It will be Easter in a few weeks. It seems like a good time to ask a basic “Christian” question: Why did Jesus die on the cross? Is it possible that we have forgotten why?
From a certain perspective Easter seems to be mostly about chocolate, eggs and candy. Or, for the casual faith crowd, it would be easy to conclude that this is the time of year for new dresses, fancy hats and an annual pilgrimage to church.
If you spend any time listening to popular Christian culture it might be easy to conclude that Jesus died on the cross so that we could own the house or car of our dreams. Or maybe he died so that TV ministers could have world-wide audiences. Could it be that Jesus died to inspire church “building” programs? Is it possible that Jesus died so that church sanctuaries would be filled once a year?
Then there is the “ignore Jesus’ life and teaching, and focus on His death” crowd. They believe that Jesus died so that we could get a free ticket to heaven. If you are unfortunate enough to miss the free ticket-to-heaven line you still get a free ride but this “other” option is not quite as fun.
So why did Jesus die on the cross? John 3:16 provides a clue. We are loved. Unconditionally loved. It does not make a difference who you are, what you have or have not done, where you come from, your economic status, your national or religious origin – none of this matters. Jesus died on the cross because He loves you, unconditionally.