Jesus was sinless and died for our sins on the cross.
READ IN YOUR BIBLE:
“I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.”
“I’ve never crucified a king before”, joked the soldier, taking the sign from the centurion.
“But is he a king?”, asked the centurion, his eyes wandering to the man being nailed to the cross. “King of the Jews”, he muttered, “That didn’t last long”.
He was certainly dressed well. The crown of thorns was worthless, but that garment was worth a bit.
“Hey, Felix, don’t tear that! You wanna roll dice for it?”
The soldiers gathered around. This would be a pleasant diversion from the day’s grim business.
Crucified for Me
From the soldiers rolling dice for His clothes to the drinks offered, the words He spoke, and the words spoken to Him, the details of Jesus’ crucifixion had been spoken of by God long before the time. No-one but God could have planned the fulfillment of so many predictions in such detail.
David wrote about the crucifixion of Jesus in Psalm 22, one thousand years before Jesus came. In this Psalm, he describes Jesus as being surrounded by His enemies, suffering from incredible thirst, and His bones being out of joint. Crucifixion would not become common for another four hundred years, but God showed David all of this…and more, that they would pierce Jesus’ hands and feet.
David describes the mockery that would surround Him, “Is this the one who relies on the Lord? Then let the Lord save Him! If the Lord loves Him so much, let the Lord rescue Him!” (Psalm 22:8 NLT). Matthew records how these were exactly the things people were saying to Jesus, “He trusted God, so let God rescue Him now if He wants him!” (Matthew 27:42,43 NLT).
Isaiah, five hundred years before Jesus, said, “He was counted among the rebels. He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels.” (Isaiah 53:12 NLT). Crucifixion was a punishment particularly employed for rebels; Jesus was crucified between two such criminals. But despite His own pain, Jesus led one of those rebels to salvation, and His sacrifice continues to intercede for us as rebels today. Each of us has rebelled against God. “We have left God’s paths to follow our own”, says Isaiah. “Yet the LORD laid on Him the sins of us all” (Isaiah 53:6 NLT). As Jesus said, He gave His life, “as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28 NLT).
Again, David writes, “they give me poison [gall] for food; they offer me sour wine for my thirst” (Psalm 69:21 NLT). The gall was offered as pain relief, Matthew records that Jesus refused it. But, “Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, ‘I am thirsty'” (John 19:28 NIV). Jesus had said He would not drink wine again until the day He drank in His Father’s Kingdom. He knew this was that day; He already told the prisoner next to Him. This time, when they offered Jesus sour wine, He drank it. His next words were, “It is finished!” (John 19:30).
God knew when Jesus would die and how Jesus would die. God also knew why Jesus must die. “No one cared”, says Isaiah, “that He died without descendants, that His life was cut short in midstream. But He was struck down for the rebellion of my people” (Isaiah 53:8). The Bible says we have all sinned, and the penalty for sin is death. Jesus paid that penalty so we can have life, and life in abundance!
Heavenly Father – the God who will judge all the living and dead – thank You for allowing Your Son Jesus to die in my place. Thank You that the price of my sin was paid by Him in full. I receive Jesus as my substitute in death, and thank You for His life, which You give to me. Jesus, I invite You to come and live in my heart from now on, so that I can live for You!