Destined for the Cross: 16 Reasons Jesus Had to Die

Reviewed by:

G. Connor Salter, Professional Writing alumnus from Taylor University, Upland, IN.


Destined for the Cross: 16 Reasons Jesus Had to Die


Randy Clark


Emanate Books (an imprint of Thomas Nelson)

Publication Date:

August 4, 2020




208 pages


Christianity maintains that Jesus’ death on the cross changed how God relates to humanity, but what exactly did it change? Why was it necessary? Randy Clark takes readers through sixteen of the many reasons that the Bible gives for why Jesus’ death and resurrection had to take place, including:

  • Disarming Satan’s hold on humanity
  • Becoming humanity’s high priest
  • Providing forgiveness from sins
  • Demonstrating God’s righteousness

As he goes through his sixteen points, Clark includes personal stories that show how these ideas’ play out in Christians’ lives, the freedom and strength that Jesus’ death made possible.

Clark explains his points well and gives readers a solid overview of many Biblical teachings about Christ’s death. However, he writes like a verbal communicator (which as a pastor and speaker is his primary strength), using techniques that work well in public speaking but less well on the written page, and that makes his delivery a bit choppy. He tends to jump from explaining ideas straight into telling a personal story or anecdote to illustrate that idea. In some chapters, some stories take up most of the text, while others take more time to develop the idea before going into the illustration. In a sermon or speech, this method works, because getting straight to the point with limited time is the communicator’s primary goal. In a book though, the communicator has enough space to add explanatory paragraphs and slowly lead into ideas, creating a smooth reading experience. A book also doesn’t show the speaker’s mannerisms or tone of voice, which provides emotional context that helps recipients see how ideas connect. So, even though Clark has good ideas, the fast delivery makes the book a bit confusing, especially since he doesn’t structure each chapter the same way. Some chapters spend a few paragraphs on principles and then tell a bunch of anecdotes, other chapters don’t have any anecdotes. There are section headers before each anecdote, which somewhat helps but only goes so far. Without a consistent structure, what was already a choppy book becomes even more confusing.

A collection of solid and compelling ideas, hampered by execution.


Rating (1 to 5 stars)

3 stars

Suggested Audience

Christians interested in what Jesus’s death on the cross accomplished, and how that impacts our lives today.

Christian Impact

Clark helps readers see how Jesus’ death was not only necessary, but how it impacts their lives in various areas (including forgiveness, spiritual trials, and viewing Jesus as the model for the Christian life).

Destined for the Cross: 16 Reasons Jesus Had to Die

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