Why Jesus Died
Most effective people, and all great leaders, have a clear life purpose, and pay a price to achieve it. The suffering of Jesus takes our breath away. Why did He undergo so much pain?
The author of Hebrews wrote that Jesus ignored the pain, and disregarded the shame, "for the joy that was set before him." In Isaiah's prophecy of his Passion we read, "He shall see the trouble of his soul, and be satisfied." To Jesus, all the pain was worth it. Why?
Now that the suffering is over, what great joys does Jesus look forward to?
For Bible-believing Christians, who love and seek fellowship with Evangelicals of across denominational barriers, the truth of the basic message of Christianity is "the most important thing." Yes, Jesus died "to save sinners" so that "whosever believes in him may not perish, but have everlasting life". Surely all Christians agree with the book of Acts that aside from Jesus, "there is no other name given among men, whereby we must be saved."
Many thinking Christians, however, have questions about the broad vision of Christianity as THE hope for the world... compared to the small footprint Churchianity has been able to leave on the world system. When we're honest with ourselves, it is a shrinking impact, which like a footprint in the sand, is being washed away by internal conflict and external challenges in this post-Christian, post-modern world. Jesus' own question looms before us: "When the Son of Man comes (again), will he find the Faith in the the earth?" At its best, Christianity is a powerful and transformative force in the lives of its authentic adherents -- but the experience of the most sober and realistic disciples has been that "the saints among us" as George Barna calls them, are scattered and in a geopolitical sense, insignificant -- a "little flock".
Meanwhile the claims and traditions of orthodox Christianity undergo increasing scrutiny, not only from hostile sources but also by millions of seekers and thinkers around the world. The person of Jesus continues to attract attention, excite inquiry, draw followers. But the commonly held explanations of what he accomplished, and what he will yet accomplish, leave many honest inquirers with unanswered questions, and nagging doubts that will not go away.
People ask questions like, "Why did the angels sing about Good Tidings of Great Joy which shall be to All people?" All people have great Sorrow, and most people in the world have never experienced any Great Joy. Most never meet Jesus, either. Our fellow-Christians call this "The problem of evil", but they never really point to a solution -- they just remind us that God is Sovereign, God is good, God knows.
Yes, we agree with that, but we believe that Jesus taught us all to keep asking, keep seeking -- until we all find the adequate answers to valid questions.
Questions like: "Does God really expect all people to come to Christ in this life?" "Has God called ALL people into the body or church of Christ?" "Does God really expect humans to pay for crucifying Christ, or for not accepting Him?" "Does God really intend to send most human beings into an eternally painful experience, without hope of repentance?" "Does God blame us for Adam's fall? How fair is that?" "Did Jesus expect his followers to be hypocritical" (claiming to follow a high moral standard, but in every major poll indistinguishable from non-Christians)
"Did Jesus expect Christians to kill Aztecs for their gold, sell 100 million Africans into slavery, and tempt the rest with rum?"
"Did Jesus expect people to, in His name, forcibly sell opium to the Chinese, or kill the Jews of Europe?"
"Why is American Christianity, as one observer put it, 'A mile wide and half an inch deep'?"
Our hope in this web site is to confront our Christian brethren with the verses and chapters and philosophical foundations of God's Word that they are squeamish about listening to. And we also hope to convince new Christians that they need to drink deeply of the joy and hope contained in Scripture. And we hope to help some skeptics find some really encouraging food for thought -- while allowing them space to think on their own without fear that "time is running out" for them.
Jesus died to pay the price for sinners. We will examine only what the Bible says, and look for the harmony that only the Bible can give.
We're really glad that no one has to try and pay the price for the mess they were born into. Jesus paid it, and we all have a bright future as a result. Everyone, whether Chinese, Japanese, African, Arab, Jew, Russian, or Norwegian. It's time to take God at His word. He is better, kinder, wiser, and more powerful than any of our denominations admit.