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 has appeared several times in human form. If Jesus had only 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 affects all Christians directly.

Jesus said that "the Son of Man did not come, that he would be served, but that he would serve and give his life for salvation [crowd Bible and Elberfeld Bible: as a ransom] for many" Matth. 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 spilled for others.

Jesus announced his suffering and death to the disciples, but apparently they did not believe him. "Since then, Jesus began to show his disciples how to go to Jerusalem and suffer a lot from the elders and high priests and scribes and to be killed and resurrected on the third day. And Peter took him aside and started him, saying, God save you, Lord! You just don't get that! » (Matt. 16,21: 22.)

Jesus knew that he had to die because it was written like this. "... And how is it written by the Son of Man that he should suffer a lot and be despised?" (Mark 9,12:9,31; 10,33; 34.) «And he started with Moses and all the prophets and explained to them what was said about him in all the scriptures ... So it is written that Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day » (Luke 24,27:46 and).

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

The suffering servant

Where was it written? The clearest prophecy can be found in Isaiah 53. Jesus himself quoted Isaiah 53,12: "For I say to you: What has to be accomplished in me must be what is written: 'He has been counted among the evildoers.' Because what is written by me will be accomplished » (Luke 22,37). Jesus, sinless, should be counted among sinners.

What else is written in Isaiah 53? "Indeed, he bore our illness and burdened us with our pain. We thought he was the one who was plagued and beaten and tortured by God. But he is wounded for our iniquity [apostasy, apostasy] and shattered for our sin. The punishment lies on him for having peace, and through his wounds we are healed. We all went astray like sheep, everyone looked on his way. But the Lord threw all our sins on him » (Verses 4-6).

He was "plagued for the iniquity of my people ... although he did no wrong ... The Lord wanted to smash him with illness. When he gave his life as a victim of guilt ... he bears her sins ... he bore the sins of many ... and prayed for the evildoers » (Verses 8-12). Isaiah portrays a person who does not suffer for the sins of others, but for the sins of others.

This person should be "torn away from the land of the living" (Verse 8), but that's not the end of the story. It should “see the light and have abundance. And through his knowledge he, my servant, the righteous, will create justice for the many ... he will have offspring and live long » (Verses 11 and 10).

What Isaiah wrote, Jesus fulfilled. He gave his life for his sheep (John 10:15). With his death he accepted our sins and suffered for our transgressions; he was punished so that we can have 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 expanded and deepened in the New Testament.

A death in shame and shame

A "hanged man is cursed with God," says Deuteronomy 5:21,23. Because of this verse, the Jews saw the curse of God on every crucifixion and, as Isaiah writes, saw it as "struck by God." The Jewish priests probably thought that this would scare and paralyze Jesus' disciples. In fact, the crucifixion destroyed their hopes. Dejected, they confessed: "We ... hoped it would be him who would redeem Israel" (Luke 24,21). The resurrection then restored her hopes, and the Pentecostal miracle filled her with new courage to announce as a savior that a hero who, according to popular belief, was an absolute antihero: a crucified Messiah.

"The God of our fathers," announced Peter before the high council, "raised up Jesus whom you hung on the wood and killed" (Acts 5,30). In “Holz” Peter makes the whole disgrace of the death on the cross sound. The shame, he says, does not lie on Jesus - it lies on those who crucified him. God blessed him because he didn't deserve the curse he suffered. God reversed the stigma.

Paul speaks of the same curse in Galatians 3,13: «But Christ has released us from the curse of the law, since it became a curse for us; because it is written: 'Cursed is everyone who hangs on the wood' ... »Jesus became ours instead of ours, so that we can be freed from the curse of the law. He became something that he was not, so that we can become something that we are not. "For he made the one who knew no sin into sin for us, so that we could become the righteousness before God" (2 Cor.

Jesus became a sin for us so that we can declare him just. Because he suffered what we deserved, he released us from the curse - from the punishment - of the law. "The punishment lies on him for having peace." Because he has served the punishment, we can enjoy peace with God.

The word of the cross

The disciples never forgot the disgraceful way Jesus died. Sometimes she was even the focus of her preaching: "... but we preach crucified Christ, annoyance to the Jews and foolishness to the Greeks" (1 Cor. 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 correct picture of Christ: "Who enchanted you, to whom Jesus Christ was painted before the eyes as the crucified one?" (Gal. 3,1.) This was the core message of the gospel.

Why is the cross "gospel", good news? Because we were redeemed on the cross and our sins were given 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 sinful debt is paid, when we have been justified in Christ as "before God". Only then can we enter the glory of Jesus.

"For us" Jesus died, says Paul (Romans 5,6: 8-2; 5 Corinthians 14:1; 5,10 Thess.); and "for our sins" he died (1 Cor. 15,3; Gal. 1,4). He "carried our own sin up ... on his body to the wood" (1. Petr. 2,24; 3,18). Paul further says that we died with Christ (Rom. 6,3-8). By believing in him we share 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.

The Bible does say that Jesus ransom (in the old sense of redemption: release, buy free) for us, but the ransom has not been paid to any specific entity - it is a figurative phrase that wants to make it clear that it cost him an incredibly high price to free us . "You are dearly bought," Paul describes our redemption through Jesus: this is also a figurative phrase. Jesus "bought" us, but "paid" no one.

Some have said that Jesus died to satisfy the father's legal rights - but you could also say that it was the father himself who paid the price by sending and giving his only son for it (John 3,16:5,8; Rom.). In Christ God himself took punishment - so that we don't have to; «Because by God's grace he should taste death for everyone» (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 (Rom. 1,18; 2,5).

Whoever rejects the truth will be punished (2, 8). Whoever rejects the truth of divine grace will get to know the downside of God, his anger. God wants everyone to repent (2. Petr. 3,9), but who does not repent will feel the consequences of his sin.

Our sins are forgiven in Jesus' death, and by his death we escape the wrath of God, the punishment for sin. However, this does not mean that a loving Jesus appeased an angry God or, in a sense, "bought silently". Jesus is angry with sin just as the father is. Jesus is not only the world judge who loves sinners so much that he pays the sin for them, he is also the world judge who condemns (Matthew 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 righteously when he forgives us (Rom. 1,17). He does not ignore our sins, but overcomes them in Jesus Christ. "God made it for faith as an atonement in his blood to prove his righteousness ..." (Rom. 3,25). The cross reveals that God is righteous; it shows that sin is too serious to be ignored. It is appropriate that sin be punished, and Jesus voluntarily accepted our punishment. In addition to God's righteousness, the cross also shows God's love (Rom. 5,8).

As Isaiah says: We have peace with God because Christ was punished. We were once far from God, but have now come close to 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 with God depends on the death of Jesus Christ.

Christianity: this is not a catalog of regulations. Christianity is the belief that Christ did everything we need to do with God - and he did it on the cross. We were "reconciled to God ... by the death of his son when we were still enemies" (Rom. 5,10). Through Christ God reconciled the universe "by making peace through his blood on the cross" (Col. 1,20). If we are reconciled through him, all sins are forgiven (Verse 22) - Reconciliation, forgiveness and justice all mean one and the same thing: peace with God.


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

What looked like a disgraceful death was in fact a crowning triumph for God's plan, because it was only through the cross that Jesus won victory over hostile forces, over Satan, sin and death. Your claims against us have been fully satisfied by the death of the innocent victim. They cannot ask for more than has already been paid. Through his death, we are told, Jesus took the power from "who had power over death, namely the devil" (Heb. 2,14). «... The Son of God has appeared to destroy the works of the devil» (1 John 3,8). The victory was won on the cross.


Jesus' death is also described as a victim. The concept of sacrifice draws from the rich tradition of sacrifice in the Old Testament. Isaiah calls our creator a "guilt victim" (53,10). John the Baptist calls him "the Lamb of God who bears the sin of the world" (John 1,29). Paul depicts him as a victim of reconciliation, as a victim of sin, as a Passover lamb, as an incense offering (Rom. 3,25; 8,3; 1 Cor. 5,7; Eph. 5,2). The letter to the Hebrews calls him a sin offering (10,12). John calls him a sacrifice for reconciliation "for our sins" (1 John 2,2; 4,10).

There are several names for what Jesus did on the cross. The individual New Testament authors use different terms and images for this. The exact choice of words, the exact mechanism are not decisive. The bottom line is that we are saved by the death of Jesus, that only His death opens salvation to us. "His wounds healed us." He died to free us, to redeem our sins, to suffer our punishment, to buy our salvation. «Beloved, if God loved us so, we should also love each other» (1 John 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 (almost congruent with "redemption"): a price paid to set someone free. The focus is on the idea of ​​liberation, not the nature of the price.
  • Redemption: in the original sense of the word also based on “buying away”, B. the free purchase of slaves.
  • Justification: standing before God again without guilt, as after an acquittal in court.
  • Rescue (Salvation): The basic idea is liberation or salvation from a dangerous situation. There is also healing, healing, return to wholeness.
  • 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

pdfWhy did Jesus have to die?