The gravity of the cruelty meted out against Jesus forces this question upon us:
“Did God really have to go to this extent to fix the problem of sin?”
Did God really have to control all the situations, locations, personalities, machinations, institutions, and governments of earth so that history would march toward the right time and place: the birth of Jesus?
Did Jesus really have to subject himself to the full range of the darkness and temptation of this fallen world?
Was it really necessary for him to live a life that was spotlessly perfect in thought, desire, motive, choice, word, action, reaction, and response?
Was it necessary for him to lay down concrete and empirical evidence during his life that he was not just a wise man, but in fact, the one and only Son of God?
Was it really necessary for him to be mocked, spat upon, and executed in a torturous and public way?
Was it necessary, at the point of his death, for graves to open and the veil separating the Holy of Holies to be spontaneously torn in two?
Did he have to be put in a carefully sealed, well-guarded borrowed grave?
Was it essential for him to be there for three days, certifying that he was really dead?
Was it vital for him to walk out of that tomb, alive and well?
Was it essential to the plan that he appear to some five hundred people after his resurrection?
Was it necessary that he would ascend back to the right hand of his Father?
The answer to every one of these questions is a resounding yes! Every detail of the history of redemption was necessary. Every moment in the life of Christ was necessary. Every aspect of his suffering, death, and resurrection was necessary. It was all essential, because there was no other way to reverse the damage that sin had done or to rescue those who were held in its death grip. No novel solutions to be found, no quick fixes, and no exceptions to the rule. There was no easy way out.
Here’s what Jesus said about his identity and his mission:
Now it happened that as he was praying alone, the disciples were with him. And he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” And they answered, “John the Baptist. But others say, Elijah, and others, that one of the prophets of old has risen.” Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered, “The Christ of God.”
And he strictly charged and commanded them to tell this to no one, saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” (Luke 9:18–24)
Taken from Journey to the Cross: A 40-Day Lenten Devotional by Paul David Tripp, © 2020, Day 10. Used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.