Why was it that Jesus went to the cross? Who was ultimately responsible for His death? Was it the Jewish leaders who placed Jesus on the Cross? Were the Romans responsible for the crucifixion? The Biblical answer is an emphatic “NO”. They were the ones who participated in the physical act of the crucifixion, but in full knowledge of the implication – God made this decision.
We need to remember that the Bible had been predicting the crucifixion of Jesus for centuries. It was God’s plan for the redemption of mankind before the creation of the world.
Mel Gibson’s movie, “The Passion of the Christ” sets the tone properly in its opening scene when it quotes Isa 53:5 “He was wounded for our transgression, He was bruised for our iniquities; …”
Five hundred plus years before Christ the prophet was telling us why Jesus would be crucified. It was not because either the Jews or the Romans had control over the events of His life. He chose to go to the cross and at any moment could have decided to quit.
But it was the plan of God for the redemption of mankind, that took Jesus to the cross. In perhaps the most famous passage of the New Testament the Apostle writes, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only son that whoever might believe in Him would not perish but would have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
That is a powerful statement God chose the cross so that you and I might have the opportunity to live eternally. There was no guarantee that we would take Him up on the offer. AND the fog of His humanity meant Jesus had only faith to give Him assurance of the coming resurrection.
As Jesus knelt there in the garden of Gethsemane to pray, he chose to carry the sins of the world so that the people of the world would not have to. He chose to die rather than leave me without options.
I occasionally have heard a person say that Christianity is based on just another kind of human sacrifice. This is wrong on every level; this was not a human that gave himself as the sacrifice for man; the choices to abandon the cross and mankind were there until his last breath!
For God so loved the world that He wanted you to have free choice. Created with that freedom, our forefathers, exercised their option to walk away from God. Left to face death without a choice, God put into motion a plan that allowed men to accept His death as their covering.
Is this the harsh act of a rigid tyrant? No, this is the decision of one who’s character is love and who’s love is focused on faulty, fallen people.
“When He was on the cross I was on His mind” and still in the end the choice is mine.