THE TRANSFORMING TRUTH ABOUT CALVARY (1)
April 16, 2019
“They…[came] to…Calvary, there they crucified him.” Lk 23:33
The word “Calvary” appears only once in the New Testament, but what happened there changed our destiny. In spite of the myths and misunderstandings, the truth is clear and life-changing. Let’s look at it. First, Calvary was voluntary. Those who watched it thought Jesus was a victim of circumstances beyond His control: the collusion of Jewish hatred and Roman might. How wrong! Jesus rejected Peter’s well-intentioned but misguided defense, saying, “Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?” (Mt 26:53 NIV). Jesus could have chosen to live without hardship, pain, or death. No one coerced Him into going to the cross. He said, “No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again” (Jn 10:18 NLT). Calvary was certainly unjust and unfair. But it wasn’t assassination, it was atonement! His enemies intended Calvary to end His life, but Jesus intended it to save us from a lost eternity. And after they had done their worst and failed to stop Him, Peter confronted them on the day of Pentecost with this victorious truth: “In accordance with his own plan God had already decided that Jesus would be handed over to you; and you killed him by letting sinful men crucify him” (Ac 2:23 GNT). Even the Father didn’t force Him. Jesus “gave himself as a ransom for all [people]” (1Ti 2:6 NIV)—including you!