Do Universalists Need Jesus?

Someone I know recently said that if Universalism is true then we don’t need Jesus and, since I’ve heard this statement too many times from too many traditionalists, I felt a need to give a short response to it here.

As a Christian Universalist, I like to respond to assertions like this one with a parable in the form of a news article:

At 6:00pm, Friday evening, firefighter Joshua Christos died in order to rescue all 300 children trapped in Kosmos Public School as it was burning to the ground. However, because he saved all 300 students, rather than just 2 or 3 of them, we are forced to declare that Joshua’s death didn’t actually serve any purpose even though none of the children would have been saved had he not died.

I realize that Universal Reconciliation isn’t an easy doctrine to swallow, but statements like “If Universalism is true then Jesus died in vain” make me wonder whether most traditionalists are even trying when they argue against the idea.