Speaking of naive believers, I used to wonder why Jesus didn’t save himself from being crucified. When I was a child, I thought that he was Pilate’s victim. How wonderful it is that the Lord had everything under his sovereign control.
Jesus himself knew that he would die on the cross and rise again. He said to his disciples in Matthew 26:2 (KJV), “Ye know that after two days is the feast of the Passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.”
As I pointed out in a previous post, he had power to lay down his life and take it up again. He wasn’t the hapless victim of the Romans and Jews as some people believe.
We can see this truth of the Lord’s sovereignty in his answer to Pilate which is recorded in John 19:11 (KJV). “Jesus answered, ‘Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.'”
Jesus could have easily defeated the Romans. He knew it too since he said in Matthew 26:53 (KJV), “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?”
Consider what one angel did in 2 Kings 19:35 (KJV). “And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.”
Being human as well as divine, the prospect of the cross and taking the filthy sins of his people upon himself terrified Christ. Matthew 26:39 KJV) reads, “And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, ‘O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.'”
And because Christ submitted himself to the Father’s will, he suffered physical, psychological, and spiritual agony. Look at what the prophecy in Isaiah 52:14 (KJV) says of him. “As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:”
Because of these scriptural proofs, we can be assured that Jesus was the victor and not the vanquished. He rose on the first day of the week and ascended up to heaven after forty days of instructing his disciples.
I’ll be writing much more about this in my next book called You Think You’re Going to Heaven? The resurrection of Christ gives us hope that we too shall rise to live in his kingdom.