Why The Need for the Cross


If EU is correct, why did Christ have to go to the cross?

Was asked the above question by a friend. I would like some help on giving her an answer in short form. :wink:


Hi URPilgrim
I don’t see the difference whether its just a few that are saved or everybody. The question could just as easily be asked to ECTers. Whatever answer they give, the same will do for those who believe in UR.
As for me, I believe that God in man had to experience death in order to conquer it.


I don’t see the difference whether its just a few that are saved or everybody. The question could just as easily be asked to ECTers.

Excellent point, John! Simply put, Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father except through Him. Whether one person or all persons are saved, they have to go through Jesus, so the question doesn’t change.


Thank you guys. Some good insights there. :slight_smile: Whether one or all Christ had to suffer death to destroy the works of the devil and to over power death.


My fellow disciples, you are right!

But as a person who once strongly believed in eternal conscious torment in hell forever, I think I can explain the thinking of those who asked the question.

For many people, the purpose of Christ’s death on the cross was to save people from eternal hell. However, if everyone is going to be saved anyway, why should He have bothered going through that agony? I think these people assume that universal salvation is universal salvation from hell, and that those who believe in it think that it will happen automatically at death.


The thing that saved the prodigal son wasn’t his painful experience in the pig pen. That merely got him thinking of his father’s house. It was a necessary part of the treatment, but not the cure. The thing that healed him was the revelation of his father’s love when he finally reached home. That overwhelming epiphany set him free from his sins, and kept him free. The boy, seeing at last his father’s anguished heart, determined never to cause him such pain again, but rather, to bring him joy.

Christ is the revelation of God’s eternal suffering at our hands. The invisible God shows us his face, and that face is streaming with tears and blood. It is something we need to see. There is no other way to break our hearts. (The cross is where God’s sovereignty and human free will meet.) God has taken upon himself the sins of the world from the very beginning, and now we know what that looks like and feels like for him. All the insult, rejection, spite, suspicion pain… God has taken our sins into his own heart and buried them there forever. It has cost him dearly, and now we have an inkling of the price. His love has kept no record of our wrong. How else could we be reconciled to him? God took it on the chin and forgave us freely. Our pockets are empty. We could not repay. God shed his own blood for us. We have no blood of our own. Truly, we are saved by grace alone.

All this is revealed in the face of Christ as he hangs there on the cross. Divine love alone (nothing less) has the power to set us free from sin. This is why Christ needed to die.


Strangely it seems to be one of most common questions people have when I explain EU :confused:

My answer is the is a gulf between us & God, Christ (& what He did on the cross) is the only bridge. Just because everyone crosses the bridge doesn’t mean we never needed a bridge. Alternatively, there is a wall between God & us, and Christ (& what He did on the cross) is the only door. Just because everyone goes through the door, doesn’t mean we never needed the door. I could go on, but hopefully you see the pattern :slight_smile:


The thing that separates us from God is our sin here and now. Past sins are forgiven. God willingly accepts the loss and forgets the offense. But our present sin still stands between us. How does Christ being a door or a bridge get rid of the sins to which we cling, and which separate us from God? Somehow, God must inspire and empower us to let go of these sins willingly, without violating our independence as separate creatures. Only love can do this. Christ’s death, therefore, was necessary inasmuch as it shows us God’s love and God’s suffering. This moves us to feel compassion toward God, and shame that we have so abused him. It empowers us to kill our old self. It inspires us to bring God comfort by sharing his suffering, by loving him as faithful children, and by loving our neighbor.


I asked that question, too. It’s interesting to me that once that question seemed so natural, and now it doesn’t even make sense to me any more! LOL If He had to die to save some, why wouldn’t He have had to die to save everyone?

I think the problem is the formula: Christ died on the cross in our place so that if we believe in Christ and make a profession of faith/say a prayer before we die, then we will be saved from Hell.

The traditional plan of salvation is focused on what you have to do or believe before you die to be saved. The “death deadline” is an essential part of the formula. If you take away that deadline, the whole paradigm is distorted, and you’re left inanely asking “then why the sacrifice?”

He had to go to the cross to save sinners – to reconcile us to God.



Amen Sonia :slight_smile:

Again, thank you to everyone for your responses. Good feed back :slight_smile:


Just this morning my son, 6 years old, was doing his grammar lessons (we homeschool). And one of the questions was, “Jesus came to save all/many people.” And he was to circle the correct answer. He circled “All”. I was struck by the question and had to go read it. As I pointed out that he answered correctly, someone else said, “Well, of course that’s the right answer. Jesus did come to save us all; but that doesn’t mean that all are eventually saved.”
me - “So if all are not saved, then Jesus failed to save all.”
she - “No, Jesus didn’t fail to save anyone for He offered salvation to all.”
me - “But it doesn’t say that Jesus came to “offer” salvation to all, but to save all.”
she - “Well, I don’t want to argue about it.”

Oh well, I didn’t mean to start an argument, but to show that even Christian children’s literature lessons affirm that Jesus came to save all.

If a lifeguard saves 100 out of 100 people from drowning, does that in any way lessen the fear or potential tragedy of drowning - though none ultimately drowned? Of course not. It only highlights the amazing saving power and skill of the lifeguard!


How do you come to the conclusion that the cross only covers our “past” sin and not all sin, past, present and future? As i see grace, it goes both back and forward, otherwise, redemption’s love isn’t unconditional. And . . . the cross experience happened before I was born “to” sin in the first place. If it affected the sins in my life before I was even born to know or carry out the sin . . .how then can it only be a partial redemption? Actually, I’m not really asking because I don’t know. I just see it differently is all.