Who put Jesus on the cross?

This is not a question that is asked directly in objection to the Gospel, but it is a parallel question that deals with everything we have looked at thus far.

Who did put Jesus on the cross? Was it Judas who betrayed him? Was it the Jews who handed him over to be crucified? Was it the Romans who did the deed? Was it the Father who sent him to die? Or was it Jesus himself who surrendered his life in obedience to the Father's will?

Well, the answer to all these questions is: "Yes" - they are all true. And because they are all true we see something wonderful. The cross may not be the intellectually watertight answer we were looking for, but it is the answer that God gives. In the cross he demonstrates what he is like.

In the cross God demonstrates that he is sovereign over all things and is good and loving even through the suffering and evil that is in the world. He works even the worst evil towards our ultimate good.

In the cross God demonstrates that Jesus is the only way to come to God. He would not have sent his beloved Son to die if there was any other way.

In the cross God demonstrates that he is the Good Shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep.

And in the cross God demonstrates both just how much he hates sin, and just how much he loves us. He sent Jesus to die and take the full punishment for sin in our place.

The cross is God's answer to all our questions. The Apostle Paul when he went to the city of Corinth said, "I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified." His answer to all their but-hows and but-whys was always the same: "Look at the cross." He resolved not to reduce the mysteries of God to the confines of his own wisdom and understanding (as considerable as those were), but rather to point people to where they could see the full demonstration of that mystery for themselves.

The only way we will ever get the answers we seek to our questions, is when we grasp the meaning of the cross of Christ.

When we do see it for what it really is, we realise there is another shocking answer to the question, "Who put Jesus on the cross?"...

I did!

Accepting Christ died for everyone is one thing, but it's not the same as realising Christ died for me! When I go to the chemist with a sickness, the medicine that the pharmacist hands me may be the same medicine he gives to everyone else, but when it comes over the counter it has got my name written on it. Just so, when I look at the cross, I don't just see Jesus taking the sins of the world. I see God's medicine for my condition with my name written all over it. Jesus hung there for my sin!

This is how Peter addressed the crowds in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, who had come from "every nation under heaven":

"Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ."

When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?" (Acts 2:36-37)

When we realise that we put Jesus on the cross, and he hung there for us, it demands a response.


WhatIsChazaq? said...

Very well delivered.


Steven Carr said...

Did God plan to put God on the cross?

So why did God , on the cross, say 'My God, My God, why have you forsaken me'?

Or am I thinking that Jesus and the Father are one?

I was impressed with your posting that God sends people to hell because it would not be fair to let another person take their punishment.

Chris HH said...

The words "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" as well as being a genuine cry of anguish, are also the opening line of Psalm 22, which goes on to say:

For dogs encompass me;
a company of evildoers encircles me;
they have pierced my hands and feet
I can count all my bones—
they stare and gloat over me;
they divide my garments among them,
and for my clothing they cast lots.

These words were written approximately 1000 years before Christ.

So, yes, God did plan the cross: Jesus is the Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world. [Revelation 13:8]

Marcos said...

Well stated Chris. The reality is that Jesus died on the cross so that we would not have to go to hell.

He paid the price for you and me. God loved us so much has made eternity in heaven the destiny for all those who receive Jesus as savior.

Nothing unfair about it. Love makes you do some pretty amazing things. To the human mind it is hard to comprehend that someone else would pay the price for us but it's true. Does it sound fair when a father risks his life to save a child from a burning building? Or give up some of his own dreams to fufill some dreams of his children? It's not about fair but love. Jesus paid the price for all of us. Fairness did not move Him--Love did.

To God be the Glory for ever and ever.


Steven Carr said...

So it was prophesies that God would forsake God and that there is only one God?

If God the Father forsook God the Son on the cross, why did God the Son ask God the Father to forgive people?

Had God forgotten that God had forsaken God, or did Jesus lie when he said that God had forsaken him?

Or had the prophecy not come true that God would forsake God?

Or did Jesus just plain forget that he didn't need to ask God to forgive sins, because He was God?

Steven Carr said...

The story of the Prodigal Son is very touching. It shows that the Father can welcome his children back, without killing his innocent son first.

Imagine how much soomnr though the Prodigal Son would have come back , if he had known that out of sheer love for him, the father had arranged for the innocent son to be killed.

Chris HH said...

Steven, regarding your first point, I can't put it better than Paul's words in Philippians:

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

You touch on one of the greatest mysteries of all: what happened to the nature of God on the cross?

The immortal dies; the incorruptible takes on sin; the indivisible is put asunder.

How can it be? I have no idea. None whatsoever. God has revealed so much of himself to us, but the essence of his eternal nature remains unknowable by finite minds.

But just because I don't understand it, doesn't mean it didn't happen.

Ricky Carvel said...

As with most of the big questions in the Christian life, I have some big doubts about why Christ had to die.

But. From my (Christian) perspective, everything revolves around what Christ did on the cross. If Christ did not die on the cross and was not resurrected then my faith is utterly misplaced. And I believe that he died on the cross because it was the only way to reconcile us with God.

Christ's death achieved something - it dealt with the problem of sin. Why sin was a problem in the first place and why the death of an incarnated God was required to deal with it are two things that I don't know. I can speculate, I can wonder, but I haven't managed to answer either of those two questions to my own satisfaction yet.

One of the amazing things about this is that we don't have to understand all the processes that took place, we just have to consider the cross: Was Jesus crucified? Was he resurrected? Can I know reconciliation with God?

If you can answer those three questions with 'yes' then everything else (however many questions you have) falls into place.

For what its worth, out of those three questions, the first and second may be a matter for historical debate and intellectual questioning, but the third is something which you can experience.

Steven, you clearly have many intellectual questions that you want answered (as have I!), but I'm afraid if this just remains an intellectual issue, you will never find the answers. I truly believe (from personal experience) that you can only find the answers to some questions through experience of the living God. Go to a church where they offer prayer ministry, ask someone to pray for you and say 'OK God, I'm not sure if you're there or not, but if you are, please let me know' - and be prepared for something unexpected.

Once you know that God is actually there, the big voyage of discovery of who he is begins...

Chris HH said...

Great comment, Ricky. Spot on!

Mark H said...

Just wanted to say, this is a great conversation. Just coz I've had nothing to add, doesn't mean I've not been with you all!

My own experience agrees with Ricky's. When I first reached out just a little and said "God, are you there?", His response blew my mind! My mind definitely did not understand, indeed was not convinced, but could no longer deny what my heart had experienced. (And who knew back then that I even had a heart? - you'd have to have known me then to understand that!)

My mind has been playing catch-up ever since. Every time my mind gets understanding, God shows me something new. As someone who is a deep-thinker and somewhat predisposed to the intellect, I have found that knowing God is not death to the intellect and free-thinking at all, but quite the contrary - He's the ultimate in intellectual stimulation!

But the journey starts, and continues, with experiences. Our minds cannot even begin to conceive what God does not show us first!


Akinola Akinyede said...

Beautiful piece; to actually bring it back to consciousness that my sin put Jesus on the cross in line with the sovereign plan of the triune God.

What more can I say? Than to say Thank You Jesus once again for hanging on the cross for me.

Steven Carr said...

How can it be? I have no idea. None whatsoever.

As always, Christians cannot answer questions about Christianity.

They've had 2,000 years to think of answers to the questions of sceptics, and 2,000 years later, the questions of sceptics cannot be answered.

Still, what's new?

Steven Carr said...

How could God forsake God on the cross, just because it was prophesied that God would forsake God?

And why did Jesus teach that fathers could be reconciled with their children without having to have a son killed before any reconciliation could happen?

Matthew said...

Steven - what you put as an accusation against Christianity is in fact one of its basic tenets: "The Kingdom of does not consist in talk but in power" (1 Corinthians 4:20).

The fact that much of today's "christianity" is only about talk is the reason it has failed to convince so many as to the truth about Jesus. Christianity was never meant to stand or fall by talk/reason/persuasive argument alone.

Thank God that there are some (and a growing number in recent decades) who not only see the need for a return to a more radical, powerful expression of christianity, but are living it as well.

One example is the church in Gujarat where I have a number of friends. There's a link to Chandrakant Chavda's blog in Chris's sidebar if you are interested.

Matthew said...

Whoops, I missed "God" out of the bible quote - watching out for that thunderbolt now....

Chris HH said...

I agree with Matthew. I don't believe God ever intended for us to be able to rely on the intellect alone. For if that were the case, where would be the need for faith?

For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. (1 Corinthians 1:22-25)

Mark H said...

almost everyone entertains some form of irrational beliefs even if they are not religious

Anonymous said...

Deliver A Messiah "Mistaken Identity" By Agron Belica

About the Book:

Deliver A Messiah, "Mistaken Identity" by Agron Belica brings forth an elaborative examination of who was put on the cross. Many theories suggest that the son of Mary (aka Jesus Christ) was not the person placed on the cross, but someone other than Jesus Christ himself. The author takes you through an examination paving ways of new insight of who might have been put on the cross.
To contribute to the present work, the author investigated and researched to seek the truth about the assumptive facts leading up to what people of Christendom believe to be the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The Bible and the Koran are the main resources used as references formally presented in use of persuasive arguments and theories of why the author strongly does not believe that the son of Mary was killed nor crucified.
The author has made every effort to be as unbiased and objective in presenting the facts and interpreting the events in this present work. The author is not trying to stir up controversy, but only wishes to lead people towards what might be considered the truth about the events believed about the crucifixion. The author strongly believes that the prevailing powers during that era have camouflaged the truth. The cover-up of the crucifixion with a false pretext was to lead the masses of people in the past and at present to believe, that the son of Mary was really crucified, by the leading elite that was influenced by the Jewish religious hierarchy at that time.

Chris HH said...

Normally I do the book reviews on this blog, but since you started, here's another:

How America Faked The Moon Landings by Charles T. Hawkins

A fascinating in-depth account of how NASA and the American government faked the Apollo Moon Landings of the 1960’s and 70’s. From the moonwalks and rover rides to the return splashdowns, every step of the way you will see how the event was staged here on earth. Unlike the other books that make allocations that the moon landings were fake, this is the only book that shows you exactly how it was done. The author’s goal is to provide space enthusiasts around the globe with accurate historical reference what really happened and why the United States found it necessary to fake the moon landings.

This book also contains many high-quality original NASA photos with obvious clues proving the moon landings were faked. These images include: astronauts with tears in their spacesuit, helmets open, and animals on the moon surface.

Sounds like these two books share the same credibility. Perhaps Amazon could do a "Better together" offer on them.