The CROSS…Who’s Idea was this anyway?
The most important question of all time: Who crucified Jesus?
Romans? Jews? Gentiles? You or me?
Who crucified Jesus?
The astonishing reality is that God did. God crucified His Son! It is a mind-blowing reality. Jesus was His son. And the suffering was horrific. But all of scripture is pointing us to this very conclusion.
Jesus did not fight a vengeful heavenly father to the floor of heaven somehow changing the mind of the father, as he was to pour out His wrath on sinners. Jesus didn’t manipulate the father into somehow showing mercy on His rebellious creation. God was not pressured to go soft on sinners. No, it was all God’s idea. It was by His design. He planned it before the foundations of all creation. It is a breathtaking thought. Sovereign God planned it from the beginning. Paul writes in 2 Timothy, “…who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began.” (2 Tim 1:8-9)
In the Old Testament the prophets foretold of the sufferings of the Messiah, who was to be the substitute in place of sinners. Isaiah says, “smitten by God” in our place.
“Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions [SIN]; he was crushed for our iniquities [SIN] upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him [JESUS] the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:4-6)
What is truly amazing about Christ being my substitute is that it was God’s idea. Again Jesus did not interrupt God’s plans to punish sinners. God planned for Him to be there. One OT prophet said, “It was the WILL of the LORD to crush him; he has put Him to grief.” (Isaiah 53:10)On the Day of Pentecost Peter stood up and declared to the crowd, “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know—23 this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.” (Acts2:22-23),Later in Acts Peter and John are being released from jail for preaching the Gospel proclaiming that Herod, Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, [had been appointed] “to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.” (Acts 4:28)
This helps us understand the contrast of the Old Testament and the New Testament. On one hand you have Christ suffering on the cross as a righteous outpouring of God’s wrath on SIN. On the other hand, you have the beauty of Christ’s willing submission and perfect obedience to the will of the Father.
Oh that we might worship the fearful wonder of the Love of God! It is not warm and fuzzy! It is not mere sentiments. It is not trivial! For our sake God did the impossible. He poured out His wrath meant for me and for you on His one and only begotten Son.
Jesus is my wrath-bearer.