To really understand why Jesus died on the cross, we have to go back to the beginning of us humans and we have to understand a little about God’s nature.
In the presence of God we die. God is Goodness. A better word would be Holiness or Righteousness itself. He has Never sinned or done wrong! What? God killed people right and left in the Bible, instructed the Israelites to wipe out entire nations of people. Sickness and death happen to what we would consider to be good people every day. How can I say that God has Never done wrong!
These are many of the reasons that us humans use to not believe in God or choose to reject him. The real reason for this is that in todays world, we do not understand true goodness, or holiness, or righteousness. The definition of righteous in Websters is “Acting in accord with divine or moral law”. Contrary to what some might choose to believe, there is “divine or moral law” in place. Good is Good and Evil is Evil. God operates in these laws because he is Goodness itself and as true Goodness, no evil, large or small can live in his presence. NONE!
Good and evil are not even, hanging in the balance. God created everything that is in existence, even the devil himself. How can the created being defeat the Creator? He can’t. All he can do is try to destroy as much of the Creation as he can.
This leads us to the next point. Why is there evil then? If God created everything, couldn’t he just wipe out evil and not allow it to have any influence on the earth. Then we would all be good little humans and not have to have death and disease. The problem with this is we would be puppets, not humans at all. The whole point of us as humans is that we have a choice.
If we couldn’t do wrong, then we wouldn’t have a mind of our own and there would be no glory for God through us. We would be like a robot, controlled by the onboard system and do whatever we were told. The beauty of human kind is that we have a choice in what we do. The only way to truly make us in His image was to give us a spirit that would live forever and then give us the ultimate decision power, even the power to decide to not follow our creator and go to Hell. That is amazing to think that God gave us the power over our own destiny!
Even in the Garden of Eden, God put the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil. He then told Adam and Eve that they could not eat the fruit of that tree. There was the choice. Life or Death. In the Garden as well was another tree. The Tree of Eternal Life. If Adam and Eve would have eaten the fruit of this tree after eating the fruit from the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they would have then taken on eternal life in the bodies they were in, which were then stained with Sin. They would have had to live in that fallen state forever!
Remember that God is Goodness and that evil cannot live in the presence of Righteousness? That would not have been good, but God loves us! This is the true mystery. Even after humans decided to choose death and sin and fallen nature instead of Goodness and living with Him forever, God loved us. Each of us so much that He did the only thing that could be done to let us have a chance again. He sent his only Son, part of the Trinity, who would never have to taste sin or death or suffering in a physical body in all of Eternity to pay for what we had done.
God knew that no human could ever be good enough, or give enough gifts or offer enough sacrifices to pay for what they had done. No one could pay for even the sin that they themselves had committed, much less the sins of everyone.
God loved us, each individual, so much that He put Himself in the body of a human. He lived in this fallen world with its hunger and pain and suffering and grief. Jesus lived with the same temptations that we deal with and then he was betrayed by his own creation. Beaten and murdered in the most horrible way imaginable on the earth and that wasn’t even the worst of what Jesus went through.
Jesus made a decision to take on ALL of the sins that had ever been committed by humans and ALL the sins that would ever be committed on the earth in the future. Never had He committed one sin! Yet Jesus took every single horrible stinking, nauseating thing that the most fowl, disgusting person in the world will do and felt the entire disgusting weight of it on his own pure body and spirit. Then He died. It was His gift to us! Jesus didn’t have to do it! One word, even at the bitter end and one million angels would have been there in an instant, but He died, taking all of those sins into the grave with him!
When Jesus conquered death and rose again three days later, He held a gift in his hand. We, as fallen humans now had a way to live forever with God again. Not because of anything we did, but because God loved us.
Because of this, any one, and I do mean anyone, can choose to live forever with God. All we have to do is accept what Jesus did and follow Him! That is why Jesus died on the cross!