Why Was Jesus Crucified?

Why Jesus Was Crucified?

Jesus Tomb Mount of Olives
   

Why Was Jesus Crucified?

There are three reasons why Jesus was crucified. First, crucifixion was the capital punishment Rome preferred for those found guilty of treason, so that their slow, gruesome deaths in public could deter potential future rebels.

The second reason why Jesus was crucified is that Rome forbade the Jews from carrying out capital punishment. Had that not been the case, the Jews would have stoned Jesus instead of dragging Him to the Romans and falsely accusing Him of treason against Rome.

The third and the main reason why Jesus was crucified is that Jesus engineered it. Please carefully consider the content below.

To start, do you know which famous American once lamented, "I have spent the best years of my life giving people the lighter pleasures, helping them have a good time, and all I get is abuse, the existence of a hunted man."

It was Al Capone. We know him as a criminal who killed people and ran brothels ("lighter pleasures"), but he thought he was a good person.

Our standard of morality is higher than Al Capone's but God's standard is much higher still. In fact, the Bible says that God's standard of morality is absolute perfection and defines sin as anything that falls short of it, including seemingly minor offenses like jealousy (Exodus 20:17) or being angry without reason (Matthew 5:21-22). The Bible says that everyone has sinned - "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23) - and that the punishment mandated for sin is the death penalty: "For the wages of sin is death..." (Romans 6:23). That's the bad news.

The 'Gospel,' which means, 'Good News,' is that God loved us too much to wipe us out. But neither could God, who is just, simply let our sins slip by, since that wouldn't have served justice. So what did He do? He came and took our death penalty upon Himself.

If that's tricky to understand, imagine that you commit and are found guilty of a crime that carries the mandatory death penalty. You rise at your sentencing, and sure enough, the judge sentences you to death, and slams down his gavel.

Just as you start to panic, something strange happens. The judge rises from his seat, walks down to where you are, takes off the judge's robe, and tells you:

"Because I am a good judge, I applied the death penalty as required by the law. But... I am also your father, and I love you. Therefore, I will take upon myself the death penalty you deserve, and grant you life."

That's why Jesus engineered His own death on the cross of Calvary / Golgotha - "I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd. Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again..." (John 10:14-18) - so that those who believe He did this can go to heaven: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)

Some people may tell you that you still need to contribute to your salvation by doing this or that, but that's like telling a death row inmate that good conduct will reverse his death penalty.

However, that doesn't mean we shouldn't do good deeds. But the reason for doing them is important. We should do good deeds out of sincere gratitude for the salvation that Christ granted us. If we do good deeds thinking that those good deeds save us, we reject Christ' salvation. We are saved not by what we do for ourselves but by what God already has done for us.

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