an article by Ken Simmons, written for secular people.
People hear the phrase “Jesus died for my sins” and they wonder . . . “Why? This doesn’t make any sense. If he was the son of God then why did he have to DIE for my sins? Couldn't he have simply said, 'I forgive you of all your sins' and be done with it?" More than one billion people believe in Islam, and Mohammed didn’t die for the sins of Muslims any more than Buddha died for the sins of Buddhists. The world doesn’t understand this and Christians have done a poor job of explaining why His death was necessary.
There is a scripture that says, “. . . without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness ('of sin' is implied)” (see Hebrews 9:22)
For whatever reasons God, in His wisdom, has required blood sacrifice to atone for the sins of mankind. Without going into the details of the why and how many of the various sacrifices were required, they were spelled out by Moses in considerable detail in the Old Testament.
When Moses made his demands to Pharoah saying, “Let my people go!” there were many plagues sent to convince Pharoah that defying the will of God wasn’t such a good idea. Following the plagues of locusts, frogs, the Nile turning to blood, and blisters and boils, the final plague got Pharoah’s attention because it required the death of all first born children in Egypt, which included the Pharoah’s own son.
The only way for the Hebrews to avoid the death of their own first born was to apply the blood of a perfect, spotless lamb onto the doorposts and lintels of their houses. This would cause death to “pass over” the houses of the Hebrews. To this day Jewish people still celebrate "The Passover," and that is also why Christians to this day refer to Jesus as “the Lamb of God” since He was the spotless (sinless) sacrifice for the sins of mankind.
The next question would seem to be, “If God required Jesus to be sacrificed for our sins, why did he have to suffer so much. Why did he have to go through such excruciating pain?" (Note: the word excruciating comes from the origins of the word “crucifixion.) Jesus was spit on, tortured and beaten beyond recognition. They lashed him with leather whips that had pieces of bone and metal on the ends, ripping his flesh open to the bone, and they shoved a crown of acacia thorns onto his head, causing blood to run down his face.
"Couldn’t the Romans have just killed him quickly without all the torment?" The simple answer would seem to be that . . . great sin requires great sacrifice.
Most people are unaware that Jesus took on Himself all the horrific sins of mankind, in essence He became sin itself. When Jesus said, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” this was in fulfillment of prophecies written about 1,000 years before Jesus was born (read the 22nd Chapter of the Book of Psalms. Incidentally, in reading it you will discover that it also spells out in detail the crucifixion of Jesus several hundred years before crucifixion had even been invented.)
Because God could not look upon sin, even the sin that Jesus had willingly taken upon Himself, for that brief moment God could not look upon Jesus, and Jesus cried out "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" which was the literal fulfillment of the 1,000-year-old prophecy. Immediately afterward Jesus descended into hell, confronted Satan, and broke the chains of death, hell, and the grave so that those that believe in Him would never have to stand before a righteous God and hear the words, “Guilty!”
We all have a death sentence on us because of sin, but Jesus took our death sentence upon Himself.
Now you may have a new appreciation for the next time you hear someone say “Jesus died for my sins."