The best way to figure out why something absolutely had to happen is to imagine what it would be like if it had happened in some other way. That is what David Gray is doing in a comfortable Geneva, Ill., living room with six other men from his church. They are, as it were, brainstorming Jesus' death.
"What if God's plan were that Jesus comes to earth," asks Gray, "and he does these teachings and he talks nice. You know, 'Love your enemy ...' And then he is taken away and not killed. Why in God's plan did he have to suffer like this?"
The other members of the men's Bible study associated with St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Geneva contemplate the question.
"God's plan probably has to be more dramatic?" suggests one.