[Taken from, “The Cross: Why Jesus Had to Die.” The book is finally written.]
The fifth chapter in The Acts of the Apostles is an historical reference to possibilities when the church learns to unite behind the Gospel. In verse 12 Luke tells us, “Many signs and wonders were being done among the people through the hands of the apostles.“ We read this as if this were a one-off event instead of the possibilities for which the Church was commissioned. Verse 14, no surprise, testifies, “Believers were added to the Lord in increasing numbers…” Governments of the world, take notice!
Make no mistake about it: The Bible is the promise of Salvation offered thru Christ’s death—a message that counters today’s evolutionary worldview of an eventual utopia, a self-made heaven for mankind. The Cross represents a miracle of grace that science cannot confirm or deny because it is outside the realm of natural inquiry. The resurrection from the dead and what it means for believers has broken out of the confines of natural history.
We were reconciled to God through the death of his Son.” (Romans 5:10) Christianity is, indeed, a bloody religion, an idea, perhaps, in and of itself, offensive (I’ll give you that) to logical minds, to academicians who reason from a scientific perspective, and who, therefore, see no value in the death of a Savior.
But with an unapologetic conviction, this is what our faith is all about! This is our living hope: the glorious return of the great God even our Savior, Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13) who shed His blood on a cross on our behalf, in our stead, to reconcile us to God. “We have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses..” (Ephesians 1:7) This has become our trumpet sound as believers. Paul unambiguously declared “… through him to reconcile everything to himself … by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” (Colossians 1:20)
We asked specifically: Why did Jesus have to die? We must agree with John Stott in his work, “The Cross of Christ” (page 159)
The Cross was not a commercial bargain with the devil, any quid pro quo to satisfy a code of honor or a technical point of law. Jesus was not forced into submission by God as some moral authority over Him, nor punished by a harsh .. punitive Father. Nor was God, the Father, reluctant to forgive or accept the Cross as a means of our salvation.
But these explanations, to some, sadly, sound reasonable. They seek a story that explains Calvary. But the Cross is not a message in logic. It is a message in grace!