Why didn't God choose something less barbaric? After all, he's God and can accept whatever he wishes. What's so important about a blood sacrifice? I remember wondering why Cain’s sacrifice (Genesis 4:2-5) wasn’t acceptable, while Abel’s was? It dawns on me that Abel’s sacrifice was dependent upon the innocence of another (a sheep), while Cain’s was simply a giving of his own accomplishment (crops he had planted). It may have something to do with my best effort always falling short because it ultimately cannot erase what I've already done (Isaiah 64:6). It can be generous in moving forward, but it cannot eradicate my past.
So why did Christ have to die? As in, why did he choose death to be the means to my forgiveness rather than some other type of sacrifice? He make the rules. Wouldn’t anything he accepted be sufficient to justify the individual from their sin?
There seems to be a clue from the consequence of the first sin. Whoever eats of the tree of knowledge of good and evil will die (Genesis 2:17). If the consequence of sin is ultimately death, how do you eradicate death? - I think you have to kill it. Hebrews says that Christ died once for all (Hebrews 7: 26-28; 9:11-13). I think it has something to do with fulfilling the consequence that everyone's soul has to face. We all have to bear the consequence of knowing good from evil, and still choosing evil. Because we continue to choose evil, we continue to face the consequence that it brings death to us. If Christ's death became my death, I no longer need to die. Physical life simply moves from one realm into the next.
From this side of the equation, death seems permanent. From the side of death already conquered, physical death is simply one step in eternity. Again Paul says that the sting of death has been removed by Christ's death (1 Corinthians 15:55-57). What makes death so painful? It’s permanence. That’s gone. Christ removed the permanence of death. He killed it on the cross.