‘50 Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die’: 10+ Years of God’s Stunning Global Work

Alex Duke | June 29, 2016


It’s been more than 11 years since Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ came to the silver screen. Earning more than $370 million in the United States, the film remains the highest-grossing R-rated movie in American history. 

A few weeks before the film’s release, on January 1, 2004, a different Passion-centered resource released: John Piper’s 50 Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die.

The project was born out of sanctified opportunism. Crossway, the book’s publisher, wanted Christians to have something they could pair with the film, a conversation starter for people who, having seen Gibson’s Passion, were unusually willing to consider for themselves the meaning of Jesus’s death.

“It was a deeply moving experience when I saw an advance showing of The Passion of the Christ,” Piper said. “It clarified, as few things could, the raw fact that Jesus died. But the movie didn’t answer the question, Why did he die?”

Discerning this crucial gap, Crossway president Lane Dennis and Desiring God co-founder Jon Bloom seized the chance to create a resource that would explain the gospel more clearly. But there was a problem: though Crossway and Desiring God wanted to give the book away, they needed to cover their costs to remain sustainable.

“We…


To read the rest of this article, visit https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/50-reasons-why-jesus-came-to-die-10-years-of-gods-stunning-work.