Why does the crucifixion matter? Why do we talk about the blood? There are those in the world that are surprised that we still talk about the death of Jesus every year. However, His death is central to the message of Jesus. It wasn’t peripheral to Jesus. It should not be forgotten by us.
Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man will be accomplished.For He will be delivered to the Gentiles and will be mocked and insulted and spit upon.They will scourge Him and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again.”Luke 18:31-33
This Scripture is not the only passage where Jesus predicts His death. In the gospel of Luke (as well as Matthew and Mark) we see Him predict His death in Luke 9:21-22, Luke 9:43-45, and Luke 18:31-34. In case that isn’t enough for us, Jesus also alludes to or suggests His intentional death for us in these passages as well: Luke 13:32-33; Luke 20:9-20; John 2:19-21; John 3:14-15 John 8:27-30; John 10:11&18; John 12:7-8; John 14:25-31. This makes Jesus’ teaching on His own death incredible important.
In case we wonder about why Jesus thought that He was going to die, Jesus tells us why He was going to die in John 3 and John 10. He says that He is going to die for us. Just like Moses’ bronze serpent was lifted up so that the people could believe God’s promise and be saved, so would Jesus be lifted up. Just like a good shepherd will die to save his sheep, so Jesus will die to save us.
Understanding the cross is straight forward. It is Jesus’ life for our life. It is a trade. A glorious, unimaginable trade. He traded His life for me. He traded His life for you. Let us marvel at this. Before the crucifixion the disciples struggled with it. Luke comments that, “But they understood none of these things; this saying was hidden from them, and they did not know the things which were spoken… Luke 18:34
May we not struggle. May we instead marvel and glory in the cross. The cross should have been mine, but Jesus took it in my place. Theologians have used big words like propitiation and atonement. Paul said it in a way that everyone can understand:
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.2 Corinthians 5:21
This means something wonderful to me. What does it mean to you?
Something to think about,