In trying to ponder the significance of the next few days to me personally, I’ve run across two current statements that demand right theological thinking.
One statement, which makes me livid, is “even God was coerced.” The definition of coerce is to compel by force, intimidation, or authority; to dominate or control. God is the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe! No one can coerce Him. No one can even come close. The idea of coercion is utterly false. God planned from the beginning for His beloved Son to come to earth in order to give up His life. And as Job affirmed to the Lord, “No plan of Yours can be thwarted.” (Job 42:2.) As Jesus hung on the cross, He knew that all He had to do was speak the word and legions of angels would come to His rescue. He chose not to call on the angels, but to carry out the plan.
The second statement, which unlike the first has an element of truth, is that Jesus was murdered. Yes, the angry mob who came after him in the garden had plotted to kill Him. They tortured Him and executed Him in a gruesome manner. He died a horrible death. But He wasn’t a victim. Murder is not the best word choice. Jesus didn’t resist the mob or even offer any defense. He willingly chose to die. Why? So we can have life.
“Never tolerate the idea of martyrdom about the Cross of Jesus Christ. The Cross was a superb triumph in which the foundations of hell were shaken. There is nothing more certain in Time or Eternity than what Jesus Christ did on the Cross. . . The Cross did not happen to Jesus: He came on purpose for it. He is ‘the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.'”
~Oswald Chambers My Utmost for His Highest
“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me – just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. . . . No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.”
My response to this is gratitude. And a desire to get to know this Person better who so willingly gave up His life for me.