Four Reasons for the Crucifixion
April 22, 2021
From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raise up on the third day (Matthew 16:21).
From this point on Jesus would focus the attention of the disciples on the deeper and more difficult aspects of God’s plan of salvation. He had spoken of these things before (Matthew 12:40; John 2:19), but the minds and hearts of the disciples were in tune with the popular desires of the Jewish people for a military Messiah, not with the plan and purpose of God.
In a little over 6 months and Jesus would die on a cross. It was imperative that His ministry to the masses be suspended and ministry to the ones who would carry on the work of the Kingdom would be intensified. The word ‘show’ in this instance takes on a more concerted, concentrated effort to reveal to these men God’s plan for the Kingdom and not man’s plan for Israel.
The word ‘must’ emphasizes an absolute necessity, an imperative. The point here is that God’s plan for man’s redemption required the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. It was plan A. There was no plan B. This plan was set in eternity past and would be fulfilled at that time - there was not turning back, there was no alternate course of action.
(Romans 5:6) For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (Revelation 13:8) All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain from the foundation of the world. (1 Peter 1:18-20) . . . knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you. . . .
Four reasons made the sacrificial death of Jesus on the cross a ‘must’: (1) our sin for which He had to give His life in order to remove God’s judgment (Matthew 20:28); (2) God’s requirement that innocent blood must be shed for sin to be forgiven (Hebrews 9:22); (3) the foreknowledge of God (Romans 8:29; Ephesians 1:4-5); and (4) God’s plan of redemption as revealed through the prophets (Psalm 16; 22; Isaiah 53). These four reasons could not be abrogated - they had to be fulfilled regardless.
“Lord Jesus, it is heartbreaking to realize that it was for my sin and the sins of my people that You were ordained to go to the cross, suffer, and die so that we could know Your grace, mercy, love, and forgiveness. The sting of that truth is removed in knowing You willingly accepted the responsibility of being that sacrifice for sin, did not abandon God’s plan, but fulfilled it completely. Thank You for loving us so. To Your praise and glory, Amen.”