A Series of Questions about Jesus with very short answers (non-scholarly, explaining -- not defending -- the positions)

Date: Jan 27, 2017

If he was a God why was this import for him to give his life?  Because he could show the right path to the mankind without giving his life.


The answer to this is two-fold:


One: The problems were much larger than just our lack of knowledge.

Two. The right path for us to follow required us to accept His death as the payment for our sins;



One: His enemy was more than just a lack of education on our part.


Ignorance is ONE of the problems, but our ignorance is a result of a BIGGER problem--our stubborn, sinful heart:


"You must no longer live like those who have no relationship with God. Their thoughts don’t have any purpose. They can’t understand the truth. They are separated from the life of God. That is because they don’t know him. And they don’t know him because their hearts are stubborn."  (Eph 4.17-18)


As far as I can tell from study, all other religious traditions (including modern Judaism, historical Islam, and some modern versions of Christianity) UNDER-ESTIMATE the damage and problems caused by sin, and OVER-ESTIMATE the ability of humans to repair this damage by good behavior.


The act of sin produces the result of death. We cannot get our life back or be re-born by trying to avoid FUTURE sin, because it is too late--we are already dead from earlier sin. We need somebody to give us LIFE, and not just give us FORGIVENESS. We need both.


"When you sin, the pay you get is death. But God gives you the gift of eternal life because of what Christ Jesus our Lord has done." [Romans 6:23]




Our good deeds and religious actions are inadequate and powerless to repair the damage our sin has caused in our relationship with God. Sin has separated us from the life of God:


"But you were angry because we sinned.  For a long time we disobeyed, so how can we be saved? All of us are dirty with sin. All the right things we have done are like filthy pieces of cloth. All of us are like dead leaves, and our sins, like the wind, have carried us away. No one worships you or even asks you to help us. That is because you have turned away from us and have let our sins destroy us. (Isaiah 64.5-7)


"More than anything else, a person’s mind is evil and cannot be healed." (Jeremiah 19.7)


"It is your evil that has separated you from your God. Your sins cause him to turn away from you, so he does not hear you." (Isaiah 59.2)


Sin is one of the enemies (future sin would kill us if we were not already dead) and death is one of the enemies ('the last enemy to be destroyed is death'), but the Devil is also an enemy:


The devil who rules this world has blinded the minds of those who do not believe. They cannot see the light of the Good News—the Good News about the glory of Christ, who is exactly like God. (2 Co 4:4.)




We were lost, we were slaves to sin, we were hopelessly in debt to God for the wrongs we do, we were dead, we were under God's judgement, and we were enemies of God in our selfishness.


Look at some of the statements in Scripture as to the reason the Son of God came down to earth, took on a human life/body, and became the Messiah Lord Jesus:


"In the past you were spiritually dead because of your sins and the things you did against God. Yes, in the past you lived the way the world lives, following the ruler of the evil powers that are above the earth. That same spirit is now working in those who refuse to obey God. 3 In the past all of us lived like them, trying to please our sinful selves and doing all the things our bodies and minds wanted. We should have suffered God’s anger because we were sinful by nature. We were the same as all other people. (Eph 2:1–3.)


"So through Christ we will surely be saved from God’s anger, because we have been made right with God by the blood of Christ’s death. While we were God’s enemies, he made us his friends through the death of his Son. Surely, now that we are his friends, he will save us through his Son’s life. (Ro 5:9–10)


"Jesus answered, “I assure you that everyone who sins is a slave to sin. A slave isn’t a permanent member of the household, but a son is. Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you really will be free" (Jn 8:34–36)


"In the past we also were foolish. We did not obey, we were wrong, and we were slaves to many things our bodies wanted and enjoyed. We spent our lives doing evil and being jealous. People hated us, and we hated each other. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior was shown, he saved us because of his mercy. It was not because of good deeds we did to be right with him. He saved us through the washing that made us new people through the Holy Spirit. God poured out richly upon us that Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ our Savior. Being made right with God by his grace, we could have the hope of receiving the life that never ends. (Tit 3:3–7.)


"The Son of Man came to find lost people and save them.” (Lk 19:10)


"In the same way, the Son of Man did not come to be served. He came to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many people…  There is one God and one mediator so that human beings can reach God. That way is through Christ Jesus, who is himself human. He gave himself as a payment to free all people … we wait for our great hope and the coming of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. He gave himself for us so he might pay the price to free us from all evil and to make us pure people who belong only to him … You know that in the past you were living in a worthless way, a way passed down from the people who lived before you. But you were saved from that useless life. You were bought, not with something that ruins like gold or silver, but with the precious blood of Christ, who was like a pure and perfect lamb." (Multiple passages)


"God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son so that whoever believes in him may not be lost, but have eternal life. God did not send his Son into the world to judge the world guilty, but to save the world through him. People who believe in God’s Son are not judged guilty. Those who do not believe have already been judged guilty, because they have not believed in God’s one and only Son. They are judged by this fact: The Light has come into the world, but they did not want light. They wanted darkness, because they were doing evil things. All who do evil hate the light and will not come to the light, because it will show all the evil things they do" (Jn 3:16–20).


The devil has been sinning since the beginning, so anyone who continues to sin belongs to the devil. The Son of God came for this purpose: to destroy the devil’s work. (1 Jn 3:8.)


Since these children are people with physical bodies, Jesus himself became like them. He did this so that, by dying, he could destroy the one who has the power of death—the devil—and free those who were like slaves all their lives because of their fear of death. 16 Clearly, it is not angels that Jesus helps, but the people who are from Abraham. For this reason Jesus had to be made like his brothers and sisters in every way so he could be their merciful and faithful high priest in service to God. Then Jesus could die in their place to take away their sins. (Hebrews)


Christ himself suffered for sins once. He was not guilty, but he suffered for those who are guilty to bring you to God. His body was killed, but he was made alive in the spirit. (1 Pe 3:18.)


The problem of sin is beyond our abilities to fix. We have already become our own enemies. One author explained how mixed up we are in this way (even though his vocabulary might not all be understandable to you, you should be able to understand enough of it to see his point):


"Nor are people exempt from sin in their inner psychological life. Even if they could achieve self-isolation, which is itself a perversion, they would not escape the effects of sin. For they are people in contradiction. They are people of shame, fear, guilt, illusion. They are people of generous impulse and mean fulfillment, of idealism and cynicism, of intermingled good and evil. They do not really know themselves, flee no less from self than from God, and try to make this unknown self the center of life in place of God. Even as we seek self-fulfillment, we destroy all possibility of it. We present the puzzling aspect of half-angel on the one side, half-demon on the other. We can find hell even in our greatest achievements. We can set out with the noblest aims and finish in the vilest gutter. Our minds are capable of the highest flights and the most monstrous perversions; our bodies are apt for the most superb attainments and yet also for the loathsome ravages of debauchery and disease. The effect of sin on a person is to make him or her a riddle, a paradox, a good thing perverted, a bundle of inconsistencies, a problem to self as well as to others, a creature that has missed its high and holy destiny, self-condemned, self-disrupted, and self-destroying." (GW Bromiley, s.v. 'Sin', ISBE).





Two. He did come to show us the right path, but this path was to trust in Him and His sacrifice as the reason for God to accept us, forgive us, and give us a new birth--to eternal life.


The path was NOT one of 'doing good deeds'--because none of us could ever be good enough. The path was to be honest about our failure to live righteous lives, and to trust in God to save us by His power (and not by ours).


"No one can be made right with God by following the law. The law only shows us our sin.  But God has a way to make people right with him without the law, and he has now shown us that way which the law and the prophets told us about. God makes people right with himself through their faith in Jesus Christ. This is true for all who believe in Christ, because all people are the same: Everyone has sinned and fallen short of God’s glorious standard, and all need to be made right with God by his grace, which is a free gift. They need to be made free from sin through Jesus Christ. God sent him to die in our place to take away our sins. We receive forgiveness through faith in the blood of Jesus’ death. This showed that God always does what is right and fair, as in the past when he was patient and did not punish people for their sins. And God gave Jesus to show today that he does what is right. God did this so he could judge rightly and so he could make right any person who has faith in Jesus. So do we have a reason to brag about ourselves? No! And why not? It is the way of faith that stops all bragging, not the way of trying to obey the law. A person is made right with God through faith, not through obeying the law" (Ro 3:20–28)


"When people work, their pay is not given as a gift, but as something earned. But people cannot do any work that will make them right with God. So they must trust in him, who makes even evil people right in his sight. Then God accepts their faith, and that makes them right with him." (Ro 4:4–5.)


I mean that you have been saved by grace through believing. You did not save yourselves; it was a gift from God. It was not the result of your own efforts, so you cannot brag about it." (Eph 2:8–9.)


In other words, there was no true path WITHOUT His death on the cross as a substitute for our punishment. It was HIS blood --as a sacrifice-- that allowed God to declare us free from the debt of sin. Forgiveness came from His death.


So through Christ we will surely be saved from God’s anger, because we have been made right with God by the blood of Christ’s death.  (Ro 5:9)


In Christ we are set free by the blood of his death, and so we have forgiveness of sins. How rich is God’s grace, which he has given to us so fully and freely. (Eph 1:7–8)


His sacrifice was his own blood, and by it he set us free from sin forever. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a cow are sprinkled on the people who are unclean, and this makes their bodies clean again. How much more is done by the blood of Christ. He offered himself through the eternal Spirit as a perfect sacrifice to God. (Heb 9:12–14)


We did not need to be given instructions--we needed to be given LIFE… Because we were spiritually dead, we could not obey God or please God anyway.


"When you were spiritually dead because of your sins and because you were not free from the power of your sinful self, God made you alive with Christ, and he forgave all our sins. He canceled the debt, which listed all the rules we failed to follow. He took away that record with its rules and nailed it to the cross. God stripped the spiritual rulers and powers of their authority. With the cross, he won the victory and showed the world that they were powerless." [Col 2:13–15.]


We needed forgiveness of sins, but we needed more than forgiveness -- we needed to be raised from our spiritual death, we needed to be born-again, born from above. Forgiveness came from His death, and eternal life for us came through His resurrection from death. It is a gift--not a reward for walking a good path:


"The payment for sin is death. But God gives us the free gift of life forever in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Ro 6:23)


"Give praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In his great mercy he has given us a new birth and a hope that is alive. It is alive because Jesus Christ rose from the dead. He has given us new birth so that we might share in what belongs to him. It is a gift that can never be destroyed" (1 Pe 1:3–4.)


"You have been born again, and this new life did not come from something that dies, but from something that cannot die. You were born again through God’s living message that continues forever." [1 Pe 1:23.]


"Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot be in God’s kingdom.” Nicodemus said, “But if a person is already old, how can he be born again? He cannot enter his mother’s womb again. So how can a person be born a second time?”

But Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born from water [physical birth] and the Spirit, you cannot enter God’s kingdom. Human life comes from human parents, but spiritual life comes from the Spirit. Don’t be surprised when I tell you, ‘You must all be born again.’ The wind blows where it wants to and you hear the sound of it, but you don’t know where the wind comes from or where it is going. It is the same with every person who is born from the Spirit.” [Gospel of John 3:3–8.]


"Some people did accept Jesus. They believed in his name ['Jesus' means 'He saves']. He gave them the right to become children of God. To be a child of God has nothing to do with human parents. Children of God are not born because of human choice or because a husband wants them to be born. They are born because of what God does. [ Jn 1:12–13.]


"God chose to give us new birth through the message of truth. He wanted us to be the first and best of everything he created" [Jas 1:18.]


And, since one man--no matter how good--cannot offer but one life as a substitute for one other person, it took the SPECIAL HUMAN-DIVINE person to offer His one INFINITE LIFE as a payment for all men, for all sins:


He gave his life to pay for our sins. But he not only paid for our sins. He also paid for the sins of the whole world.  (1 Jn 2:2.)


The next day John the Baptizer saw Jesus coming toward him. John said, “Look! The Lamb of God! He takes away the sin of the world!  [Jn 1:29.]


Every day the Jewish priests stand and do their religious service, often offering the same sacrifices. Those sacrifices can never take away sins. But after Christ offered one sacrifice for sins, forever, he sat down at the right side of God. And now Christ waits there for his enemies to be put under his power. With one sacrifice he made perfect forever those who are being made holy. [Heb 10:11–14.


 Jesus is the kind of high priest we need. He is holy, sinless, pure, not influenced by sinners, and he is raised above the heavens. He is not like the other priests who had to offer sacrifices every day, first for their own sins, and then for the sins of the people. Christ offered his sacrifice only once and for all time when he offered himself [Heb 7:26–27.]


Christ did not enter a sacred tent made by people. That tent was only a copy of the true one. He entered heaven itself. He did it to stand in front of God for us. He is there right now. The high priest enters the Most Holy Room every year. He enters with blood that is not his own. But Christ did not enter heaven to offer himself again and again. If he had, he would have had to suffer many times since the world was created. But now he has appeared once and for all time. He has come at the end of the ages to do away with sin. He has done that by offering himself. People have to die once. After that, God will judge them. In the same way, Christ was offered up once. He took away the sins of many people. He will also come a second time. At that time he will not suffer for sin. Instead, he will come to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. [Heb 9:24–28.]


Christ entered the Most Holy Place [up in Heaven] only once—and for all time. He did not take with him the blood of goats and calves. His sacrifice was his own blood, and by it he set us free from sin forever. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a cow are sprinkled on the people who are unclean, and this makes their bodies clean again. How much more is done by the blood of Christ. He offered himself through the eternal Spirit as a perfect sacrifice to God. [Heb 9:12–14.]




So, His human death as a sacrifice was necessary because our problem was too great for us to solve through trying to walk a path of goodness. His divine life gave that sacrifice enough power to cover the sin of the whole world. That forgiveness was required before God could then give us new life, resurrection from spiritual death, spiritual rebirth, and the eternal life God has promised to those who accepted His gift of Jesus.


He did show us the path too, of course, but He said the path was actually HIM--"I am the path, the truth, and the life". To have Jesus is to already HAVE the path, and to have eternal life.


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