Why Did Christ Have to Suffer on the Cross?


Q:   Well, this is the part related to Easter. I think I have always felt a little bit uncomfortable that Christ died and suffered. You know, I like the idea very much that he came as the glorified teacher and was very highly respected, just as it should be, and that we are going to look forward to him coming in that capacity again in the future and we really will honor him instead of, you know, crucifying him. That just appalls me that this happened to him and I do realize that he knew that was going to happen, of course, and I’m wondering what his thinking was, do you know, that quite would allow it to have occurred that way instead of just coming back as the glorified teacher. Why choose this particular scenario that he went through from beginning to end? It’s just sad and depressing for me and I hate to see it happen this way and I would much rather it was a real nice relationship, of course,


A:   Well, he needed some excuse to come back from the dead, which means that somehow he had to die, and—


Q:   Why was this such an important lesson, or couldn’t he have demonstrated that some other way as a Teacher?


A:   Well, I guess I’m in no position to second guess why he chose the things that he did or the way he did so. It would seem to be certainly, well, certainly dramatic. To die of old age, you know, when one is in a state of decrepitude hardly seems to be the kind of thing that would elicit people’s concern and interest and so forth. Here was a young, presumably a young man in the very prime of life who was an excellent physical specimen—how could anybody have a better body than as had been developed for Melchizedek to use while he was here and using that body? He came to give a certain kind of message and I think it would probably have been very awkward if he had stayed on as a ruler. So he accomplished what he wanted to accomplish in three years and then made what you would call the ultimate in glorious comebacks. That, of course, was extremely dramatic and people really needed something, not that they do today of course, but really needed something to get off dead center in their belief structure. So, I guess I don’t have any quarrels with him. Obviously, he was in control of everything that happened to him at any time. I mean, if he didn’t want to be taken prisoner he could, just as the Bible mentioned several times, he would just disappear and confound everybody who was looking for him and just, they couldn’t see him any more. But any really top notched hypnotist can do that, too, to make himself invisible to people who are pressing him. So he had every means of escape should he have chosen to do so. And even the very last scenes of after the resurrection and he had come back and he had taught for forty days, there were still many people who found it hard to believe that he died, or that he was entitled to go to heaven or something like that if he should choose to do so. And then he staged, with the assistance of Melchizedek, one of the greatest things which was really not talked a great deal about, and that is the Ascension, which was quite a show, for there he gave his blessings to all of them and told them all the works they were going to have to do and the trials and tribulations they were going to have to rise above and how much good they were going to do to carry on His work. Then he rose several feet off the ground and just disappeared in a blaze of glory. Apparently even his disciples required still more even after putting their fingers into open wounds in his side and putting their fingers through the holes in his hands which he had sealed against infection but were still present so that he could prove that indeed, he was the one who had died on the cross.


We might require the same thing, too, if somebody claims to come back from the dead. As a matter of fact, that’s probably been the most difficult thing for potential Christians to swallow, and here he had not only done so but had raised a few other people from the dead beside before he went, Lazarus being one of them, As a matter of fact, the Sanhedrin was very careful to consider getting rid of Lazarus as well since ? he was further proof of this kind of miraculous happening that was going on. So apparently he though it was necessary, this whole process. And he rose above the ultimate cruelty that they could—dying on the cross was certainly one of the worst ways to go. So, it’s long, slow, and torturous, and he showed he could forgive people in the last moments of even that, saying, you know, “forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.” That was certainly a good example to give to people—of forgiveness, and how lack of forgiveness chews you up inside—give you an ulcer, if nothing else.


Q:   I liked your phrase particularly that “he rose above the ??? ultimate cruelty.” ??? I’m assuming that in the days ahead we are all going to be a witness to so much cruelty amongst humans to each other before the end of the century to keep the forgiving attitude to the end.


A:   Right. I think it helps to forgive people when you understand that they are insane and they are really not responsible.