Posted by Craig Borlase on 9 April 2014

While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: ‘The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.’ Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, ‘Greetings, Rabbi!’ and kissed him.

Jesus replied, ‘Do what you came for, friend.’

Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him.

Matthew 26:47-50

 

But all this talk about Jesus' death being a symbolic act might threaten to take us away from an important fact. Yes Jesus died to give us life, he died to pay the price, but there were other reasons too. Jesus was betrayed by his friend Judas. He had enemies in high places. He was a victim of complex politics. He was let down by the crowd. Why did Jesus die? Because he was a man, and this world stained by sin has a habit of throwing bad things at us. Jesus died because, well, tragedy happens.

But does this mean it was all a mistake? Was Jesus unlucky? Could he so easily have eased out the rest of his days sipping wine by the sea? Of course not: Jesus was always going to die. It was always part of the plan, part of the route towards our salvation. In choosing to come to earth, Jesus chose the ending on the cross. And that is where the power comes: as a willing, living, perfect sacrifice, Jesus' death was worth more than all the year old lambs that would ever exist.  

Why did Jesus have to die? We may have worked out a little of the mathematics, but perhaps until we see God, until we sense the full power of his love and holiness, we may never really understand.  

As we lead people in sung worship, let’s also try to help them go deeper in living worship as well. Let’s commit to following God more closely ourselves, to risking more for him, to trusting, praying, living, loving and forgiving the way he showed us through his Son Jesus. 

 

 

 

 

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