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Unless indicated otherwise, all Scripture references are to the New International Version, UK edition


WHY DID Jesus have to die?


For this overview we’ll take Romans 5: 19as the basis for our explanation: ‘For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous’.


Adam the Sinner

To properly understand the question and its answer, we need to go back to the time when Adam fell into sin through disobedience.

(For simplicity, we will leave Eve out of this equation.)

By his transgression Adam came under the dying process and lost his perfect standing before his Creator. God had warned Adam that the penalty of disobedience was death (not life on another plane) (Genesis 2: 17). Adam’s offspring came under his penalty.


Jesus the Offset

In order for Adam to be acquitted, Divine Justice demanded an equivalent substitutionary payment:

Adam the perfect man could be bought out from under the sentence of death only by another perfect man.

The redemption of Adam would mean the redemption of his race, the entire human family. But as no one could be found amongst Adam’s race to pay such an exact redemption-price, [fn1]it was necessary that the Son of God be born in the flesh, but not of Adam’s lineage. Hence the Virgin birth. On the cross Jesus paid the Ransom-Price with His own self (1 Peter 2: 24).


Couching this in another figure, we might say that bail has been paid at the front desk, but the cheque has not yet been cashed. The release of the prisoner is guaranteed, but there is a delay between Cross and Deliverance. The hiatus has been a difficult, fruitful one. Difficult, because of the unspeakable sufferings through which the human family has had to pass, collectively and as individuals; troubles so complex that many have lost belief in God and have abandoned what faith they may have had. Fruitful, because in the interim God has been selecting a Bride for His Son, a small company of faithful followers who have proved loyal during this period in which faith is essential, the age of Election. The age to come (the Millennium) will be one of Free Grace, during which the full benefits of Christ’s sacrifice will be applied for all and God’s love for mankind will be irrefutably demonstrated and the present distress compensated for.


[fn1] Romans 3: 10; Psalm 49: 7-9  


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