The noblest character who ever lived suffered this ugly death.
One answer is: because men in authority were so wicked and cruel. But surely God could have stopped it?
Of course God could have stopped it. But the astonishing truth is that, so far from wanting to stop it, God planned it all, Himself.
He allowed wicked men to fulfil His purpose:
“This Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men” (Acts 2:23).
God commanded His son to submit to crucifixion. Jesus could have evaded it, but he
“became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8).
Again, we ask why. Why did God command His son to die? The Scriptures answer:
“Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3).
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
Christ died to save men from sin and death. But was there no other way? Why death? And why such a painful and shameful
There was no other way. It was not possible for this “cup” of suffering to pass from him.
Truly, our human condition must have been wretched indeed, if nothing less drastic than the impalement of the son of God could save us. And so the Scriptures declare:
“There is none righteous, no, not one: there is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Romans 3:10-12).
Jesus was made like us, so that we might become like him. He was
“touched with the feeling of our infirmities” (Hebrews 4:15).
Being like us, Jesus had to wage war against sin. God told him how to go about it. There were two vital steps:
Never was he to yield to temptation, and become a sinner. He
“was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).
His human nature – the nature he inherited from Adam – had to be destroyed.
“He put away sin by the sacrifice of himself” (Hebrews 9:26)
So Jesus, consistently and completely, destroyed sin – and died in the process. God completed the work by raising him to life
We are invited to join ourselves to Jesus, in his death, and in his life. We identify ourselves with Christ through baptism. Like
him, we crucify
“the body of sin.” Like him, we are raised to “newness of life” (Romans 6:4-6).
“If we be dead with him, we shall also live with him” (2 Timothy 2:11).
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