Over the centuries, there’s been a lot of accusations made regarding who actually killed Jesus Christ. In 2004, when the “Passion” movie, directed by Mel Gibson, was nearing release, the media and numerous religious groups were worried that the film would anger audiences and target Jewish people with the blame of Christ’s death, to the point of micromanaging some of Mr. Gibson’ screenplay. But our passage out of Isaiah clarifies Who set the stage for the death of Jesus.
“Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush Him and cause Him to suffer, and though the Lord makes His life a guilt offering, He will see His offspring and prolong His days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in His hand.”
It was the Father’s will. Not out of cruelty for His Son, but out of love us! God wanted to redeem mankind, and bring them into restored relationship with Himself–through Jesus Christ. His ultimate goal is forgiveness and adoption into God’s family through Jesus’ death on the Cross and His resurrection. So if we look at the suffering apart from the Lord’s goal, we miss the point.
“We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honour, because He suffered death, so that by the grace of God, He might taste death for everyone. In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for Whom and through Whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through suffering.” Hebrews 2:9, 10 NIV
Why the need for Christ’s suffering, death, the cross, the blood of the innocent One? Could there not have been a better way? Creation around us declares the wonder and glory of God, but doesn’t explain His holiness, sense of justice, judgment of sin, wrath toward sin, and His inability to associate intimately with unrighteousness. All that we know of God, His thoughts, His ways, is revealed in Scriptures. Through them we see that God alone is the One who determines the conditions of redemption, restoration and fellowship.
God’s gift of His Son was planned before time began. Jesus Himself said,
“‘Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory? ‘Then he started at the beginning with the Books of Moses, and went on through all the Prophets, pointing out everything in the Scriptures that referred to Him.” Luke 24:26, 27
Every book throughout the Bible tells the same story–that Christ’s life, death and resurrection was planned by God, for our ultimate redemption.
“Since the children have flesh and blood, He too shared in their humanity so that by His death He might destroy him who holds the power of death–that is the devil–and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death….For this reason, He had to be made like His brothers in every way, in order that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that He might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because He Himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted.” Hebrews 2:14-18
“..this grace was given me to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone my administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, Who created all things. His intent was that now, through the Church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rules and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to His eternal purpose, which was accomplished through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Ephesians 3:9-11 NIV
The mystery of redemption was hidden in God and revealed through Jesus.
“My [Apostle Paul’s] purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full richness of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasure of wisdom and knowledge.” Col. 2:2-3
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes on Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16
~~It was God who crushed the Son.
~~For US–our sin and rebellion–the Son endured unknown suffering and agony and death. Through His obedience, we receive forgiveness, peace, joy, grace, hope, a new life and a renewed and restored relationship with the Father!
“Therefore, He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him because He always lives to intercede for them.” Hebrews 7:25 (NIV)