The question of why did Jesus die remains a topic of discussion till today, be it in the ivory towers of academic circles or among people of various faiths, but let us consider why did Jesus live. Some may say that Jesus lived ‘to give timeless moral teachings,’ ‘to live an exemplary life, or ‘to prepare for sacrificial death’.
If our responses are limited to only these, we shall be quite untrue to Jesus’ own understanding of His vocation and work.
The life of Jesus culminates in the events of His death and resurrection. And these events are not to be understood as the execution of a revolutionary who refused to stop speaking the truth to political and religious authorities in the first century. Jesus’ life, death and resurrection point to the saving divine act through which the sins of the world were dealt with once and for all.
In Jesus, God acts in space and history and inaugurates the kingdom everyone who repents can enter; an amazing gift to be received with gratitude. The life of Jesus shows us that every human life matters to God as Jesus identifies with us in our pain and sorrow and gives us undying hope. Jesus’ healing physical ailments, feeding the hungry, and raising the dead; and Jesus’ resurrection from the dead give us the hope of our resurrection when we have a glorious body.
All of us are God’s creation, and all are to be loved and served for their identity as human beings. Hating people is to hate God, who created both male and female in His image and likeness, which explains why Jesus equated hatred with murder. The events of the life of Jesus show God is full of grace and truth. And God pours His love in our life so we, too like Jesus, lead a life of love, service and sacrifice.