Why did Jesus have to suffer

Question from Tom on 1/30/2008:

Father, A friend of mine during a discussion on religion indicated her young son asked "Why did Jesus have to die to save us" She didn't know how to answer, nor do I. Why was it necessary for Jesus to die such a horrible death? Why not just spend his life on earth teaching and dying naturally? Thanks and may God bless.

Answer by Fr. Robert J. Levis on 1/30/2008:

Tom, Love has saved us. No one in his right mind as he contemplates the unbelievable suffering of Christ in his Passion, no one can doubt the reality nor the depth of his love for us sinners. The extreme love of Christ for us is also indicative of his Father's love for us. Bottom line, this love could not be magnified, neither Christ's nor his Father's love for us. Some of us sinners might despair once we realize how evil sin is, but not when we contemplate how personal and how deep the pain. God bless you. Fr. Bob Levis

1 comment:

  1. Hello Fr. Bob Levis,

    All this is true - but not actually helpful.

    The question really is "Why was this extreme display of love "demanded" of Jesus and by whom?

    Was it God the Father as some sort of restitution? I am disinclined to believe any father, let alone God the Almighty Father would demand such an offering for anyone's transgressions.

    However I do wonder if it could be the price demanded by Satan for releasing humanity in all ages, from bondage to Satan which we all enter into when we sin, and through this price paid by Jesus, thus allowing humanity to fully love God once again just by recognising our faults against love and returning to that full love for God as well as being open to receiving full love from God.

    I am no theologian - just a well-educated, thoughtful Catholic woman pushing seventy who has been involved in Ecumenical Pastoral Care for quite some time, and this seems to make more sense to me.

    God In Our Later Years

    First the gentle Jesus of our infancy
    followed by a God of thunderbolts and lightning strikes
    not unlike the turbulence of adolescence
    or angst of raising children right
    as we tread the thorny track

    but ah, the joy of grace and space
    to look into the eye of God
    and see a love for us from us
    reflected back and forth
    across the years of good intentions

    as we gaze with somewhat dimmer eye
    and hear with turned-down ear
    and walk with slightly slower step
    towards the light
    shining in the darkness of our twilight

    I would welcome anyone's comments.