I just watched the Passion of the Christ.
I've seen it before, but not like this. Just me and two other friends.
We talked while it was playing. "What does this mean?" "If Jesus was God's Son, why would He let Him die?" "That part's not in the Bible."
The Passion. That's a good adjective for Jesus' work. He was passionate.
During the opening scene Jesus prays "not My will but Yours be done." I've heard that before, thought a lot about it, been encouraged to do the hard, right thing because of it. But there it was in graphic display: "I will die if You want Me to. I don't want to. If there is any other way then do that. But if it's Your will, let me be killed."
Christ lost His life literally. Can I part with public praise? acceptance? desires of my heart?
He did. He died.
Then He rose.
His obedience resulted in the greatest exaltation imaginable (see Philippians 2:5-11). He left all and got more. If I leave those little things I cling too, I will get more as well.
I have seen this proven true in my life.
So it was good to be reminded of that and of the gospel, it’s incredulous but real and perfect.
We talked about sura 4:157-158 while we watched it. That Qur’anic verse depicts the traditionally held Muslim belief that Jesus was never crucified, but that Judas was made to look like Jesus and crucified while God took Jesus into paradise.
“If Jesus was God’s Son, why did God let Him die?” That is the question arising from the aforementioned ideology.
In the Bible, it actually says that it pleased God to crush Him. It pleases God to exterminate sin and save people. On the cross Jesus “became sin for us (2 Cor. 5:21)” so that we could have Jesus’ righteousness accredited to us after He took our punishment.
God punished sin and was pleased. God enabled us to come to Him and was pleased.
Jesus dying was not against God’s will, it was why He came.
He chose to die.
His passion to glorify God in obedience and thereby extend eternal salvation to the world would let Him do nothing else.