‘When they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him.’ Luke 23:33 NKJV
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 defence, 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?’ (Matthew 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.’ (John 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.’ (Acts 2:23 GNT) Even the Father didn’t force Him. Jesus ‘gave Himself as a ransom for all people.’ (1 Timothy 2:6 NIV) That includes you!
SoulFood: Dan 11–12, Luke 22:63–71, Ps 16, Pro 10:15
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023