The following text was mailed to our neighbourhood for Easter 2019

Why did Jesus have to die?

FIRST, Jesus’ teaching and miracles were so popular that the nation’s rulers felt threatened. The Roman Empire enforced allegiance and stability at any cost, but the people were hailing Jesus as their king who would free them from Rome.  SECOND, Bible prophecies predicted that Jesus would suffer and die to save His people. John the Baptist proclaimed, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29) Animal sacrifices were an important religious practice; an unblemished lamb was killed and its blood painted on the doorposts the night the people of Israel left Egypt and were freed from slavery.  THIRD, animal sacrifices were God’s way of showing us that the death of a substitute was necessary to be freed from the slavery of sin. Jesus Christ was that Substitute. God created Adam and Eve in His image. He gave them the responsibility to take care of this planet. He also gave them the freedom of choice. Only one thing was forbidden to Adam and Eve, the fruit of a certain tree. They chose to eat that fruit, willfully disobeying God, “through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men.” (Romans 5:12) This is what is called the original sin and the penalty for sin is death. As a result, the Bible teaches that we are all born slaves to sin; we belong to the kingdom of darkness and we cannot free ourselves. The ruler of the kingdom of darkness, Satan, is condemned to Hell and, unless someone rescues us, he’ll take us with him. However, God created us that we might be in His presence. A rescue of the human race was needed. The animal sacrifices were a prophetic  foreshadowing of Heaven’s rescue plan. God the Father sent the Son to be born of a virgin, live a perfect life without sin, and accomplish God’s perfect rescue plan. God is holy and just and He loves us. His holiness cannot tolerate sin, His justice demands a penalty for sin, and His love provides a way of escape from the slavery and penalty of sin. Jesus, the Son of God, went to the cross, where God the Father placed our sin on Him. Christ paid the death penalty for us.

So, why did Jesus rise from the dead?

There are many reasons why Jesus rose from the dead. FIRST, He fought death and won, “that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil.” (Hebrews 2:14) SECOND, He told His disciples that He would rise again, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man will be accomplished. For He will be delivered to the Gentiles and will be mocked and insulted and spit upon. They will scourge Him and put Him to death. And the third day He will rise again.” (Luke 18:31-33)  THIRD, to give assurance that the work He accomplished on the cross to provide salvation for sinners is completed and accepted by God the Father. If we accept Him as our personal Saviour from sin, we too will rise from the dead when He comes again. He said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25)

Scriptures on this page taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

West hill Gospel Hall, 159 Morningside avenue, scarborough, Ontario, Canada