In the weeks surrounding the premiere and release of Mel Gibson’s immensely successful movie, The Passion of the Christ, religious leaders went round and round arguing over who was responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus. Did the religious leaders kill him? The Romans? Was it our fault? Did our sins nail him to the cross? The fact is, God did it. Isaiah 53:10 tells us, “Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer….” The Father in heaven came up with the plan which included the cross. And because of Jesus’ great love for His Father-and for you and me-the Son obediently followed through on God’s plan. “…And the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6).
So yes, Herod, Pilate, the soldiers, the religious leaders, the crowd-and you and I-are morally responsible for our part in the execution of Jesus Christ. But God was behind it all! Ultimately, it was His hand that “steered” the dreadful events to serve His own ends and purposes-and that is our great salvation, so rich, full, and free! Astounding. I can’t begin to explain it. I’ll never understand God’s wisdom, knowledge, and love. Amazing love, how can it be? That God should plunge the knife in His own chest for me. That God should overcome death by embracing it. No wonder the Good News is so great!
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. I Peter 2:24
It is true, your sins-and mine-were laid on the shoulders of Jesus as He hung on the cross, paying our debt, taking the punishment we deserve. Let the thought of His suffering keep you from falling into “the sin which so easily entangles” (Hebrews 12:1). A terrible price had to be paid for each and every sin.
Joni & Friends (Daily Devotional, March 21, 2012)