April 15 | John 19:16-24
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God Had a Plan
by David Thompson
This is one of the saddest parts of the "Jesus" story for me and I am sure for many of the believers in the area around Jerusalem where this happened two thousand years ago. The recorded passage in verses sixteen, seventeen and part of eighteen read: "Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified. So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). There they crucified him..." As usual, this story reminds me of a childhood memory. When I was about seven or eight, I faced the story of Christ's suffering and crucifixion for the first time and wished that I could have been there. I fantasized that I would have been a ninja fighter and be standing at the foot of the cross fighting all who were there to kill Jesus. I was sure that when I was done, I would help Jesus down from that awful tree and all would be well once again. What I didn't realize until much later, perhaps not even until the past few weeks, was that Jesus wouldn't have wanted me to do anything like this. Not just that I would have wrongly hurt numerous soldiers and religious leaders, but that I would have been messing with God's plan for the salvation and resurrection of all believers that came after that awful day. Jesus had to die to be the once for only final sacrifice for sin and separation from God.
A song that always comes to mind when I hear or read this passage or the ones in Matthew 27:32-56; Mark 15: 21-41; or Luke 23:26-49 is "He Could Have Called 10,000 Angels." It says it all. Not one little boy with good intentions nor the strength of Heaven being called down. Neither was done, nor could Jesus have wanted it any other way. He went through all of the pain and the humiliation of the crucifixion for ME and for YOU and if He had not, it just wouldn't be the same.
Everything had been told long ago by Isaiah, by the writers of Psalms and by other prophets. No angels, no naïve little boy with a fighting mentality nor any other change to God's plan was to take place. It all had to be done. This included the soldiers putting a crown of thorns on His precious head, Pilot placing a sign on the cross; "The King of the Jews" and the soldiers dividing and casting lots for His clothes. For us (all of mankind) to receive the ultimate salvation all had to transpire.