Why Jesus?

Day 2 of 5 • This day’s reading


Why did he come, and why did he die? 

Jesus is the only man who has ever chosen to be born, and he is one of the few who has chosen to die. He said that the entire reason for his coming was to die for us. He came ‘to give his life as a ransom for many’ (Mark 10:45).

Jesus said he died ‘for’ us. The word ‘for’ means ‘instead of.’ He did it because he loved us and did not want us to have to pay the penalty for all the things that we had done wrong. On the cross, he was effectively saying, ‘I will take all those things on myself.’ He did it for you, and he did it for me. If you or I had been the only person in the world, he would have done it for us. St. Paul wrote of ‘the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me’ (Galatians 2:20). It was out of love for us that he gave his life as a ransom.

The word ‘ransom’ comes from the slave market. A kind person might buy a slave and set him free—but first the ransom price had to be paid. Jesus paid, by his blood on the cross, the ransom price to set us free.