On any given day on earth, 360,000 children are born while 151,600 individuals pass away. As one journey begins, many others come to an end, often without a warning. While Jesus spoke of his destiny of dying on a cross, his disciples didn’t believe him. These 12 men pictured Jesus as an earthly king of the Jews, about to come to power shortly after Palm Sunday. When this didn’t happen as imagined, Peter was devastated, returning to his life as a fisherman, John 21:1-6.
And those who passed by kept reviling Him and reproaching Him abusively in harsh and insolent language, wagging their heads and saying, Aha! You Who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, 30 Now rescue Yourself [from death], coming down from the cross! – Mark 15:29-30.
In Jesus’ final hours on a cross, most of the people who stopped by criticized and mocked him. Luke’s account includes words spoken by the criminals hanging on either side of Jesus. One of these criminals was selfish, wanting Jesus to save himself before saving him as well. The other criminal was humble, feeling unworthy, pointing out that Jesus had done nothing wrong. Touched by this man’s words, Jesus spoke of paradise, a place beyond death.
So also the chief priests, with the scribes, made sport of Him to one another, saying, He rescued others [from death]; Himself He is unable to rescue. 32 Let the Christ (the Messiah), the King of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see [it] and trust in and rely on Him and adhere to Him! Those who were crucified with Him also reviled and reproached Him [speaking abusively, harshly, and insolently], Mark 15:31-32.
There are 48 verses in the Bible that reference Jesus’ death. Meanwhile, 11 Old Testament prophecies point to Jesus’ necessary journey to death. Due to Adam and Eve’s original sin, the fall of mankind, a second Adam was necessary to seek and to save that which was lost, Luke 19:10. This is what the apostle Paul refers to in Romans 5:12-14. This is what the Bible means by Jesus’ journey to the cross to fulfill God’s will. Rejoice in this completed mission, especially since Easter Sunday has now passed.
by Jay Mankus