In a former question, I was told me that different denominations of Christianity hold many views about if/why it was necessary for Jesus to be murdered instead of dying of old age.

I would now like an overview of what different denominations teach about the subject. (That is, what are the main distinctive opinions?)

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    John 10:17-18 somewhat takes exception to the premise of the question. I would use that as the basis of an answer, but it would not not really be answering the question as asked. Jan 25 '16 at 0:45
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    @JontheArchitect: I'm with you, brother. The question belies a doctrinal error. Jesus in fact volunteered to lay down his life. Moreover, the Father "did not spare his Son but delivered him up for us all" (Romans 8:32a). Christ's sacrificial death was a fait accompli from eternity past. The Son was willing to lay down his life; the Father was pleased with his willingness, delivering him up; and the Holy Spirit empowered Jesus as he plumbed the depths of both physical and spiritual agony, the likes of which we will never fully understand or appreciate. This is sacred ground, to be sure. Don Jan 25 '16 at 21:58
  • But it could also be that Jesus just said that (Joh. 10:17-18) after he knew that he was going to be killed. Compare Marcus 9: 31
    – Marijn
    Jan 26 '16 at 9:48
  • @Marijn: To consider that possibility is to consider it possible that Jesus was not being truthful in John 10. If you are willing to consider that (I am not willing myself), then you are effectively dismissing the possibility of a theological answer to your question, as it calls into question Jesus' authenticity and authority. Jan 26 '16 at 13:54
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    I don't understand why you use the emotive term "murder" rather than the more accurate term 'executed' since the distinction is not trivial. That the putting to death under the color of Roman Law happened makes it an execution; a lawful putting to death. (Whether or not it was "just" in a macro sense isn't the issue). Murder is inherently unlawful. Words have meanings. Oct 20 '16 at 16:28

Although not from specific denominations, here are some different views on the necessity of Jesus' death:

1) The prophecy:

Jesus often foresaw and talked about his impending betrayal and death. For example, at Caesurea Phillipi, the watershed moment of Mark's Gosepl, it is said:

He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. -Mark 8:31

Some could argue that this was divinely given, and no matter what happened, this had to be fulfilled. This is often the basis of Judas Iscariot's innocence, as there had to be a fulfiller of this definitive deed, it was just unfortunate that Judas was the one who had to do it.

The reasons why this prophecy existed is all down to atonement. Jesus' mission is to take upon himself all of man's sins. He undergoes flogging, mockery, corruption, betrayal, isolation and death. Maybe it is not so much the death that is important, but the overall passion narrative, where he endures out of love for us. You could also argue that without the crucification, the resurrection would not happen (or at least not in the same light if it were to happen at old age). The importance of triumphing over the sins of man would not be possible without the resurrection, and therefore crucifixion.

2) Riot

The Sanhedrin were the puppets of the Roman empire, as well as people of religion and therefore the law. In the gospels, they are the questioners and accusers of Jesus.

Their main role was to prevent civil unrest. Jesus, who could easily be seen as an extremist, with his radical views as well as his associations with groups such as Zealots, would therefore provoced them, as he did with the turning over of the tables at the temple. In Mark 14: 1-2, the Sanhedrin plot against him.

He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again.

This is at the time of Passover, which celebrates the freedom of the Jews from the oppressive Egyptian state. Likewise, Jesus poses the same threat against the Romans. His death is therefore required to suppress revolt before Passover by turning against him and removing him, by killing him.


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