Jesus went to the cross willingly. After Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, He was first taken to the house of Annas and questioned. Annas was hoping to prove that Jesus and His disciples were against Rome and therefore, Jesus could be put to death by the Romans for sedition. Of course, neither Jesus nor His disciples were against Rome.
Then the detachment of troops and the captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound Him. And they led Him away to Annas first, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas who was high priest that year. (John 18:12-13) (nkjv)
Jesus Must Die! The Sanhedrin Made Their Decision
Sanhedrin: 70 men, plus the high priest and including the chief priests, scribes and elders.
Then the members of the Sanhedrin assembled before Caiaphas in the middle of the night, and when Jesus confessed that He was the Christ, they were outraged and accused Him of blasphemy. They knew oh so well this would lead to His certain death. They met early the next morning to announce their verdict.
And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, saying, “Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?” But He kept silent and answered nothing.
Again the high priest asked Him, saying to Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?”
Jesus said, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “What further need do we have of witnesses? You have heard the blasphemy! What do you think?”
And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death. (Mark 14:60-64) (nkjv)
Enter Pontius Pilate,
Roman governor (prefect) of Judaea, under emperor Tiberius in the 1st century. All four Gospels portray Pilate as weak. He was an indecisive and compromising man so he was easily dominated by the members of the Sanhedrin, as well as the mob like crowd. However, he did offer the crowd to let either Jesus or Barabbas go free.
They Chose Barabbas
Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to releasing to the multitude one prisoner whom they wished. And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. Therefore, when they had gathered together, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release to you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” For he knew that they had handed Him over because of envy. (Matthew 27:15-18) (nkjv)
The crowd roared that they wanted Barabbas released. But why in the world would they want Barabbas, a murderer and a notorious prisoner released? The answers always can be found in scripture.
But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitudes that they should ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. (Matthew 27:20) (nkjv)
Pilate had Jesus scourged (life-threatening punishment inflicted with a leather whip, knotted with metal and bone) They put a crown of thorns on His head, they hit Him and spat on Him. They mocked Him and humiliated Him. Pilate took Jesus out to the crowd and stated again he found no fault in Him.
Therefore, when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!”
Pilate said to them, “You take Him and crucify Him, for I find not fault in Him.”
The Jews answered him, “We have a law and according to our law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God.” (John 19:6-7)
He Chose the Way of the Cross
Jesus did not resist. He could have called legions of angels to come to His aid but He chose the way of the cross. He could have done miraculous acts to escape the cross but He chose the way of the cross and showed God’s great agape love for us. God the Father had a plan of salvation for everyone who would believe on His son Jesus Christ. Jesus paid the price for us. He took our sins upon His shoulders that day on the cross. So it wasn’t just the Sanhedrin or the crowds who were the reason Jesus went to the cross. We are all sinners, so Jesus went to the cross for all of us. He interceded on our behalf. Thank you, Jesus!
Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior
If we do not believe that Jesus is our Lord and Savior, our sins are still on our shoulders and we will be accountable for them before a Righteous and Holy God. Please consider carefully what Jesus has done for you on the cross. Then simply humble yourself and ask Jesus to be Lord and Savior over your life, and repent of your sins. The perfect time to do so is now. He will never let you down. He will be with you always, no matter what.
Jesus reigns now and forevermore,