The cross did not happen to Jesus. He came on purpose for it.
As a super fun way to celebrate my daughter’s sixteenth birthday, my husband chose to take her to New York for the weekend.
Via car, train, and taxi.
Nevermind that we’d already celebrated the occasion back in February, two days after her real birthday with a ton of her closest friends and family.
Enveloped in twinkling lights, shimmering table decor, cool live band music with big brother as the drummer…laughing, dancing, pictures, gifts, and food, what more could a girl ask?
In my opinion, the child was amply celebrated.
After the last of the pink and gold confetti had been swept up, decorations packed, and leftovers (eventually) consumed, I called it a day.
(Mental note: sub sandwiches are not a hit with the adolescent population)
Once we’d agreed to throw her a party, I’d dismissed the whole ‘take daughter to New York’ idea. But New York hadn’t been forgotten. Unbeknownst to moi’, it was never not going to happen.
I squirmed in my proverbial seat. Wasn’t that big shin-dig enough? Why this extra trip?
Feeling the pinch of rising fuel costs, I asked my husband. “You’re still planning on taking her to New York?”
His answer was simple. And darn sugar-sweet. “I made a promise.”
And that was that.
The New York gig was happening because he’d made a promise.
Approaching Jerusalem, as Jesus prepared to make His triumphal entry (Mark 11, Luke 19:28), He stood weeping over the city (Luke 19:41) Their spiritual blindness would lead to His crucifixion.
Then why such sacrifice?
Because He’d made a promise.
Some days later, when He entered the thick darkness of the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-46, Mark 14:32-42) to endure Satan’s last onslaught against the Son of Man, He was deeply troubled to the point of death, burdened by His band of sleepy Disciples during what had to have been His weakest moment.
Three times He asked God if it was possible for the cup of suffering to be taken from Him, then three times more He uttered these words:
“But not as I will, but what You will.”
Why? Because He’d promised.
“He (Eve’s offspring, the Son of God) will crush your head (Satan),
and you (Satan) will strike His heel (crucifixion).
A promised trip to New York is one thing, but a sinless Man keeping a promise to atone for the sins of the entire world? Tough one to keep.
But He did.
“…And without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.” Hebrews 9:22b
While I may hold my own opinion about whether or not something is truly necessary or justifiable, in the matter of salvation, I’m eternally grateful God, through His Son, Jesus, chose to keep His promise to me.
And to you…
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Turns out, even Alan Jackson is a fan of God’s promises 🙂