Passion of the Christ ImageWhy?

Why was Jesus crucified?

Jesus was crucified because the Roman authorities had been persuaded by the religious leaders of the time that he was a threat to national security.

The religious leaders believed he was guilty of blasphemy because he had claimed to be equal with God. They then persuaded the Roman Governor that this meant he was capable of leading a rebellion.

Crowds of people had been following Jesus and now he was in Jerusalem the authorities worried about what he might do.

There had been other people claiming to be the Messiah in the past but they had all disappeared before becoming too much of a problem. Jesus however, would not go away.

It helps that God understands what it is like to suffer

If you ever have to go through a time of suffering then it helps to know about the cross. God himself has suffered just like we do. This doesn't make the suffering good or happy it just means that we know God is not distant and unfeeling but instead stands by us when things are terrible for us.

So what happened on the cross and why did Jesus have to go there?

The cross has many results but it is not really possible to treat them as just philosophical ideas. The cross only really makes sense to those who have chosen to put their trust in Jesus Christ.

The cross is essentially about overcoming the division that exists between people and God. When we choose to do things that are wrong then we distance ourselves from God - it doesn't matter that it may be something trivial it still has the same effect of separation. Adam and Even simply ate a forbidden apple and it was enough to cause separation from God.

The cross needs the resurrection

Of course without the resurrection the cross just becomes another sad episode in Roman history so the resurrection is an important part of the story. It's the resurrection that enables us to see what Jesus was doing on the cross.

The resurrection doesn't undo what happened on the cross but makes it complete. It is Jesus alive again that helps us understand that on the cross Jesus was winning and not losing. The cross is now not something to be ashamed of or something to run away from it is something to which we can cling to and find the new life and forgiveness that God offers.