In response to the question, "Why did Christ have to die if all are saved anyway?" which was forwarded to me by my good friend Jan Antonsson, from a reader of her webpage, I am proposing the following answer. Since the reader wanted a short one-sentence answer, I am complying with his request but following my one sentence answer with a brief expanded version. Furthermore, I believe that the answer should be the same whether all are saved or only some are saved.
Short Answer: "Crucifixion," or its equivalent, is INTRINSIC to the kind of love in which God forgave and continues to forgive us, His enemies, who nailed Jesus to a cross." (cf. Rom. 5:6-10; Col. 1:21-22).
This one sentence answer can be expanded into a short paragraph as follows: To say that the kind of love which forgives ENEMIES "intrinsically" brings "crucifixion" upon the one who practices it, is to say that it is not something imposed arbitrarily from without, but is an inherent consequence of such love; it is a revelation of how COSTLY such love is to the one who practices it. Thus, Christ did not die so that God could forgive us, but rather God's forgiving love of us is what brought about the death of Christ. In other words, Christ's death was not the cause of God's forgiveness, but rather its accompaniment.
Harry Robert Fox
PS I cannot refrain from adding that just as God and His ways are beyond our ability to fully comprehend, even so Christ's death on the cross will always remain a mystery to our finite minds. But I believe that a desire to seek and to articulate answers is healthy and productive.
Editor's note: Harry Robert is the man who first showed me God's plan for the ages, i.e. Ultimate Reconciliation, in the scriptures 30 years ago and has been my mentor, friend and brother in Christ ever since. Jan Antonsson, webmeister.
"If all men are going to be saved, why did Christ have to die?" by Jan Antonsson,
The Glory Road
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Uploaded to the web on March 9, 2000
by Jan Antonsson, Webmeister
Last edited on Dec. 12, 2009