For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
This confession of the church caused unbelievers to ask critical questions. Anselm of Canterbury attempted to answer one question that he said unbelievers were asking: Why did God have to become man and die for our salvation? Why could God not have accomplished this in some other means or by some other person?
Anselm assumes the incarnation and crucifixion were necessary. Anselm assumes this because he believes that God would not require the suffering and death of an innocent man if it were not necessary. And he affirms the Nicene Creed, which says that these things were done for us and for our salvation.
So, if we were in Anselm’s position, how would we answer the question posed to him: “Why did God have to become human and die for our sake?”