If the Bible Were the Only Source
- Nationally – Israel demanded it. The Jewish people did not have the political authority to carry out capital punishment. However, their leaders with loud voices pressured the Roman governor to crucify Messiah. It seemed strange to the governor to put to death a man not guilty of the allegation so he said, “I find no fault in him”. But Israel shouted out; “Crucify him” and then voluntarily took perpetual responsibility for His blood. The Jew, Peter, would preach later to Israel: “ye have taken, and by wicked hands [the Romans] have crucified and slain” (Acts 2:23). Israel’s national future under God will never find lasting peace until they repent and deal with the Christ factor (Zech. 12-14; Acts 3:13-21). The same is true on a personal level for every person.
- Governmentally – Rome commanded it – Though Rome knew Jesus was innocent of the charges they acquiesced for political relations. To them it was an unfortunate incident that an innocent man had to die but one less life probably prevented riots and saved a society from much unrest. However, the Gentiles hadn’t a clue that this Jesus was God’s Son, “for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory”. They nailed the Lord of glory to a criminal’s cross in total ignorance. This ignorance, however, revealed the folly of man’s natural mind. It proved that the human mind has no natural ability to recognize and understand God (1Cor. 1:18-21; 2:8; 3:19).
- Individually – Judas betrayed him. It was Judas who for a small bribe conspired with the Jewish leaders to find a quiet place and point out the identity of the Lord for arrest with the infamous words, “hold him fast” sealed with a kiss. However, his reason was because of disillusionment. He expected a kingdom and a position of power for following the Lord. When that didn’t happen on his timetable, he revealed his heart of no faith and bailed out. Yet in this action he unwittingly proved the reliability of Holy Scripture by fulfilling its ancient prediction that this would happen (Psa. 41:9; John 13:18).
- Personally – Christ submitted. When it came right down to it, it was the Lord Jesus Himself who took His life on the cross. As the Son of God, He said of His life; “No man taketh it from me but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again”. As the Son of Man, He submitted to the Father concerning the cross and said; “Not my will, but thine, be done”. He did not call for the legions of angels God would have given Him to deliver Him. When He died He had to intentionally dismiss His spirit to die and thus cried with a “loud voice” – in full strength, not gasping with His life eking out of Him. Christ died on the cross but not by the cross. The Roman centurion in recognizing this miracle of death witnessed that “Truly this man was the Son of God”.
- Sovereignly – God predetermined it. God Himself sent His beloved Son to the cross. He was “delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God … crucified and slain” (Acts 2:23). But why would the Father do this to the Son of His love? What kind of love is this? “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life”.
- Spiritually – Satan orchestrated it. Behind the movement of religious and political men was the unseen enemy in the spirit realm, Satan. Satan’s nature is a murderer (John. 8:44). Thus “Satan entered him [Judas]” to motivate him to betray the Lord unto death. But here we see Satan’s limitations. Though he could arrange death, he could not prevent life. And God raised His Son from the dead proving He is His chosen Lord and Savior for all who now trust in Him.
- Socially – We as sinners needed it. “Christ died for our sins”, reveals Scripture. Thus Jesus was not dying just as an example of how to love, or as a martyr for a good cause to gain attention but because of our sins against our Creator, God. Therefore, in love to us the Lord Jesus went to the cross to “bare our sins in his own body on the tree” as a satisfactory offering to an offended God. I, my sin, am the reason He died in order that I can be saved from the judgment of God.