Why did Jesus have to die? Couldn't God just forgive us and forget it?

Have you ever wondered why Jesus came to earth as a man to die for our sins? That is the question we are looking at this week.

God makes it very clear in the Bible that sin requires death as the punishment: (Ezekiel 18:4 NIV) For every living soul belongs to me,the father as well as the son--both alike belong to me. The soul who sins is the one who will die.

He also makes it very clear that you will have to die for your own sins, not for anyone else's, nor will anyone else have to die because of your sins: (Jeremiah 31:30 NIV) Instead, everyone will die for his own sin; whoever eats sour grapes--his own teeth will be set on edge. The Jews use to say that the father eats sour grapes and the son's teeth are set on edge. What they meant was that the child was affected by what the father did. God is saying that is wrong, only the person who sins will die for that sin. That does not mean, however, that we are free from the results of the sins that our parents commit. If your parents dabbled in witchcraft, or used drugs or abused you, you will have some things in your life which you might have to deal with, but you will never have to answer to God for what they did.

So we know that God demands death for anyone who sins, but why? We have to look at God's nature to answer that question. God is holy. Look at what He says about Himself: (Leviticus 11:44 NIV) I am the LORD your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy. Also: (Leviticus 19:2 NIV) "Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: 'Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.

That presents a problem. We were all born sinful, with a sinful nature. We cannot change our nature by ourselves. God is holy and He cannot change either. Since God is holy, He cannot sin, nor can He stand to be around sin or anyone who sins. That is us folks! God cannot stand to be around us. That means that we will forever have to be separated from Him. That is spiritual death.

But God loved us and did not want us to have to die spiritually. He could not just forget our sins, because we are still sinful and like I said He cannot stand that. Our sins had to be paid for and in the process taken away, but the only way we could pay for our own sins would be to spend eternity separated from God. There was no way out of this, we could do nothing to change it.

That would have been the end of the story if God Himself had not decided to pay for our sins for us. He sent His only Son; Jesus to earth as a human being to die for our sins. He could die once and in the process pay for all our sins, because He was holy and without sin. It was not just the physical death that was the payment. We could and will die physically, but that will not pay for sin, it has to be a spiritual death, a total separation from God. Jesus did that for us too. When He died on the cross, He took our sins and God the Father turned His back on Jesus because He being holy could not look at our sins. We will never know what pain Jesus went through when God the Father turned His back on Him. That is we as Christians will never know, but if you die and are not a Christian you will experience that same pain of separation as God turns His back on you for ever!

We should praise Jesus' Name everyday because He paid that price for us: (Romans 6:23 NIV) For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God, because of His holy nature could not just forget and we could not pay that debt and still be with Him, so He paid for our sins Himself. That is true love.


E-Mail Ralph (whose comments are in green)

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