Did Jesus Have to Die? // Remembering the Truth in the Midst of Darkness

It’s a cold, grey, chilly Monday morning in the Midwest.  It was a long weekend full of heartbreaking headlines, from the recent terrorist attacks to hit first Beirut, Lebanon and then Paris, to the violent political protests filling the streets of South Korea.  My mind is still swirling with unanswered questions, just as my heart is reminded of the power of prayer in the face of evil, darkness, and the unknown.

I am likely one of many, thousands if not millions, reflecting on the fragility of life and asking the hard questions – “What really is important in this life?  What is worth living for?  What is worth dying for?”

As I was thinking about this, I was reminded of the one Man in history who chose this life, broken as it may be.  He chose to be born, chose to live on this earth, and chose to die.  Why?  Why choose to be a part of this world, with all the joys and suffering?

Did Jesus have to live on this earth?  Did Jesus have to die?

No, not essentially.  He didn’t have to live and die.  God didn’t have to save humanity from depravity.  He didn’t have to make a way for us to come back into the Garden again.  He didn’t have to bridge the gap that we could stand in His presence again.

After all, a third of the angels fell, and He didn’t lift a finger.  Yet one man and one woman sinned, disobeyed His good command, and He set into motion the plan He had already created from the foundation of the world (1 Peter 1:20)…

That one day, God would come incarnate in the flesh, His Son, and He would be born as a baby, grow and live among His people, intimately understanding what it is like to be in the human flesh.  He would then chose to die, knowing that His purpose for living on this earth would be His ultimate death on the cross.

So although Jesus didn’t have to die, He did have to die.

Jesus was the only One found worthy to pay the price for our sin (Revelation 5:9-101 Peter 2:24).  Jesus alone, as fully God and fully Man, was the One who could be the perfect sacrifice for all humankind (Hebrews 10:14).

Only God could save humanity from depravity.  Only He could make a way for us to come back into the Garden again.  Only He could bridge the gap for us to stand in His presence again.

And so He did.

Luke 19:10“For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”

In the midst of the darkness, we are to remember the truth and that He is sovereign.  Although we may not know what our lives and deaths or the lives and deaths of others will bring, Jesus lived and died for us because of love.

For the price that He paid in love for me, I get to live today in love for Him.

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