Love Put Jesus on the Cross

Jesus Christ with crown of thorns white on the cross of Calvary
Without spiritual perception it’s easy to conclude the reasons for the crucifixion: hatred, jealousy, greed, unbelief and indifference. The Jewish leaders conspired with Judas, and then convinced the Romans that putting Jesus to death was in their best interest.

But that summation leaves us no better off than the families of those who perished when the co-pilot of Germanwings flight #9525 intentionally crashed the plane into the French Alps. Their suffering finds no solace in human theories of whys and what-ifs. The death of 149 innocent victims, no way to reverse course, no justice for the perpetrator, and a long torturous road back to an impossible normalcy—ingredients for despair.

The cross, much more than a deranged plot of man, was the preordained plan of God, orchestrated before he set the clocks of time. Isaiah confounds us with these words,

“it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer.”

It makes no sense. We ask, “Why?” The answer—love.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

The actions of God, not the sentiment, proved his supreme love for sinners. He gave what was most precious to him—his Son Jesus, in order to rescue sinners from the eternal punishment they deserved. Why? Because he loves wretched sinners.

I can’t get my arms around this kind of love. I have a son, and I would not sacrifice him for all the noble people in the world—never mind the jerks or the abominable.

A deeper mystery still, the Father had an amenable partner in Jesus—no arm-twisting, coercion or bribe. No one took his life—he gave it willingly. Jesus, knowing that a holy God must punish sinners, became our substitute on the cross, taking on the wrath of God in our place. With the penalty for our sin paid in full, the way opened up for us to be reconciled to God through faith in Jesus.

Once again we ask, “why did Jesus do this?” He did it because he loves his Father. “…the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.”

And he did it because he loves us. “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.” Jesus spoke these words to his eleven overconfident disciples, on the night of his arrest, before each of them ran away and deserted him.

No human explanation will suffice. Love put Jesus on that cross—love for cowards and betrayers, rebels, idolaters, drunkards, snobs, loafers, cheats, liars, coveters, thieves, the unfaithful, indifferent and undeserving.

Have you found yourself in that list? Jesus died for you.

[Isaiah 53:10; John 3:16; Romans 5:8; John 10:18; John 14:31; John 15:9; Mt 26:56]

6 comments to Love Put Jesus on the Cross

  • Patty

    What unimaginable love!

  • Richie

    A million times I have asked myself “why didn’t He just POOF us out of existence?”. We have all disappointed Him so many times. I myself rebelled against Him for years, practically spitting in His face and ignoring what He did for me. Why would He even consider saving us? I know the answer is love. But the sheer magnitude of His love, I just can’t latch onto. I am left shaking my head every time I consider it.

  • Barbara A.

    Richie, I understand and agree! I have rebelled against him and then found that Love pursuing me and drawing me back! Amazing Grace and Mercy!! Can it be that my Savior would die for ME??? He did, and I will love and serve him for the rest of my life here on Earth and in Heaven forever!!! (Time to shout, everyone!!)

  • Vickie

    Love how different things pop out at you! That Jesus says He loves the Father and that the world needed to learn that…hadn’t ever caught that before! Thanks Janet!!

    • The only reason I knew that was from memorizing John 13-17. I had never seen that in all the times of reading it, but as you know, memorizing doesn’t let words slip away.