If we look at the Gospel story of the Passion as a whole and do not isolate the Cross from its context, one of the most impressive and revealing things in it is the air of strong deliberation and mastery which characterizes Jesus throughout those last days. He is so manifestly not in the least a straw on the stream of events. His enemies are not manipulating Him so much as He is manipulating them, not in any wrong way, but in the way in which God does lay hold of the wrath and sin of man and make them sub-serve His infinite purpose of love. To the end He could have escaped the Cross by the simple expedient of going somewhere else; but He did not do so. He deliberately directs His steps to it. There is an atmosphere of mastery all about Him as He steadfastly sets His face towards Jerusalem. Standing before the council, or before Pilate, there is no suggestion of fumbling or hesitancy. Nor on the other hand is there any suggestion of a merely excited and fanatical confidence. It is the other people who are excited, not He. And it is always the excited people who are the weak people. He says almost regally, “No man taketh my life from me; I lay it down of myself.” He says—very plainly, quietly, with the direct steadiness of clear-sighted conviction—“Hereafter ye shall see the Son of man seated at the right hand of power.” The hereafter refers to their seeing. He Himself sees now. He is conscious of being in a very real sense at the right hand of power now. He is with God now; the victory is His now. –H. H. Farmer
The cross of Christ didn’t just happen. It wasn’t a tragic and unexpected ending to a good story. It wasn’t a case of evil triumphing over good.
It was God working out His infinite purpose of love.
Through the sacrifice of Jesus upon the cross—our sins are completely forgiven, we are able to relate with a Holy God, we are cleansed of all of our sins, and we no longer need to live as slaves (in bondage) to sin.
Easter Sunday is just two weeks away. As we walk the path to the empty tomb to joyfully announce, “He is not here, He is risen!” let us remember that out of love Jesus walked through it all on purpose—the garden, the denial, the trial, the beating, the flogging, the mocking, the shame, the sorrow, the abandonment and the cross—for you and for me.