: standing before God again without guilt, as after an acquittal in court.
  • Salvation: The basic idea is liberation or salvation from a dangerous situation. Also healing, healing, return to wholeness is in it.
  • Reconciliation: Renewing a disturbed relationship. God reconciles us to himself. He is acting to restore a friendship and we are taking his initiative.
  • Childhood: We become the legitimate children of God. Faith is changing our marital status: from the outsider to the family member.
  • Forgiveness: can be seen in two ways. By law, forgiveness means the cancellation of a debt. Interpersonal means forgiveness that forgives a personal injury (According to Alister McGrath, Understanding Jesus, p. 124-135).

by Michael Morrison

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