Why did Jesus have to die?

Question: "Why did Jesus have to die?"

According to the Qur’an, Isa claimed: “And peace be upon me the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I shall be raised alive! Such is Isa, son of Maryam. It is a statement of truth, about which they doubt” (Maryam 19:33-34).

Since Isa’s life, many people have disputed His death on the cross and resurrection from the grave. Why would Allah require Isa, the perfect man, to die? The Qur’an tells you to go to the Bible with such questions (Surah 10:94).

The Bible explains that Isa, called Christ Jesus, died for our sins: “Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3b-4). prove affirms that the sinless Jesus bled and died on a cross. The Bible explains why Isa’s death and resurrection provide the only entrance to paradise.

The punishment for sin is death
God created earth and man perfectly. But when Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s command, He had to punish them. A judge who pardons law-breakers isn’t a good judge. Likewise, overlooking sin would make the holy God unjust. Death in hell is Allah’s just consequence for sin. “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Even good works cannot make up for wrongs against the holy God. Compared to His goodness, “All our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment” (Isaiah 64:6b).

Ever since Adam’s sin, every human has been guilty of disobeying God’s righteous laws. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Sin is not just big things like murder or blasphemy but also includes lying, lusting, and stealing. Even the love of money or hatred of enemies is sin. Because of sin, everyone deserves death – everlasting separation from God in hell.

The promise required an innocent death
Although God banished Adam and Eve from the garden, He didn’t leave them without hope of paradise. He promised to send a sinless Sacrifice to take the punishment they deserved (Genesis 3:15). Until then, men would sacrifice innocent lambs as a substitute for their punishment. Sacrificing an animal showed men’s acknowledgement that their sin required death, repentance from that sin, and faith in the future Sacrifice from God who would bear their penalty. God reaffirmed His promise of the perfect Sacrifice with men such as Abraham (Ibrahim) and Moses (Musa).

The prophets foretold Jesus’ death
From Adam to Isa, God sent prophets to mankind, warning them of sin’s punishment and foretelling the coming Savior. 700 years before the Savior was born, the prophet Isaiah described Him:

    “Who has believed what they heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:1-12).

The prophet compared the coming Sacrifice to a lamb, slaughtered for the sins of others.

Centuries later, Isaiah’s prophecy was fulfilled in the perfect Lord Jesus, born of the virgin Mary. Jesus had no earthly father, for He was from God. When the prophet John the Baptist saw Him, he cried, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).

God sacrificed Jesus for sin
By sending Jesus to earth, God fulfilled His promise of a Savior from sin. Unlike us, Jesus never sinned. Thus, God sacrificed Jesus as our perfect Substitute. He took the punishment we deserve for sin: death. “God made Him [Jesus], who knew no sin, to be sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Thus, Jesus was more than a Prophet. God made Him Savior and Lord! (See Philippians 2:6-11.)

During His life, crowds thronged Him for healing and teaching, but the religious leaders scorned Him. At God’s appointed time, He delivered Jesus to be sacrificed for sin. Mobs cried out, “Crucify Him!” Soldiers beat, mocked, and crucified Him. As Isaiah foretold, Jesus was crucified in between two criminals and was buried in a rich man’s tomb. But He didn’t remain in the grave. Because God accepted His sacrifice, He fulfilled another prophecy by raising Jesus from the dead (Psalm 16:10; Isaiah 26:19).

Why did Isa/Jesus have to die?
Jesus had to die because we cannot reach paradise on our own merit. Remember, the holy God cannot let sin go unpunished. If we bore our own sins, we would suffer judgment in the flames of hell. Praise God, He kept His promise to send and sacrifice the Substitute who bore the sins of those who trust in Him.

The Injeel (Gospel) says, “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the unGodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified [made righteous/good] by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation [restored relationship].

“Therefore, just as through one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned. . . . So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to everlasting life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 5:6-12; 18-21).

Therefore, Jesus had to die to provide the only way to paradise. If you believe Jesus died and resurrected to save you, turn from your own ways and trust Jesus alone! Follow Him as your beloved Master, for He will strengthen you through His Word, the Bible.

Have you trusted Jesus as Savior and Lord through reading this article? If so, please click on the "I have received Jesus today" button below.

Recommended Resource: Why Believe in Jesus?: Who He Is, What He Did, and His Message for You Today by Tim LaHaye.

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Why did Jesus have to die?