Beliefnet
Mark D. Roberts
Mark D. Roberts Archives

In this series on the death of Jesus, I have presented four different perspectives on why Jesus had to die: Roman, Jewish, Jesus’, and Early Christian. I believe that each of these points of view has merit, and that we […]

An Act and Symbol of Love Perhaps one of the most startling of the early Christian interpretations of the cross was that it was all about love. It’s easy in our day, when crosses are religious symbols, attractive ornaments, and […]

The Means of Reconciliation In my last post, I examined one of the very earliest Christian statements of the purpose of Jesus’ death. According to the tradition encapsulated in 1 Corinthians 15, Jesus died “for our sins in accordance with […]

The Last Supper: Megalomania or Mission? In my last post I discussed Jesus’ statement that he came, as Son of Man, to give his life as “a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). Here we begin to grasp Jesus’ sense of […]

The Serving Son of Man In my last post in this series, I examined a passage from Mark 10 where James and John ask to be given places of honor and power in the kingdom of God. Jesus responds by […]

Drinking the Cup In Mark 10 Jesus not only speaks of his pending death, but also suggests reasons for this death. In verse 33 he says to his disciples, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of […]

Setting Up the Problem According to the New Testament Gospels, Jesus fully expected that he would be tortured and killed. Yet he spoke of his death, not merely as something that would happen, but as something that must happen. So, […]

Summing Up One Jewish Perspective In the last five posts I’ve been examining “one” Jewish perspective on the necessity of Jesus’ death. Let me briefly summarize my findings, adding some observations along the way. 1. It’s more accurate to speak […]

Jewish Leaders Respond to Offenses Against the Temple In my last post, I suggested that one of the major causes of Jesus’ death was his “cleansing” of the temple. By interrupting the sacrificial system and by quoting Jeremiah’s own condemnation […]

The “Crime” of Jesus My last post in this series focused on the reasons why some Jewish leaders in Jerusalem believed that it was necessary for Jesus to die. The bottom line? He was a threat to their conception of […]

Previous Posts