How can the death of one man two thousand years ago have any relevance to me?
Why did Jesus have to die?
The greater the claim, the sharper the question. We can be moved by the story of Jesus’ execution, which seems at the very least to have been the callous ‘judicial’ murder of a much loved young idealist, but there are many other stories of gallant and tragic young heroes. Why should this one be different? What possible sense can we make of the idea of someone dying for someone else, let alone dying ‘for their sins’?
How on earth can the violent death of an apparently innocent man be understood as a victory over ‘the rulers and authorities’? And- perhaps the greatest and most challenging question of all- In what sense can this terrible events be seen, as the earliest Christians insisted it ought to be, as the ultimate revelation of divine love?
‘Tom Wright is, as always, brilliant at distilling immense scholarship into vivid, clear and accessible form.’ – Rowan Williams, Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge