It is natural to get sad when you think of the events surrounding the cross. Jesus was betrayed by Judas, falsely convicted by the Sanhedrin, used as a bargaining chip by Pilate, and scourged by the Roman army. All of it was unjust and unfair but necessary to accomplish God’s purposes. The whole process was Jesus obeying the command of HIs Father. He laid down His own life so that we could be free from the chains of sin and restored to our right relationship with His Father.
“No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own. I have the right to lay it down, and I have the right to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.”
Command from Above
There is a lot of debate over who killed Jesus. Did the Jews do it or did the Romans. Technically, the Jews weren’t allowed to kill anyone, and only the Romans executed people through crucifixion, but in reality, no one did. Jesus tells His disciples that no one takes his life from Him. He laid down His own life. This was the command He received from His Father, and it is what He carried out on earth. If at any moment Jesus was told to stop, no one could’ve prevented that either.
Both God the Father and Jesus the Son knew that it would take a perfect sacrifice to atone for the sins of humanity. The only thing that would appease the wrath of a holy God would be the blood of the son. This sounds harsh, but always remember that they didn’t have to do it. They could’ve left us to our sin and the consequences of it. Instead, God desired to be reconciled to his creation and so the plan of redemption was set in place.
Laid Down His Own Life
This is what it means when Scripture tells us that He loved us first. We are lost in our sin, and until the Light of the World shines on us, we have no way changing. Jesus went searching for us and provided a way out. When we respond to that, our world changes forever. This was all made possible by the One who willingly laid down His life.