Summary: The question is not "who killed Jesus ?" but why did he die ?
Why Jesus Died
Acts 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
Acts 4:38 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.
The much awaited "Passion Of Christ" movie is out. It has created quite a stir. Everyone seems to be talking about it. Most of the reviews that I have read by those who have seen the movie have been positive. I must admit however that some of Mel Gibson’s personal remarks about the movie have bothered me quite a bit. Having not seen the movie myself, I’m not going to spend alot of time on the movie itself. However, a storm of controversy has surrounded it’s production, and it’s release. A question has been raised which has been raised before...the question spurned by many left wing media outlets is "Who Killed Jesus ?" Many Jews fear anti-semetic sentiment. This seems to me to be a tactic devised by Satan who would divert men from any good that might possibly come from the movie. I believe that the wrong question is being asked. I believe that the right question which needs to be answered, and dealt with by us all is "Why Jesus Died". You see there is a story that goes beyond the passion of Christ The reason why "why Jesus died" is a more appropriate question is because of the words of Jesus himself in.....
John 10:15-18 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
No man had the power to take the life of the Son of God. Jesus laid down his life. He surrendered it. The question then is "why ?"
This morning I want us to look at some answers to that question from the precious word of God.
I. He Died Because It Was Determined By The Will Of God.
The death of Jesus was not the result of some sinister plot, but the result of a sovereign plan. God determined that Jesus would die. This determination was based upon his foreknowledge. He knew what sinful man would do. He knew that he would be shunned, and rejected. He knew that he would be hated by the religious leaders of that day. He knew that they would plot to seize him. He knew that Judas would betray the Son of God for thirty pieces of silver, and seal that betrayal with a kiss. He knew that Pontius Pilate would utter the words..."I find no fault in him" and have him beaten with a cat of nine tails in an attempt to appease the bloodthirsty crowd. God knew that the mob would yell for the release of Barabbas rather than Jesus. He knew in advance that the crowds would scream "Crucify Him". We have no King but Caesar. He knew that crucifixion would be the means of his death. He knew that the Roman soldiers would nail his hands and feet to the cross. God knew all this in advance, and yet he determined in his will that he would send Christ ! The death of Jesus Christ was determined by the will of God. When was the plan incorporated by God ?
Remember the words of 1 Pet. 1:19-20
But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
I have heard that for many years Mel Gibson had been wanting to make a movie about the passion of Christ. Yet, God planned the passion before the foundation of the world was ever laid.
II. He Died Because He Was Delivered By The Will of God.
Romans 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things ?
Who delivered Jesus up to die ? God the Father did. But wasn’t it Judas who betrayed him, and wasn’t it the Jewish leaders who pressured the Roman leaders into doing something about this Jesus. And didn’t the puppets of Rome deliver him to be crucified. The answer is yes. But they would have never been able to pull it off if God had not determined it, and had not delivered him into their hands. Remember when Jesus sat at the last supper with his disciples...did he not know of Judas’ intentions. Yes ! He knew because it was planned of God based on his foreknowledge of what Judas would do. God delivered him up ! He surrended the Son into their hands. Jesus laid down his life !