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Jesus Knew He Was Going to the Cross

Was the cross a surprise to Jesus?  Did He know that was coming?  Some have suggested that the cross was “Satan’s plan” and was “not in God’s plan” or part of “God’s will.”  They suggest that God had “an altar” in mind but “crucifixion” was Satan’s idea.  Does Scripture support that conclusion?

First, there is the reality that Jesus was crucified by man, no question.  God did not kill His Son.  But, consider all of the realities surrounding the death of Jesus that were part of God’s redemptive plan and understanding.  Jesus was betrayed by a “friend” (Psa. 41:9) for “30 pieces of silver” (Zech. 11:12).  He was “hated without a cause” (Psa. 69:4), and He gave His “back” to be struck and was spit upon (Isa. 50:6).  He was “rejected” by His own, “stricken,” “oppressed,” “afflicted,” “wounded,” “bruised” (“pierced,” ESV), and “chastised” with “stripes” (Isa. 53:3-7).  Yet, “He opened not His mouth” (Isa. 53:7).  God knew that all of this was going to happen.  It was a part of the redemptive plan.  So, how was the cross not part of God’s redemptive plan if all of this was?

Second, consider the prophecies made in the Old Testament surrounding His death.  He was associated with “the wicked” and “the transgressors” in His death (Isa. 53:9, 12).  Psalm 22 is full of prophetic detail about Him being “forsaken” by His God (22:1), mocked by those who “shoot out the lip” and “shake the head” (22:7-8), having people “divide” His garments and “cast lots” for them (22:18).  Prophecies indicate that He would be given “gall” and “vinegar to drink” (Psa. 69:21).  In all of this, “not one” of His bones was “broken” (Psa. 34:20).  All of this was prophesied as part of God’s redemptive plan.  Are we to believe the cross was not in view?

Third, consider the very explicit prophecies made in the Old Testament and by Jesus Himself regarding the cross.  Psalm 22:16 states, “They pierced My hands and My feet.”  What does that mean if it is not crucifixion?  Zechariah 12:10 also prophesied of Jesus, “whom they pierced.”  When “God” (i.e., “Jehovah,” Matt. 3:3) came to this earth (John 1:1, 14; Matt. 1:23), He said that He would “be lifted up” (John 3:14; cf. Num. 21:9).  By saying that He would “be lifted up,” John states that Jesus was “signifying by what death He would die” (12:32-33; 18:31-32).  Jesus not only knew that they would “mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit on Him, and kill Him” (Mark 10:34), but He knew for certain that they would “crucify” Him (Matt. 20:19).  It was in the eternal plan!

Jesus was “foreordained before the foundation of the world” (1 Pet. 1:19-20), as part of “the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God” (Acts 2:23), to be “slain” (Rev. 13:8) for our sins!  God did not kill Jesus, anymore than He spit upon Him.  But it was all purposed by God (and thus, permitted) to redeem us from the power of the devil!  Jesus knew!