Q. As we approach Advent, it seems so sad to think of Jesus’ joyful birth in light of His sorrowful death; did Jesus really come to earth to die?
A. Yes, He did. Though some have claimed that His life could have taken a different direction, Jesus repeatedly declared that this was God’s plan. Four different times He told His disciples that He would be put to death (see Matthew 17:22–23 and parallels in Mark 9:30–32 and Luke 9:43–45; Matthew 16:21; 20:12–19; 26:2).
On four occasions Jesus spoke of His imminent passion and death as a “cup” that His Father had given him to drink. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed three times, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as You will” (Matthew 26:39, 42, 44). When the crowd came to arrest Jesus, Peter started to resist with his sword. Jesus stopped him, asking rhetorically, “Shall I not drink the cup that the Father gave me?’” (John 18:11).
Actually, to show that Jesus came to die, we need quote only one brief Gospel text. Speaking of His mission, Jesus said, “The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28, emphasis added).