The crucifixion didn’t just happen. God had a plan and Jesus was working that plan.
7 [The LORD] holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, 8 for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.
It may look like God didn’t protect His Son, but He did–right up to the cross. Christ’s death on that cross was the whole reason He left heaven and came to earth (John 12:27-28). Let’s look at His death and burial.
31 Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. 32 The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. 33 But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. John 19:31-34
41 At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. 42 Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there. John 19:41-42
This morning, Jesus had been in the tomb for Wednesday evening, Thursday, Thursday evening, and now Friday. He could at any moment come back from the dead, but according to Jewish tradition, the spirit hovered over the body for three days. Waiting three days and three nights fulfilled several criteria:
- The soul/spirit would have left the body. He was considered truly dead.
- He had said that He would be in the ground three days and three nights just like Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights (Matthew 12:40). It was the ONLY sign gave them that they understood.
- Jesus was fulfilling the prophecy of Hosea 6:1-2, which says, “Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. 2 After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence.”
We know that no one took Jesus’ life (John 10:17-18). He was the Lamb of God that took away the sin of the world (John 1:29). The atonement made by Jesus is our intercession with the Father:
23 Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Hebrews 7:23-25
The blood of Jesus cleanses our consciences from acts of sin so that we can be free from the fear of death:
12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. 13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. 14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! Hebrews 9:12-14
We are now free to serve God without having to worry about judgement! He loves us! He wants us! He has adopted us! Praise be to God on High!
Because of so great a sacrifice for us, let us serve Him with all we are, holding nothing back, and without reservation.
Abba, You are truly wonderful. Your Plan, which You set into motion before the creation of the world, was to buy us back with Your own blood. Many Jews saw Your sacrifice for what it was; we Gentiles are having to learn it, but as we do, we stand in awe of You. As I learn, my admiration and respect for You continues to soar! Please keep revealing Yourself to me, to us, we beg You. Amen.