The questions might be posed, "Why did Jesus really have to come and die?" and "Couldn’t God have worked it out another way?" God set it up this way from the beginning. Consider the specific reasons why Jesus had to come:
1. To Make Atonement for Sin - atonement (reconciliation between man and God) must be explained in steps:
a. God is perfect and cannot tolerate sin
- Deuteronomy 32:4 "He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he."
- Romans 1:18-23 "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles."
b. Man sinned and therefore must die
- Genesis 2:16-17 "And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, 'You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.'" (Original Sin)
- Romans 5:12 "Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—"
- Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
c. Man could not pay for sin because he was corrupted from the beginning
- Psalm 58:3 "The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray from birth, speaking lies."
- Isaiah 64:6 "All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away."
d. Only a sinless man could redeem (purchase or buy back) humanity
- Hebrews 4:14-15 "Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin."
- 2 Corinthians 5:21 "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."
2. To Give Revelation of and Bring Glory to The Father - John 17:1-4 "When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.'"
3. To Destroy the Works of Satan
- 1 John 4:4 "Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world."
- 1 John 3:8b "The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil."
4. To Destroy Death and Bring Life - 1 Corinthians 15:50-55 "I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: 'Death is swallowed up in victory.' 'O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?'"
5. To Seek and Save the Lost
- Luke 19:10 "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost."
- Matthew 18:12-14 "If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish."