JESUS DIES—Here we go again. If I were to ask a thousand so-called Christian people why Jesus died, I suspect I’d get a conglomerate of answers. Some answers would likely be straight forward and certain but many would be vague and/or confused or even contradictory.
One category would tell me with absolute certainty and authority that Jesus Died to save us from our sins and guarantee our entry into heaven. That same group might hastily add that the more good we do, the higher place in heaven we get.
Another group might say that Jesus died so that our sins might be forgiven but not guaranteed—-we must pray, beg and plead with God in every way possible which might included all sorts of self-sacrifices, personal bodily torment and good works. In addition they would suggest a heavy reliance on the supplication of the Church and the saints already in heaven on our behalf. However, in spite of all that, the likelihood is we’d be required to spend considerable time in purgatory burning away the stain of sin from our soul before entry into heaven would be allowed.
A third group would tell me forthrightly that Jesus died so he could go to heaven and then come back some day and pronounce judgement on everyone—the good ones he would welcome with open arms into the new paradise he just created—the bad ones would be cast in the fires of hell for all eternity.
Then there is a fourth group who would tell me Jesus died because the Jews didn’t like him—he was a traitor—he was teaching heresy. So, he got the treatment all traitors got—death by crucifixion. The world was full of zealots in Jesus’ time—they all got the same treatment.
Then there would be a significant number who would offer some sort of mixture of the above ideas.
Having said all that, all I wanted was just one of them to ask me ‘why Jesus died’—I was jest itching for a chance to tell them what I thought.
You see, my God is a Perfect Rational Being. He exists in eternity, a state of being in which no time nor change is possible. Therefore, heaven must be a state of being—no higher nor lower places. In addition, Jesus recognized that he, we, and everything in existence was a ‘mirror image’ of its creator’. Jesus could clearly see that everything in existence was selfish—God made it to be that way so he could show his ‘perfect love’ through his own sacrificial death in the person of his image, Jesus. Therefore, Our salvation is guaranteed—God’s perfect love cannot possibly reject himself. The idea of a second coming, new paradise here on earth, purgatory and hell are all impossible.
Likewise a physical resurrection is impossible—God would have to change his nature and that is impossible.
What did happen is this—through his teaching and death, Jesus ‘turned on the lights of God’s truth and love’. He became the Christ—the light of the universe. He demonstrated for all to see the perfect love of God.
Ask yourself one simple question—did Jesus save you by his sacrificial death?—or did Jesus save you by his resurrection? From my perspective, any resurrection would be meaningless without the sacrificial death.
Again I am renewing my call for The World-wide Communion of Spirituality.