April 13, 2014 –– Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord
Why did Jesus have to die?
We are entering the week when we follow Jesus to the cross and his death. It is right and good for us to have this focus. St Paul exclaimed to the Galatians: May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ (6:14a).
Why did Jesus have to die? It is not a simple question with only one answer. Volumes have been written trying to give an adequate response.
A couple of weeks ago I was presented quite spontaneously with this very question. As I was leaving our Friday parish fish dinner, a young mother stopped me and wanted to know what to tell her four-year-old about why Jesus had to die. Okay, from volumes of theology to an answer for a child.....
The Lord had mercy on me. Why did Jesus have to die? The answer I gave that night is what I want to tell you today.
Death is an awful reality in our world. All of us have to face death. It is awful because it seems so final. Jesus came into our world.... and died.... and came back from the dead to show that death does not have to have the last word.
When we follow Jesus (that’s what having Christian Faith means), we follow him to the cross. Following him to his death is the way he shows us we do not have to panic when we face our own death––or the death of those whom we love.
Jesus died so we can know that the love of God is bigger than death itself.