We were having a discussion on why Jesus died. One of the questions went: but why did he have to die?
I think the predominant answer was, because He wanted to forgive; because of love. He wanted to demonstrate love.
But couldn't he have done it some other way?
Funny thing is, it was brought to "no greater love than this, than for man to lay down his life for a friend."
While yes, true, Jesus had to die because He loved us and wanted us to go back to God, that isn't the whole part of the story. If it were, He could have loved us in any other way and forgiven us in any other way.
We were also asked what the cross meant to us.
Standard answers: love, forgiveness, grace, mercy, Jesus.
I answered justice. I don't know why. It was just... justice. Justice or injustice? Because what happened wasn't fair? I didn't know what to say, but right now, I think what I meant was just... justice, because justice had to happen, and it happened then.
And that is why Jesus had to die.
Why justice? Isn't love the best answer? Shouldn't it be the only answer?
Love is only one side of the coin.
What about the fact that God is Holy and cannot bear sin? What about the fact that there is no other way to become holy again other than through blood sacrifice? What about the fact that sin requires judgement and punishment?
Yes, God loved us.
But He died because to love us enough to make us holy again, the price had to be paid for sin.
You cannot have one without the other.
Anything less is to cheapen the Gospel.
And that we are doing every day.
On an aside, why is the symbol of the cross so lightly used now, even amongst Christians?
I think it's an overall symptom of the shallow understanding we have of the cross.
And satan knows, to destroy a culture, you tear down its symbols.
The cross has been so cheapened that it doesn't hold its proper meaning anymore. Instead, we have grown a subculture of "Christian" labels and slogans that nothing is meaningful to us if it doesn't come in nice catchy sound bytes.