Why Did Jesus Have to Suffer?
In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. —1 John 4:10
Why did Jesus have to suffer?Why couldn’t God just let Him die to pay for our sins? First John 4:10 says, “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” The key word here is propitiation or payment. It wasn’t enough for Him to die. Jesus had to pay a debt.
You may ask, “What debt? What payment was owed?” He paid to satisfy the demands of God’s anger.
Peace with God is the absence of anger. As much as God loves you, He hates your sin with a holy, burning hatred you cannot comprehend. But He does love you, and the only way He could embrace you was to take His hatred for your sin and make someone else pay for it (Romans 5:1). And it couldn’t be just anyone—it had to be someone perfect. Since we’re all sinners, He came Himself.
That’s the Gospel. That’s the whole story.
You can be forgiven and washed clean. James 3:2 says we all fall in various ways. But a holy God does not take that lightly. God couldn’t say, “Oh, I see your sin, but never mind.” Someone had to pay for those sins we chose for ourselves. We broke the window; forgiveness covers our sin in breaking it, and payment (propitiation) repairs the window.
It was Jesus. He brought our forgiveness and paid with His life to repair our relationship with God.
Willingly, He walked that road, suffered, and died upon that cross. And God, somehow in His infiniteness, laid all of our sinfulness there upon His Son.
There was no other way. “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Here are four reasons why Jesus had to suffer and the difference that must make in my life and yours:
· To pay for the sins of mankind.Therefore, I should admit I am a sinner.
· To satisfy the demands of God’s wrath.Therefore, I should turn from my sin to Christ.
· To purchase the opportunity of having our sins forgiven.Therefore, I should believe in Him.
· To provide the way to eternal life.Therefore, like any gift, I must choose to receive it. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
Have you received God’s offer? Do you know Jesus is the gift of eternal life?
· Have I received the free gift of eternal life through Christ Jesus?
· If not, what is stopping me from receiving that gift right now?
Prayer – Father in heaven, I confess I am a sinner. I have sinned against those I love and I have sinned against You. Please forgive me, Father. I acknowledge that it is the death of Jesus Christ alone that can save me from an eternity in hell. I accept the free gift of grace You so freely offer me. Right now, I accept the gift of Christ as my Savior. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.