If Jesus' sole mission was to die on the cross, free people from sin, and provide salvation, then why did he never in his lifetime mention it to his followers?

Question: If Jesus' sole mission to mankind was to die on the cross, free them from the original sin, and provide salvation for them, then why did he never in his lifetime mention it to his followers? Why did he not spend night and day drumming these new concepts into their minds? Why did he himself observe the commandments of Moses so completely and so faithfully even up till his alleged death? In Matthew 19:16-21 when Jesus was asked for the path to heaven, why did he emphasize the keeping of the commandments of Moses but never mention the crucifixion nor the redemption or having "faith" in them? Why, when he was pressed for more, did he still not mention either a crucifixion nor a redemption but only claim that anyone who kept the commandments of Moses and sold his belongings would be "perfect"? Why did he not say "have faith in my crucifixion and forsake the commandments and you shall be 'perfect'"?

Response: (The question is actually from a non-Christian Web site. The person who emailed me this question referred me to the Web site and asked if I could refute it).

Aside from the inaccuracies imbedded in the question itself, the writer of the question is claiming that Jesus didn't explain the various details of his mission. But, anyone who has read the New Testament would know that Jesus did explain the details of his mission, many times, throughout the New Testament.

1. Jesus did in fact explain that he was going to be executed. In fact he said this on more than one occasion. (Matthew 16:21-26, for example).

2. Jesus did in fact explain that his death was necessary. (Matthew 16:21-26.)

3. Jesus did in fact explain that he had come to fulfill the law and the prophets. (Matthew 5:17 NIV - "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.")

4. Jesus did in fact explain that he is the path of salvation for sinners. (Examples: John 5:22-24 and John 3:16). John 3:16 (NIV) - "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

5. I can understand why someone might think that Jesus said that if you obey the commandments then you will go to heaven. Aside from going into the finer points of this issue, let's just say that no one, other than Jesus, is able to obey the commandments without breaking them. We have all broken them. None of us are perfect. And that is why we all need Jesus for salvation.

6. As for the relationship between Jesus' death and the law, the wording of the question is muddied in error. Nonetheless, Jesus did speak on this issue, and that comes as no surprise to anyone who has read the New Testament. (Example: Matthew 5:17).

Something to consider: If you're going to be skeptical about the Bible, then be skeptical about the claims of non-believers too. If you're going to put the Bible on trial, then give it a fair trial.

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