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Why Did Jesus Die?

• Bruxy Cavey

The cross shows God’s heart of infinite love, even in response to our hate and hostility. No matter what you’ve done, and no matter how far you’ve gone away from God, he loves you, he is waiting for you, and he wants to celebrate with you when you come home.

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At the crucifixion of Jesus, God was not outside of Jesus pouring down his wrath. He was in Jesus, pouring out his love. Throughout history, God has been portrayed as this angry God who wants to vent his wrath at humanity. Instead, God vents his wrath at Jesus, and in doing so, Jesus saves humanity. But this picture of God is wrong.

God is love. The picture of God venting his wrath at Jesus or wanting to vent it at humanity is not the picture that Scripture paints. The greatest picture painted is when Jesus describes the prodigal son story. In this parable, a son leaves his father’s home and goes out into the world and shames himself in all of his actions. When he finally hits rock bottom, he comes back to the father. The father, instead of venting wrath, has his arms wide open waiting for his son, and the father throws a party for the son.

This story reflects the loving nature of God. We often get the picture of a father who would be angry at his son. After all, the son abandoned his father, went his own way, and when he finally came back, did not expect to be treated like a son anymore. The son felt like his father would not forgive him and would have only wrath for him. But the father only had love for his son. In fact, it was the same love that the father had for the son when the son first left.

There’s something peculiar about the story of the prodigal son—the father never changes. He doesn’t drive the son out in anger. He doesn’t neglect the son when he returns. In fact, the father adopts a loving stance towards his son during the entire story. The son is the one who changes. The son goes from thinking that his father hates him to realizing that his father loves him and has always loved him. We are the son in the story. We see God as an angry father waiting to strike us down, however, that is nothing like God and is only a lie in our heads.

When Jesus died on the cross, we don’t see an angry God taking out his vengeance on his own son. We don’t see Jesus diving in front of some cosmic bullet from God. God was not outside of Jesus venting his wrath. He was in Christ, pouring out his love. The cross shows God’s heart of infinite love, even in response to our hate and hostility. Humanity’s wrath is what put Jesus on the cross. God’s response was love. This insanely beautiful picture could only be the work of a loving God.

No matter what you’ve done, and no matter how far you’ve gone away from God, he loves you. He is waiting for you, like the prodigal father, and he wants to celebrate with you when you come home. Don’t let the fear of rejection keep you from this loving God. Run home to him as quickly as you can, and let the loving father show you exactly how much he loves you.

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Topics: Faithfulness, Grace, Love

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Focus Scripture:

  • Luke 15:32

    But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.

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12 thoughts on “Why Did Jesus Die?

  1. kevin s. says:

    What, no comments yet? i love brother bruxy and his teaching. I had hoped he would have addressed the fact that, as far as i can tell, there is no mention in the bible of any prophets that were in fact killed by the jews.
    i need to know why that is. Anyone care to share?

  2. Kevin says:

    where in the bible are there stories written of the jews killing any of the prophets?

  3. Gloria says:

    Jesus died becuase we are worthy for God so loved us….even before the grate beginning.

  4. Kevin says:

    Brother Bruxy said; “There is wrath at the cross but primarily that is the wrath of those who are rejecting the Son.”

    Primarily? Is he saying that there is other “secondary” wrath with the cross? Does that mean that God did indeed “pour out his wrath” on Jesus….but…only secondarily??? i’m confused:/

  5. Christina says:

    @Kevin…not 100% but what I think brother Bruxy is saying is that the wrath is our own wrath towards God. We know we are sinners, and our wrath is that the cross doesnt make sense. We dont fully get grace. Jesus loved us while we were yet sinners. His love and grace is infinite. We react in our own wrath because we dont get it. It doesnt make sense. Our wrath is towards God because we (each of us through our sin) killed Jesus at the cross. Jesus comes back after we murdered him, and responds by pouring out more love. God doesnt pour out his wrath on his son – even secondarily – that would be child abuse. Doesnt line up with “GOD IS LOVE.” I am trying to more fully wrap my brain around this as well. Bless you

  6. Tim says:

    Beautiful!!! God in a sentence: “God is LOVE”!

  7. Kevin says:

    @Christina…Thanks; now i “see men as trees” 🙂

  8. Hi Christina & Kevin,

    It depends on your atonement view: the implications of Christ’s death. If you hold to a Christus Victor view of the atonement (like Pastor Greg), God’s wrath is indirect and comes from wicked people and Satan. If you hold to a Penal Substitution view (like many evangelical pastors), God’s wrath is direct and comes from the Father himself on the Son who wilfully obliges.

    Some say the former is God being too soft on sin – opting more for a loving God than a just God. Others say the latter is too harsh and child-abusive like – opting more for vengeful God than a loving God. I opt for the former, which more embraces the Christus Victor view. (I have my reasons but not enough space to explain.) Just be aware that there are Christian camps who see otherwise and embrace penal substitution.

    I guess …in all things charity as the saying goes.

  9. Art says:

    John the Baptist spoke of Jesus to the people in Jn 1:29 when, “The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

    The Jews hearing this most probably understood John to be referring back to Lev 4:32 ‘But if he brings a lamb as his offering for a sin offering, he shall bring it, a female without defect. 33 ‘He shall lay his hand on the head of the sin offering and slay it for a sin offering in the place where they slay the burnt offering. 34 … 35 … ‘Thus the priest shall make atonement for him in regard to his sin which he has committed, and he will be forgiven.’

  10. Art says:

    And also, for all the people: NAS Lev 16:15 “Then he shall slaughter the goat of the sin offering which is for the people, and bring its blood inside the veil and do with its blood as he did with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it on the mercy seat and in front of the mercy seat. 16 “He shall make atonement for the holy place, because of the impurities of the sons of Israel and because of their transgressions in regard to all their sins … 30 for it is on this day that atonement shall be made for you to cleanse you; you will be clean from all your sins before the LORD.

  11. Art says:

    It seems to me that God the Father has, once and for all, expressed His anger and hatred of sin by pouring out completely His wrath on His Son Jesus instead of on us who deserve it.

    Therefore, God no longer has any wrath left to exercise on anyone.

  12. Art says:

    And finally, (maybe)

    Heb 9:11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation ; 12 and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, … 28 so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.

    Matt 26:27 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; 28 for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.

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