This is an interesting question, one that many have asked themselves, possibly even you. The fact of the matter is that Jesus did not have to die for you, for me, or for any other person. He did so voluntarily, out of love for his heavenly Father and the fallen human race.
But why did Jesus have to die? Was there no other way? What was the reason? The Scriptures tell us that Jesus died that we might have life. Some may think this unnecessary because they have life now. Sure we have life for a few short years, but we all die, some sooner, some later. But this was not God’s original intention when he created man. God created man perfect, in his own image and likeness. God intended man to have perfect health and happiness, to live forever on a perfect earth. Gen. 1:27; 2:7; 15-17
Adam Sins — His Penalty is Death
In order for man to continue to enjoy this blessed privilege of life, God requires one thing — perfect obedience. Our first parent, Adam, was tested along these lines, and he failed. He disobeyed God and ate of the forbidden fruit. The penalty of his sin was death. This may at first seem a harsh penalty, but the lesson is brought forcibly home that God cannot and will not allow willful, disobedient creatures to retain their gift of life. And so the dying process began for Adam. No longer did he enjoy perfect health — mentally, morally, or physically. And we inherit this same dying condition form Adam, because this was all he had to give us. Gen. 3:17-19; 5:3
The Philosophy of the Ransom
Because Adam sinned, did God just give up on him and the whole human race? Did he throw up his hands and say, What’s the use? Did he forget about us altogether and write us off as a failed experiment?
Thank God, no! God knew exactly what would happen and had a plan for remedying the situation before man was ever created. God had arranged that his only begotten son, Jesus, would release man from the penalty of death by his own death on the cross.
But how could this be? you might ask. How could the death of one man pay the penalty for millions? The Scriptures tell us the answer. The whole human race, yet unborn, was condemned to earth in the one man Adam. The whole human race will be released from the death penalty by the obedience of the one perfect man — Jesus Christ. God’s justice is thus satisfied, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a perfect life for a perfect life. Romans 5:14-19; 1 Tim. 2:3-6
Jesus Gave His Life so we Might Have Life
This being true, why do we not yet see mankind delivered from the penalty of sin? Is not the race still going down daily into death? Why is this so if Jesus’ sacrifice for sin is finished, if the corresponding price has been paid for Adam?
The Scriptures answer this question. They declare that God at this time is selecting the footstep followers and joint sacrificers with Christ, who shall by and by share with him in the kingdom, which shall break off the shackles of sin and open the prison doors of death and set free all the captives who long for freedom. Romans 8:19
If you have heard of this blessing that has come to you, you might inquire, Lord, what will you have me to do? The Apostle answers, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable serve.” Rom. 12:1 To the heart fully in harmony with God, these are precious words, full of comfort and joy.
Hartford Bible Students * P.O. Box 493 * Manchester, CT 06045