WHY DID JESUS HAVE TO DIE?
Jesus' life and death were an example to us [April 12]. He had to die to be resurrected. Jesus attempted to show us that death is not the end. He was trying to remove some of the fear and desperation from our lives and prove that we are more than meaningless specks of dust on this planet. We have eternal life. ELIZABETH PALMER-BIGLER Holiday, Fla.
Thank you for presenting the reactions of believers over the centuries to the Passion of Christ. I have never believed that Jesus died in order to satisfy some sort of debt. In his life, his death and his reappearance, Christ came to show us God the Father. Why remains a joyous mystery. NORMA MELONE Campbell, Calif.
The death and resurrection of Jesus are a revelation on a grand scale of what takes place in every life. We all go through suffering and joy, death and resurrection, on one level or another. The energy that keeps us going in the midst of this human cycle is the presence of Christ's spirit in us. Why did Jesus die? To show us how life works and to empower us to live fully now and forever. (THE REV.) HAL WALLOF Providence Forge, Va.
What am I missing? I thought Jesus was sent by God to live and die as a man, to suffer and bear our sins. His Resurrection is a sign of God's forgiveness and everlasting life for all who believe in him. LIZ WINSTANLEY Issaquah, Wash.
Jesus stood up to the injustices of the world and was crushed in the process. That is happening all over the world today, and not only to Christians. People of every religion who see wrongs and try to right them lose their lives. That is what the Christian spirit is all about. LOUIS OSTROM Madison, Wis.
There is no Quid Pro Quo with God. The lesson of the Crucifixion and Resurrection was meant to be simple, not something to crease the brows of countless theologians over the ages. The Second Coming is manifest and resides in the godly among us--those who tirelessly and earnestly work in the service of humankind. EDWARD HUJSAK La Jolla, Calif.
Christ died in a dramatic and painful way to demonstrate that even in the most ignominious death, there is a spectacular resolution. Thus death is not the end of hope or life. Christ's death was necessary so he could rise again, the ultimate proof that he was no longer a son of man but the Son of God. CARLOS M. MAGALLANES Pasadena, Calif.
It is inappropriate to look for explanations of Jesus' death that blame God. God is not the one who killed him but the one who raised him from the dead. Jesus died because those in power ordered him killed. They could not tolerate someone who challenged the status quo as forcefully and thoroughly as Jesus was capable of doing. (THE REV.) DOUGLAS P. CUNNINGHAM New York City
The varied explanations of Jesus' death reflect the myriad ways we approach God. The marvel of the Crucifixion is that no matter what kind of questions you have, they can be answered. The way to understanding the reason for Jesus' death lies somewhere closer to embracing all the serious interpretations rather than just one. By integrating the different ideas about Jesus' death, its real meaning for each individual can be found. GILES BOLAND Wellesley, Mass.