Looking pretty good for a dead guy

Tag: forgiveness

Why didn’t Jesus save himself?

by on Apr.23, 2011, under Faith

Cross & CloudsAs Jesus hung on the cross dying, some who were watching mocked him with these words:

“He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.'”
Matthew 27:42-43 (ESV)

The crowds had followed Jesus for about 3 years by this point. They had heard him teach and seen him perform many miracles: feeding thousands, healing paralytics, driving out demons, raising people from the dead. These miracles were questioned by those that saw them at the time and left no one doubting that Jesus had real power.

So here at his crucifixion Jesus is faced with a barrage of scoffers. Perhaps they were some of those who had been in the crowd all these years, enjoying the spectacle of all he did. But they never actually trusted him. They never really listened to what he said; never truly considered the reality of Jesus’ teaching; never let it transform their lives.

Now it would appear that it’s all over: the Romans have him and they don’t mess around. Condemned to torture and death on a cross, the Roman’s favoured instrument of capital punishment. So, in what they probably thought would be the final act in their 3 year joyride, they deride and poke fun at him. Ask yourself honestly, would you have acted any differently were you in their place? They laugh to each other and recall what others have said about him – that he was God’s son – they see the statement pinned above his head: “King of the Jews”. “Let God deliver him now!” they shout.

And yet God had already delivered him. God had delivered him to the cross. This had been the goal all along. This is why Jesus came, was born, lived a perfect life… to die… in pain… on a cross.

Why didn’t Jesus save himself? Because he was dying to save others.

This was the Son of God. He had the power to call down a legion of angels to release Him from the cross if he had wanted, but He didn’t. He chose to stay on the cross. But why?

The bible clearly states that God cannot allow sin to go unpunished and the price to be paid for our sin was death, nothing else would do. But here’s the key to the rescue plan: since He had never sinned, God would accept Jesus’ death in our place. That is why his dying words were, “It is finished.” It was a shout of triumph. His work was done, our ransom was paid, we could be free from sin!

Look, even if you don’t make it to a church this Easter, if you do nothing else, please spend just a few minutes considering the seriousness of your sin. Think about what it cost God to save you from the consequences of your sin: the death of His son. Then thank God for Jesus and ask Him for forgiveness! That’s what Easter is really all about.

Behold the man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders;
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers.
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished;
His dying breath has brought me life –
I know that it is finished.

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