As we recall the suffering and death of our Lord on the cross, the questions that come to mind are: “Why did he suffer and die? What is the meaning of his death on the cross?” The most common understanding is that he died for our sins. We believe that he died to free us from the power of sin and evil. While that’s true, beneath this simple explanation is a deeper, more profound reality that can be found in understanding the historical cause of his death. The crucifixion of Jesus Christ was the consequence of his prophetic mission—proclaiming the coming of God’s kingdom and denouncing the evil in the world. Like the prophets of old, Jesus and his message were rejected by the leaders of society—those who could not accept his message as the good news of liberation. His prophetic act of cleansing the temple—the religious center that had become the center of economic exploitation and political domination—ignited the anger of those in power and turned it into rage. Jesus’ death was the consequence of his kingly mission of serving the people, especially the poor, the needy, the sick, the marginalized, and the outcast. His deeds were perceived as the signs of the coming of God’s kingdom. People hailed him as the Messiah. Many followed him and wanted to proclaim him as their king. Jesus knew that if he continued his mission, many would react to his message. His words and deeds were a threat to the established order: that of the Jewish religious-political order represented by the Sanhedrin and the Roman imperial order represented by Pontius Pilate, among others… To read more subscribe to Liguorian.