Why did Jesus have to die?
On the road to Emmaus, our Lord approaches two grieving Jews who had just witnessed the atrocity of their Rabbi being murdered unjustly at the hands of those responsible for upholding justice, and accursed through hanging on a tree by those ordered by God to be a blessing to the peoples; after their exposition of the events surrounding the death and burial Jesus says the following:
“O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” — (Luke 24:25–26)
Take note of that crucial phrase: “Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things…”
One of the most unique factors of the Christian faith is the incomprehensible humility of the living God. That, though he controls all things that exist, decided to incarnate into poverty, a manger; to fellowship with thieves and prostitutes; to submit to loving the apostate disciple whom he knew would eventually betray Him, and even ask the Father to forgive those nailing metal into His body.
No other figure in history personifies this high degree of morality, no other figure has inspired great feats of art and literature and exploration and science; all in three years of an itinerant preaching ministry.
He had to be punished unjustly, but why?
He appears to the Apostles and reveals more.
Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. — (Luke 24:44–47)
He opened their mind, and explained to them that
“Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.” -(Hebrews 9:22)
He is the perfect Passover Lamb, who’s blood protects us from the Destroyer to be sent by the Lord on the Day of Judgement; blood of bulls and goats can never atone for man, only by the blood of a sinless Man, the very Son of God, could our sins be imputed onto Him and His righteousness imputed onto us.
Jesus had to die. That is the price of sin. That is how destructive, how vile and abhorrent in God’s sight it is; that He was had to give up His own Son that we may have life in His name.
Let us take communion, and not forget His body broken for us, our sins analogous to our teeth destroying His flesh and exposing His blood; all because God loved His Church. He chose you and me to be a distinct, holy people; to draw all His elect into the flock and spend eternity in Heaven.
Let us live in gratitude, worship, and passionate service for Christ, follow Him to and through our Golgotha, and bear much fruit for His glory.