In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 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 4:9–10, ESV).

No one disputes that Jesus Christ suffered on the cross. But the idea that His suffering was necessary has been the subject of scorn from those who have criticized and ridiculed Christianity through the centuries. The truth that Jesus had to suffer to pay for our sin is also what sets Christianity apart.

Muslims, for example, show respect for the person of Christ, but see the cross as a stumbling block. They regard His atonement through suffering as foolishness. Friedrich Nietzsche dismissed the very concept of Jesus’ suffering, saying, “God on a cross—preposterous!”

As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, we resolutely stand against such ridicule and embrace His cross. This is a vivid illustration of 1 Corinthians 1:18: “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

It was essential for Jesus to suffer:

To pay for the sins of mankind. First John 4:10 says, “[God] loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sin.” The key word is propitiation, meaning payment. It wasn’t enough for Him to die. Jesus had to pay a debt—our debt, for our sin. The payment was necessary.

To satisfy the demands of God’s wrath. As much as God loves you, He hates your sin with a holy, burning hatred beyond comprehension. The only way He could embrace you in spite of your sin was for someone else—someone perfect and holy—to pay for it (Romans 5:1).

To purchase the opportunity for our sins to be forgiven. No longer do you have to carry your sin. You can be forgiven. God laid all your sinfulness on Jesus as He willingly suffered and died upon the cross. The debt was paid, opening the door to your forgiveness.

To provide the way to eternal life. To have a gift, you must choose to receive it (Romans 6:23). Do you know Jesus Himself is the gift of eternal life? His suffering is the reason that gift is possible. 

By James MacDonald

Full article at Walk in the Word

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  • Emery Richards

    The reason that the Christ VOLUNTEERED to suffer, was first and foremost, to please his Father, God. This was done to pay for what the first perfect human, Adam, had done way back in the Garden in Eden. Adam was the first perfect man, and he decided to sin against his Father, God. So, God’s first creation, His only begotten son, Jesus, agreed to pay the ransom to sin caused by Adam. Since only another perfect man could pay this ransom, Jesus was the only choice, and he did so willingly. The old testament’s prophecies about Jesus would have been all lies had Jesus not so suffered. The Law Covenant was a temporary measure for Israel UNTIL the messiah’s coming. The Christ Jesus. Christ means messiah by the way. When Jesus was killed on the torture stake, and was later resurrected, he sat down at God’s right hand, and paid the ransom for us, so that we HAVE A CHANCE at being forgiven for our sins. It’s NOT automatic. We must repent, and then pray to God, in Jesus’ name, for forgiveness. IF we obey God’s commands, all of them, all the time, then we will be forgiven. If we don’t obey God all the time, then no, we won’t be forgiven. If we hold a grudge against another, God won’t forgive us. If we cheat on our time at work, or our taxes, or gamble, or cheat on our wives, or fail to witness the Kingdom message to all we can, and many other things, we won’t be forgiven. We cannot be in God’s love under those circumstances.

    So these are the reasons the Christ Jesus suffered. He DIDN’T HAVE TO though. He, and his Father made these sacrifices out of love for us, not out of any obligation to us. They owe us nothing. What they give us is given because they ARE love.