We always talk about how Jesus was killed. He was murdered. He was put to death. But was he really?
When Jesus was finally sentenced to being flogged and crucified, the religious leaders thought they got the last laugh. They got what they wanted. The man who threatened their entire way of life would die. They would have him killed.
Read the scriptures again. Yes, Jesus was sentenced to death. Yes, Jesus was flogged. He was crucified. But was he actually murdered? Was he really put to death?
Then Jesus shouted, “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!” And with those words he breathed his last.
Luke 23:46 (NLT)
He shouted. As he hung on the cross in unbearable pain for crimes he did not commit, he shouted. He raised his voice so every ear in the vicinity could hear that he would not be put to death. He gave his life of his own volition.
How angry the Jewish leaders must have been. In the moment when they expected to finally be able to breathe that sigh of relief, the man they wanted to have killed made sure everyone knew his life was given willingly. And Jesus had to do so.
The Father loves me because I lay down my life that I may have it back again. No one can take my life from me. I lay it down voluntarily. For I have the right to lay it down when I want to and also the power to take it up again. For my Father has given me this command.
John 10:17-18 (NLT)
By proclaiming with his last breath that he was giving up his life into God’s hands, Jesus was fulfilling his own words. Those words took all power away from the men who put him on the cross. Little did they know that, in their anger and indignance, they played right into the plan of God. By putting Jesus on the cross, they fulfilled prophecy and gave the plan of salvation another big push toward fulfillment.
The next time you consider the account of the cross, keep in mind that, while Jesus died, he was not put to death. He laid down his life voluntarily. For me. For you.
Daily Bible reading: 1 Kings 8-9, Luke 23:39-56