Christians believe that the death of Jesus Christ on the cross is of surpassing significance.  But just why did Christ have to die?

THE ATONEMENT OF CHRIST- The Heart of Christianity
Christian scholars have held throughout the centuries that the death of Christ is the very heart of Christianity.  A reading of the New Testament certainly confirms this claim.  In fact, Christ’s death, known in theological terms as the atonement, was necessary because of the universal sinfulness of all of mankind.  Genesis (chapter three) reveals how the first man (who, by the way, was also the representative of mankind) used his free will to rebel against his creator.  This act of rebellion had great consequences.  In fact, Adam’s disobedience caused enmity to exist between the creator, and himself.  This hostility resulted in a permanent separation between God and man.  And, as a result, mankind was forever excluded from the blessings of an intimate personal relationship with God.  Not only this, but because of our unique association with Adam, (and because of our own sin) we’re all left in the desperate situation of being under the judgment of a righteous God.

THE ATONEMENT OF CHRIST- Restoring a Broken Relationship
According to the New Testament, the death of Christ is how God restored that broken relationship.  Second Corinthians 5:19 states that “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself.”  In His death, Jesus is said to have suffered the penalty for our transgressions (2 Cor. 5:21).  In fact, the separation between God and man has now been bridged by Christ.  Christ’s sacrificial death enables man to approach God and establish a relationship with Him not only for time, but also for eternity.  The heart of the Christian message is that Christ has accomplished what we were incapable of doing for ourselves; Christ has reconciled us to God.  Through Christ’s death, God demonstrates both His perfect justice and His infinite love.  As Peter writes: “For Christ died for sins once and for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God (1 Pet. 3:18).  God made Him…(the Bible says) who had no sin to become the sin offering for you so that in Him, you might have the righteousness of God.

On the atonement of Christ, that’s the CRI Perspective.  I’m Hank Hanegraaff.