“There they crucified Him.” – Luke 23:33
Think about that phrase — four little words that describe mankind’s darkest hour. Let’s look at them one at a time.
I grew up looking at a plaster statue of Jesus on a cross, surrounded by majestic marble columns and beautiful stained glass windows. In actuality, our Saviour was crucified between two foul-mouthed criminals at the gruesome local death row known as Calvary. Why there? Well, on that spot twenty centuries earlier, Abraham was willing to sacrifice his own son. It was more than a jaw-dropping display of trust and obedience; it was a magnificent picture of a sacrifice yet to come. Abraham prophetically called the place “The LORD will provide,” and it was said, “In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.” Though it didn’t appear so at the time, Calvary was all part of God’s plan.
Though Roman soldiers certainly nailed Jesus to the cross, Peter makes it clear in Acts that the blame for the Lord’s death fell squarely on the chief priests and rulers of Israel. They were so hardened against God’s truth that they didn’t recognize their own long-awaited Messiah, even when he did the one thing only the Messiah would be able to do — open blind eyes. Did their plot take God by surprise? No, for it had been prophesied long before (Psalm 2:1-3). It was all part of God’s plan.
Crucifixion was in its time the most torturous and humiliating form of capital punishment. Yet the Lord Jesus could not have died for our sins any other way, for it had been declared centuries before. Psalm 22:16, Isaiah Chapter 53, and Zechariah 12:10 & 13:6 are all scriptures that make no sense apart from the Messiah’s crucifixion. Some might wonder how God could let something so horrible happen to His beloved Son, but it was all part of His plan.
History tells us Rome crucified over 20,000 people in the 1st century. Can you name even one other than Jesus Christ? Neither can I, because only one of them rose from the dead. Even the devil himself was stupefied as the very plot to get rid of Jesus once and for all backfired and the Creator of the world became the Saviour of the world. It boggles the mind to consider what the eternal Son of God did to save us from our sins, but it had been God’s plan all along.
When things turn against you, never forget that nothing takes God by surprise — He always has a plan.
Originally published for The Carpenter’s House