Why did Jesus come to earth to suffer and die on the cross? After all, if dying was all Jesus had to do, then he could have just died of old age. Yet, he didn’t die of natural causes. He was brutally murdered on the cross. The question is why that way.
Jesus suffered and died to show God’s love for us. But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). Greater love has no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends and you are my friends if you do whatsoever I command you (Jn 15:13,14).
Jesus suffered and died to absorb the wrath of God. “The soul who sins shall die…” (Ezekiel 18:20). The price had to be paid for our sins. “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;according to the scriptures” (1 Cor 15:3).
Jesus suffered and died to cancel the legal demands against us. The Justice of God demanded punishment. “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;” (Col 2:11,12).
Jesus suffered and died to provide our forgiveness. Jesus said “for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Mat 26:28). Paul emphasized the necessity of having this blood applied to our souls to receive forgiveness of sins. “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace” (Eph 1:7)
Jesus did all he could do by dying for us on the cruel cross of Calvary. He died the most cruel death imaginable that we might share eternal life with him. Is it asking too much of us that we obey the gospel of Christ in order to obtain eternal life? We are commanded to believe Jesus was the Christ and confess such with our mouth (Rom 10:8-10). We are commanded to repent and to be baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38). As Jesus obeyed his heavenly Father, even so we are to walk in the steps of the Savior (Jn 3:16 f; 1 Pet 2:20,21). Jesus suffered and so must we (2 Tim 3:12). As Jesus died on the cross, even so must we be buried with Christ by baptism, and raised to walk in the newness of life (Rom 6:3,4). The servant is not above his Master (Mt 10:24). Even as Jesus took up his cross and died for us, we must also take up our cross and follow Christ (Mt 10:38). If Jesus had not died for our sins, we are of all men most miserable (1 Cor 15:19) If we die not to our sins we will be of all men most miserable!