Why did Jesus have to die on the cross?
He had to die because there was no other way to satisfy the righteous demands of God. God plays by his own rules, and His rules state: “The soul that sins shall surely die,” and “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.”
In the Old Testament, all those animal sacrifices only foreshadowed something to come—or should I say, someone to come. That someone was Jesus.
Calvary shows how far men will go in sin and how far God will go for man’s salvation.
From the very beginning, Jesus knew He was going to die, and He spoke of it often. In fact, technically no one took His life from Him; He laid it down of His own accord. He lived in the shadow of the cross from the moment He entered our world.
For some, the cross seems like an aberration, a mistake, a tragic turn of events. That is how it must have seemed for the disciples as Jesus was arrested and murdered. How could this be a part of any plan? How could something so senseless, so cruel, have any purpose?
Answer: It has the ultimate purpose and meaning.
God was the Master of Ceremonies at the cross.
• “[God] did not spare His own son, but gave Him up for us all” (Romans 8:32 NKJV).
• “God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin” (Romans 3:25 NLT).
• “Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief” (Isaiah 53:10 NKJV).
In what sense was God the Father “pleased” by the death of God the Son?
• He was pleased by the redemption that was accomplished.
• He was pleased by the eternal plan of salvation that was fulfilled.
• He was pleased by the sacrifice of His Son, who died so others might have eternal life.
For all the evil in the crucifixion, it brought about an infinite good. In fact, here was the most evil act ever perpetrated by sinful hearts—the torture, slaughter, and heartless murder in cold blood of the sinless Son of God—and yet, from it came the greatest good of all time: the salvation of countless souls—your salvation and mine.
As Joseph said to his brothers, “You mean it for evil, but God meant it for good.” What the devil and those behind the crucifixion meant for evil, God meant for good.
In a rare moment in human history, God and Satan moved toward the same event. Satan wanted Jesus killed to put a stop to His life and ministry. God accepted Jesus’ death because there was no other way to bring reconciliation.
We need to remember this when we are facing our hardships in life—when things don’t make sense: God is in control and He has a plan.