People will ask, “was it necessary for Jesus to die?” The answer is an emphatic yes. Only by Christ’s death on the cross can our sins be forgiven.
Then Jesus uttered another loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. (Mark 15:37-38)
Christ’s death on the cross is the most consequential moment in human history. When Jesus shed His blood, He paid the penalty for the sins of all of mankind. He did the will of His Father by willingly laying down His life.
To further understand this truth, let us look to the Old Testament.
Christ’s Death was Necessary to Satisfy the Law
The sacrificial system described in the Old Testament was a frequent, time-consuming core experience in the life of the Jewish people. There were multiple sacrifices covering different purposes.
Sin atonement offerings always included the shedding of blood. This covered, or atoned for the sins of the people. The sacrifices performed for the atonement of sin were not considered permanent or everlasting.
When Jesus shed His blood on the cross, it was a “once-and-for-all” sacrificial blood atonement that God accepted for the sins of all mankind (Hebrews 10:1-18).
If one day we stand before God and He asks us how we expect to enter into eternal life, Jesus’ disciples won’t point to any personal goodness, religious association, or the like. They will claim the shed blood of Jesus Christ as the ransom for their sins, paid in full.
Does that last paragraph surprise you? If so, there may be some aspects of salvation in Jesus Christ worth exploring further.
The Significance of the Temple Curtain
Matthew, Mark and Luke all mention the tearing of the temple curtain. The temple curtain kept the area known as the “Holy of Holies” hidden from view and was several stories high.
Within the Holy of Holies, God’s glory dwelled among His people. The High Priest was only allowed to enter once a year, on Yom Kippur when the atoning blood sacrifice for the Jewish people was given.
The tearing of the curtain from top to bottom hints at a supernatural act. The significance of the tearing of the curtain was that now, through Christ’s blood sacrifice paying for our sins once and for all, it is possible to have direct access to God. We can pray directly to God the Father and He hears us.
The new “temple” for disciples of Jesus Christ is our own bodies. It is not a building or a place. When we put our faith in Jesus Christ, He provides us with the Holy Spirit, who resides with our Spirit to guide is in the truth.
Christ’s Death was Necessary for Everyone
Further, the tearing of the temple curtain signified that salvation was now available to everyone.
It was necessary for Jesus Christ to shed His blood so the entire world may have a path to faith in Christ, both Jew and Gentile (1 Corinthians 1:24). Christ’s sacrifice satisfied the sin debt within and beyond Israel.
So yes, Christ’s death on the cross was necessary. It was God’s plan for the salvation of mankind, that only the Son of Man could fulfill. Everything that came before and after the moment Christ died points to that one moment in history.
More Bible verses about the necessity of Jesus’ death:
Isaiah 53:4-6; Romans 5:6-9; 1 Corinthians 1:18; 2 Corinthians 5:14-21; Galatians 3:13-14; Colossians 2:13-15; Hebrews 9:1-15