Wednesday, February 17, 2016

8 incongruities of the Cross

Read John 19.

The penalty for sin is death (Ezekiel 18:20).  From Genesis 3, and then instituted in the Law, God made provision for the atonement of sin by an animal substitute.  But those repeated sacrifices only covered the sin until such time as the suffering Messiah, the ultimate substitute for sin, would come to make a full and final payment.  John, the Baptist, announced Jesus as God's lamb who would do that very thing (John 1:29).

To Joseph, the angel declared in Matthew 1:21, " shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."  He was born to die.  Knowing these things and the Old Testament  prophecies do not lessen the sense of entering holy ground when reading this chapter.  The details of injustice, mistreatment, and crucifixion should stir our emotions, as well as our spiritual response of worship.

From a human perspective in this account, there are many incongruities and shear nonsense in the back and forth between the parties involved.
1. His ministry was marked by healing people and teaching God's word.  However, in 18:30, the accusation against Jesus when He was arrested was "doing evil."
2. In 18:38 and 19:4, Pilate announced, "I find no guilt in him."  Then, Pilate had a man flogged whom he just declared to be innocent.
3. Jesus had the royal right to the throne of David (Matthew 1).  He told Pilate straight out that He was a king (18:33-36).  Yet, the governor turned Jesus over to his soldiers to mock, ridicule and physically abuse Him.
4. Though declared not guilty, the chief priests and officers of the Temple demanded crucifixion.  Why?  Because Jesus claimed to be God.  Under the Law, such blasphemy would have meant stoning to death.  But this was not blasphemy.  Jesus was indeed God in the flesh (John 1:1-18).
5. When Pilate heard this new charge against Jesus, he was struck with fear.  The very thought of sentencing God in the flesh should have done more than strike fear in him.  In 19:8-9, he asked Jesus, "Where are you from?"  Jesus did not need to answer because He already did in 18:36.
6. Pilate's claim to authority in 19:10-11 was invalid.  All judgmental authority belongs to Jesus (John 5:27).
7. While the Jewish leaders accused Jesus of doing evil, in 19:11 Jesus, the Righteous Judge, declared them to have "greater sin" than Pilate.  This indicates that there are degrees of sin and punishment.
8. "Behold your king!", said Pilate.  But in 19:14-16, the positional religious leaders of Israel responded, "We have no king but Caesar."  The truth is they hated the Romans.  Devout Jews longed for God's rule and the restoration of a Davidic king.

But God was and is in control.  All things took place exactly as planned before the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8).  John's eyewitness account of these true happenings are so "that you also may believe." (John 19:35)

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