Why Jesus Had to Die - Easter Sunday
To understand what Jesus did for us by dying on the cross, we have to first understand why He had to do it. Why would God not just forgive our sins, clear all of our slates, without sending His Son to die? God is not like us - He does not just change His plans; His plans are perfect from the beginning and He always finishes what He starts. If God changed what He had initially set out to do, then He would lose His integrity.
Man was created perfect, created in God’s image. God gave man free will by placing the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the garden, giving us the choice to be obedient or disobedient. Every single man and woman has “Genesis 2” period and a “Genesis 3” period - that is to say, we have a time when we are pure and innocent, followed by a time when we understand what sin is and we choose to disobey God.
At some point, we are tempted - we are told a lie. All temptation comes down to believing a lie. Sin is not the same as temptation, however. Sin has occurred when we choose to believe the lie rather than the word of God. When Adam and Eve chose to believe the lie that God had withheld something from them, God asked them where they were and what they were doing. He was not probing for information because there is nothing He does not already know. He was seeking a confession… but they chose to pass the buck and lay blame on someone else rather than own up to their mistake.
God’s law indicates that the penalty of sin is death. Life’s blood must be shed in a sacrifice to atone for the sin. For thousands of years, God’s people lived under sacrificial law wherein they had to seek the best sheep from their flock and offer its life’s blood on an altar in exchange for their sin problem. Unfortunately, lambs are temporary beings - we are, too. The ultimate answer for sin cannot be sacrifice because there is nothing on earth that is eternal - so Jesus came to this world to be the eternal sacrifice for our eternal problem. Sin was forever defeated by His eternal sacrifice.
It is important that we believe the Jesus was God’s son, that He is an eternal being, capable of making that level of sacrifice that could pay the eternal cost of sin. We must also believe that He not only died to pay that debt, but that He raised from the dead because that means that we, too, can raise from the dead into new life as He did!