Every human’s nature is to find blame for something that we think has gone wrong. If we get into a car accident, our insurance demands that we assess the blame. If someone is in prison, we want to find why they ended up there, so we will blame upbringing. The same can be said about Jesus’ death on the cross. Who was to blame? There is no need to blame anyone. Jesus willingly went to the cross.
“No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.”
Jesus is Our Substitute
You will find people arguing over who killed Jesus. Some will say that the Jews killed Jesus, and others will claim that the Romans did. The truth is that no one killed Jesus. He laid down his life on his initiative. No one else had the authority to take His life. He was commanded by His Father to come and live as a man and to appease the wrath of God by being the substitute sacrifice for our sins. This vital piece of theology called “substitutionary atonement” is essential to the Christian faith. You can’t do anything to save yourself. You need Christ to take your place.
It is hard for most people to fathom why someone would take their place. Almost immediately, people feel the need to make it because they don’t want to be indebted to anyone. The problem with that thinking is that you could never do enough over your lifetime to make it up. If you can’t receive grace as a gift from God, you will always struggle with your faith. You will either turn your faith into legalism, which is works-based or into liberalism, which has the mindset that anything goes.
No Need to Blame
When you look at Jesus’ death, look at it from the perspective of being rescued. You were drowning in your sin, and the only one who could save you was Jesus. It can be challenging to look at our lives as that low, but it necessary. You bring nothing to the table. You don’t want to see yourself on the same level as someone in prison, but we are all on the same level when it comes to sin. Don’t take away the incredible act that Jesus did by blaming someone else for His death.