Did Jesus have to die? Was there no other way?


Jesus had to die for there was no other way to satisfy the demands of God’s justice and mercy. When Adam and Eve first sinned, they were condemned to die for in God’s government “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). “The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4). If God’s law could be altered, He would have done that without having to pay such a great price for man’s salvation (Matthew 5:17,18).

God is love (1 John 4:8) and His mercy is great (Ephesians 2:4). But He is also just (Psalm 25:8). In order to uphold His attributes of holiness and justice, He must judge and punish sin (Numbers 14:18; Nahum 1:3). A good judge will never just forgive the offender but will also administer justice. God could not just forgive sin without administering the punishment of death on man for “without shedding of blood is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22).

But instead of the sinner dying according to God’s law, Jesus offered Himself to die on man’s behalf. At the cross, we see God both as the “just and the justifier” (Matthew 27:33–35; Romans 3:26). God Himself carried our sins “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). There is no greater love than this that someone will die for those whom he loves (John 15:13). Thus, God’s Love and justice were fully satisfied at the cross.

But God can’t forgive our sins unless we claim the blood of Jesus as our substitute. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12). Thus, the decisive factor in salvation lies with us. By His life, suffering and sacrificial death on behalf of humanity, Jesus Christ offered:

First- Redemption and Justification

Man’s sin was imputed to Christ (Isaiah 53:3–6; 2 Corinthians 5:21) in order that Christ’s righteousness might be imputed to man. By bearing men’s sins on the cross, Christ could remit their penalty because He paid it (Hebrews 9:26). His death was vicarious and substitutionary, for He paid the penalty for the guilt of others (Hebrews 9:28; 1 John 2:2).

Second- Sanctification

God sent His Son in the likeness of sinful men, so that they might be empowered to obey His holy law (Exodus 20:3-17). To bring man’s life into harmony with the divine will is the goal of the plan of salvation. God did not offer His Son in order to change or abolish His law, or to release men from the necessity of perfect obedience (John 14:15).

The law has always stood as an expression of the unchanging Word and character of God (Malachi 3:6; James 1:17). However, fallen man has been unable to obey its requirements, and the law has had no power to empower him to obey.

But now Christ has come to make it possible for man to offer perfect obedience through His own perfect obedience. “Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law” (Romans 3:31). The Lord teaches that the goal of sanctification is “that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:4).

The Bible consistently speaks of entire transformation and perfect obedience (2 Corinthians 7:1; Ephesians 4:12, 13; 2 Timothy 3:17; Hebrews 6:1; 13:21). God requires perfection of His children, and the perfect life of Christ in His humanity is God’s assurance to us that, by His power, we too may attain perfection of character. Jesus said, “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect“ (Matthew 5:48).

Third- Glorification and Vindication

“When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day” (2 Thessalonians 1:10). The supreme vindication of Christ’s death will take place when the whole family of His children will be united together. Then, the universe will see the value of His sacrifice and the victory of life. Thus, the Savior will be glorified (Galatians 1:24; 1 Thessalonians 2:20; 2 Thessalonians 1:4).

As the artist is glorified in his masterwork, so the Christ will be glorified before the heavenly beings by His handiwork—the miracles of His divine grace that were transformed by His grace (Matthew 13:43). Throughout the endless ages, glory will be offered to the Savior as His saints make known more fully the wisdom of God in His wondrous plan of salvation (Ephesians 3:10, 11).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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