Why did He have to Die?


faith / Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

My husband and I watched The Passion of the Christ again a couple days ago; we thought it would set a good tone for the rest of this Holy Week.

Mel Gibson is an interesting guy (to put it mildly) but he sure did do an amazing job with this movie. If you haven’t seen it, I’d highly recommend it (for adults and older teens). If you’ve already seen it, I’d highly recommend watching it again, especially this week. However, I’ll caution that it’s horribly hard to watch. If you can’t stomach movies with graphic violence, you probably wouldn’t be able to handle this either. Especially since it’s undeniably a true story.

This isn’t a movie review though so I’m not going to comment on what I thought about it as a movie, only what it made me think about and how it makes me feel when I watch it – which is the point.

Feelings as I watched it:

Sadness, deep, deep sadness.

For Him; for His Mother. I hold my baby and think about Mary – what it must have been like to watch her own son – her baby – suffer like that. What it must have been like to then hold her Son – his heavy, bloody, lifeless body – cradled in her arms.

Anguish, anger, sorrow.

At the Pharisees, at the people who hailed him one day and killed him the next. Anger and sorrow for them, for Judas.

Confusion.

Why? Why did this have to happen? Why did He choose this time – out of all human history? Why this particular form of execution? Why did it have to be so brutal, so painful, so humiliating? Why did God the Father allow this to happen to His own Son? Why did God the Son endure such an awful, horrific torture and sacrifice – just for us – ugly, ungrateful, selfish, hypocritical sinners that we are?

Sin continues, growing in crudeness and rampancy exponentially by the day. I’ve turned off the mainstream news for Lent but I’ve heard a bit of what’s going on still.

Rape – by kids to kids, shootings, domestic and child abuse, hatred and discrimination, the depths of poverty, free government-paid abortions for any selfish reason at any time of the baby’s life, the attacks against real marriage and continual abuse and destruction to the family – the integral foundation of humanity, and so many other things & I don’t even want to get into the sins of our past – which have left their residual stains on us all.

Why does this all continue happening? Even after all He did – after all He gave up for us? If He suffered for all why do we continue suffering anyway? What was the point? I wonder, if it was the knowledge of all this that killed him – and not the scourging and crucifixion?

Sometime when I was maybe 15 or 16, I was in my room working on homework or whatever and I started thinking about all this, except with a more naïve imagination (how I miss those days!). I remember looking over at the crucifix hanging on the wall in my room and asking these same questions. Why? Why did You do this?

And I realized, in that moment for the first real time in my life, that the wrong person was nailed to that cross. They got the wrong guy. It should have been me.

But – He wouldn’t allow it, He loved me too much.

He took my place.

I’ve never looked at the cross the same since.

I don’t deserve what He did for me; however, I am grateful – eternally.

Some days, I feel like I need to do things so I can earn His gift for me. But then, in the stillness of my heart I hear Him say: You do not need to DO anything, I already did. Just accept me. Love me and share My Love.

I still have questions. I still feel dismayed, disgruntled and deeply saddened when I see how undeserving we are, how we continue to mock Him, deny Him, and turn away from His Sacrifice and unfailing Love for us.

But…maybe…the suffering and evil we continue to endure, is the why .

His Passion and Crucifixion was not the ‘end’ of the story. His Life, Death, and Resurrection, is THE ANSWER…to everything.

It’s up to us to accept it, to embrace Him and His Sacrifice and Love and unite our own sins and sufferings with His; or, we could deny Him, refuse His precious Gift, and continue down our own path of self-righteousness and suffering…alone.

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