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Understanding why Jesus had to die

Sheryl H. Boldt Special to The Star
The Star

During my high school years, I thought I would automatically go to heaven because of my religious affiliation. I didn’t fully understand how the gospel message applied to me because I thought my place in heaven was already secure.

Later, as a freshman in college, I met people who became some of my best friends. They invited me to attend campus prayer meetings with them. I loved what I heard, but I still didn’t get it.

It wasn’t until several years later, as a new mom living in married student housing, that I finally got it. At last, I understood the significance of Jesus’ death and resurrection … for me.

My breakthrough happened one morning as I leaned over to wipe breakfast crumbs from our small table. Memories of conversations and sermons floated through my brain. I stopped cleaning for a moment and straightened up. “Oh! That’s what that means!”

As I continued to clean (which my husband thought was a miracle in itself), the Scriptures I’d heard for years now made sense. At the time, I didn’t understand what was happening, but now I realize the Holy Spirit was helping me comprehend what had been eluding me all those years.

One of the verses I recalled was John 3:16 (ESV): “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Until that morning, I took the whole “Jesus’ death thing” for granted. Although I knew He died on the cross, I never understood why. Now I realized why He died that painful and humiliating death.

He did it because He loved me.

My heart filled with gratitude as I realized the extent to which God was willing to sacrifice so I could be with Him forever in heaven. This moment was the beginning of my journey of falling completely and joyously in love with God.

I couldn’t wait to get to know this God more – a God Who loved me so much that He gave His only Son … for me.

Next week, I want to share more about the kind of love that inspires a gift like this. Please pray for me as I write.

Sheryl H. Boldt is the author of the blog, Connect with her at