Not a Victim
Long before Jesus was crucified, He had forewarned His disciples, but the warnings went right over their heads. In Luke 9:22 Jesus plainly declared to His disciples, “The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain and be raised the third day.”
In the same chapter, verses 44-45 Jesus said, “Let these sayings sink down into your ears; for the Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men.” But they (His disciples) understood not this saying, and it was hidden from them, that they perceived it not: and they feared to ask Him of that saying.
Not only did they not understand, but they were so crass as to change the subject and reason among themselves as to who was the greatest. Amazing! But let’s not be too hard on them. We can be just as dull of hearing when we are faced with spiritual truth that it goes right over our heads and our hearts, while are minds are focused on mundane and selfish matters.
Furthermore the disciples feared to ask Jesus to explain Himself. They really didn’t want to hear such depressing news.
Why was this conversation recorded back then. It’s important for us to know that so that when His crucifixion actually occurred, we could be assured that Jesus was not blind-sided by unexpected circumstances and that He did not lose control. It was all in the eternal plan of God. Jesus was not a victim of circumstances!
Revelation 13:8 assures us that Jesus was “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Before the world or man was created, before man had ever sinned, God knew the course of history. He knew man would sin. He knew He would send His Son as the Passover Lamb, to be slain for our sins.
John 10:17-18 and 19:10-11 clearly show that Jesus actively and purposefully laid down His own life. No one took it from Him.
No one could harm Jesus nor take His life until the appointed hour on the cross.
From His birth He was under divine protection all His life. As an infant His life was spared from Herod who sought to kill every baby boy in Bethlehem. Joseph and Mary were directed by God to take the child down into Egypt where they stayed until they heard the news that Herod had died.
Early in Jesus’ ministry when He spoke things the people did not like, they attempted to throw Him over a cliff and kill Him, but Luke 4:28-30 tells us He passing through the midst of them went His way. He was invincible throughout His short life, until the time came for God to slay Him.
From man’s point of view, Jesus’ crucifixion was the greatest miscarriage of justice in human history, but from God’s point of view, every detail of His life and death took place on God’s time table right on schedule.
Galatians 4:4 says, “He was born in the fullness of time” and the Word of God shows us that He died on the appointed day at the appointed hour just as it had been prophesied from the beginning.
God did use man’s wrath and man’s will to carry out His divine will. Treacherous Judas, the hateful Jewish leaders, cowardly Pilate who knew he was sentencing a righteous man to death, the Roman soldiers who followed orders; all of these tools God the Father used to slaughter His own Beloved Son so that we might be saved from our sins. Isaiah 53 clearly shows that God slew His own Son on Calvary.
God’s amazing Grace is poured out on sinners who accept His gracious Gift by recognizing and receiving His salvation wrought through Jesus death and resurrection. God’s wrath is poured out on those sinners who reject Christ as their Saviour from sin.
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