I’ve been thinking about the events leading up to the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ and every time I read the scripture it becomes more and more mind blowing.
I’ve known for years why Jesus died on the cross, but only recently have I taken the time to learn about how He died. He died in victory and it happened in a way that no one expected.
Jesus was more powerful, more intelligent, and possessed all the supernatural power in the world, yet He deferred it all in favor of grace, mercy, and love – even for His enemies.
He could’ve chose force
“And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself, and come down from the cross!”
Jesus had many excited followers. There is no doubt He could’ve chose to use force to overthrow the corrupted and oppressive Pharisees. He could’ve physically destroyed the temple and rebuilt it on top of the ruins of the hypocritical religious crowd that threatened Him with death and tempted Him to display His power.
Instead, He chose love. While He could’ve used power, He chose to offer grace even to those who slandered His name for the sake of religion.
The Kingdom of God defeated the kingdom of darkness not by a display of brute force, but by a display of violent love.
He could’ve chose knowledge
“Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?” But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed.”
Over the course of Jesus’ ministry He refuted and countered the false accusations made by the religious leaders time after time again. Every time it seemed like someone had put Jesus in a corner, He would always respond with the sharp truth. There is even times in scripture where it describes Jesus reading the thoughts of the men He was contending with! (Matthew 12:25)
In other words, Jesus had all the knowledge in the world to refute the accusations made against Him. He could’ve so easily disproved the claims. He could’ve outsmarted everyone; but instead, He chose to just out-love everyone
He could’ve chose the supernatural
“Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?”
Jesus was fully man, but He was also fully God. This is the man who healed the blind, raised the dead, and walked on water. Natural human barriers were not an issue for Him.
Jesus was completely capable of all things supernatural. He could’ve ended things in the blink of the eye with the power at His disposal.
Yet, He chose us. He chose to endure the pain and suffer for our sake. There was only one way for the wrath of God to be satisfied and He chose to be the answer.
Instead He chose love…
Jesus could’ve chose differently. Instead, He chose a sacrificial death filled with love; despite the fact that He was given every opportunity to choose otherwise. Even His closest disciples couldn’t fathom why He would choose such a path. At one point Peter went so far as to rebuke Jesus saying, “Never, Lord! This shall never happen to you!” (Matthew 16:22)
The world had never seen a love like this so it didn’t know how to react. This was a dangerous, give it-all-away, reckless, abandoned kind of love that was put on display.
Jesus responds to Peter saying, “..For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” (Matthew 16:23)
Jesus invites us to a life with our mind on the things of God. A life lived in response to a demonstration of a perfect love.
Only a perfect love could turn an object of torture into a symbol of hope.
Only a perfect man with a perfect love could satisfy the penalty that we were due.
2 Corinthians 5:21
“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”