Why was it necessary for Jesus to die?

I believe with all my heart when the Bible says Jesus died to save us from our sins. But I keep asking my self why it was so necessary for Jesus to die to save us? Can you help me with a detail explanation to my question? Thank you.

My response is in Green:

I think I can explain why Jesus had to die for our sins. First we have to understand that God is holy. (Leviticus 11:44 NIV) I am the LORD your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy. Do not make yourselves unclean by any creature that moves about on the ground.

We as humans often misunderstand what that means. It means that God has never done anything wrong, He is completely good and 'holy.' His holy nature can't stand sin and demands death for anyone who sins. That is why Adam was told: (Genesis 2:15-17 NIV) [15] The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. [16] And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; [17] but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die." Now God meant more than just physical death. Physical death started when Adam and Eve ate the fruit but also spiritual death started. People don't understand why physical death started, but it is simple. God can't stand sin and unless we die we would be around forever and our sin would be around forever, always in front of God. The spiritual death is not as simple. We will all live eternally in one place or another. Either with God in glory or in hell in torment, but our spirits will always exist. Hell is called the second death, because in hell a person will be separated from God's mercy and love. Even those who hate God now, or don't believe in Him are still under His love and mercy in this life. When you tell a person that in hell they will be totally separated from God, many laugh and say that is good, but they don't really understand that they have never before experienced this.

God's holy nature makes it impossible for Him to just forgive and forget our sins. His holy nature demands justice and the only just sentence for sin is death. Yet holiness is not the only attribute God has. He is also loving and merciful. He loves us and wants to show us mercy but He can't change who He is, so again He can't just forgive and forget out sins. There has to be payment for our sins. God found a way that was consistent with His character, He was able to have justice, yet show us mercy. How He did that was to take the punishment for our sins. Some of what God had done for us and why He has done what He has are a mystery, but we can get a lot of information from Scripture:

(Hebrews 9:22 NIV) In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

(Ephesians 1:7-8 NIV) [7] In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace [8] that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.

(Matthew 26:28 NIV) This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

(Romans 6:23 NIV) For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in£ Christ Jesus our Lord.

You can see from these passages that it takes the shedding of blood to forgive sins. Let me quote another passage that helps shed a little light on that: (Leviticus 17:10-12 NIV) [10] "'Any Israelite or any alien living among them who eats any blood-- I will set my face against that person who eats blood and will cut him off from his people. [11] For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life. [12] Therefore I say to the Israelites, "None of you may eat blood, nor may an alien living among you eat blood."

Jesus is also called the second Adam. Adam was created and did not have a sin nature. He was able to make clear decisions without fighting the flesh like we do. We have a problem because we have a corrupt nature that wars against us. Even when we want to do what it right we find it hard to follow through. We receive that corrupt sinful nature through Adam: (Romans 5:12 NIV) Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned-- Jesus, however, did not have a human father who passed on that sinful nature. So He was the second or last Adam. (1 Corinthians 15:21-22 NIV) [21] For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. [22] For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. Through the first Adam we all inherited death, but through the second Adam (Christ) we can have eternal life. Because Jesus was sinless He was able to take all of our sins to the cross and pay for them all. If He had sinned even once in His life, He would not have been able to save anyone, He would have had His own sin to pay for.

We know that God knew what was going to happen even before He created Adam. He did not get taken by surprise and have to cook this scheme of salvation up, it was His plan before He created the world: (1 Peter 1:19-20 NIV) [19] but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. [20] He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.

So the bottom line is this. God cannot change who He is, He cannot just change the rules because He loves us. His holy nature requires that anyone who sins must die and yet He loves us, so He made a way for us to be free from the penalty of sin and yet justice to be served. That is how much God loves us.

I hope that helped answer your question.



E-Mail Ralph (whose comments are in green)

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