Apr 13, 2012, 3:54 PM
Peter apparently was not conversant at the time with our Lord’s earthly mission and therefore could not understand why the Rabbi could speak in that manner. It illustrates how we may want one thing for the lives of our friends and loved-ones when God had already determined otherwise. For attempting to be an obstacle to Jesus’ purpose on earth, Peter was called to order. “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” (Matthew 16:23) The lashing Peter received reveals how our Lord Jesus was purpose–driven, bent on accomplishing His mission.
Nothing it seemed could have stopped Him from laying down his life as a sacrifice for humanity. “Greater love has no one than this, that he (Jesus) should lay his life for his friends”. (John 15:13) To the simple mind, it may seen difficult to comprehend how the manifestation of one’s love could culminate in literally laying one’s life on the line; that is dying. “I lay down my life – only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.” (John 10:17-18) This was a voluntary action, one which our Lord was willing and ready to undergo even if it meant being treated like a criminal. He did this in the name of humanity.
Throughout His ministry - particularly as it drew to an end – our Lord never ceased to transmit to his close collaborators that it was going to be ‘over His dead body.’ It will take the sacrifice of the Lamb of God (that Jesus was) for our sins to be forgiven. The Bible teaches that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin (not sins but sin) (Hebrews 9:22). This refers to the mortal sin committed by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden – the original sin.
There is only one payment for original sin – the blood of Jesus, the shed blood on the cross of Calvary. God Himself had pronounced in the book of Genesis that the offspring of the women (Jesus) will crush the head of the serpent (Satan) on the cross and that the serpent will strike His heel (will nail Him to the cross) and have Him killed. (Genesis 3:15) Human blood could not atone for sin, animal blood neither; the blood of the Anointed One of God – Yes!
The nearer our Lord got to the cross, the sharper the pain of offering His body as a ransom for many will be. He stayed focused however and drank from the cup. Sin brought about death. “The wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23) and the penalty had to be paid. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) Only God could provide the remedy to sin; no detergent can wash sin away. The blood of the Lamb (Jesus) can - the one John the Baptist spoke of in these terms; “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29)
The sins of the world could only have been taken away over Jesus’ dead body. He will go the full length – to the extent of undergoing shame and suffering in order to save humanity from the clutches of sin. On the cross, He exclaimed; “it is finished!” (John 19:30) The sacrifice has been made complete by the blood for the benefit of all sinners without regard to colour, sex or creed. The sacrifice on the cross, the ultimate sacrifice of the Lamb of God has taken away and vanquished all sin - without exception. Sin is no longer deadly if we are in Christ Jesus. All we need do is to accept Jesus as our Redeemer and Saviour; the one who openly declared He would conquer sin ‘over his dead body’. And he went ahead and died that we might live.
He brings hope to those who have been tormented by sin and do not seem to find a way out. Wherever sin has reared its ugly head, the Son of God has defeated it; therefore wherever it has taken you and dumped you, such that you feel like you have been bound hands and feet, turn to Jesus for your release. Your freedom is certain. Jesus says it will be over his dead body.
When all seemed lost as the authorities scrambled to get rid of Him before the crowd got wise to what was happening, with a mock trial, our Lord’s unflinching resolve led Him to do nothing but the Father’s will. When hell broke loose and He was abandoned by His close followers, our Lord Jesus stood steadfast to His earthly mission – to die that we might live. Nothing could deter Him from the cross. Death had to lose its sting and that had to be through the death of God’s son.
God gave His Son, so that we might benefit from life everlasting that flows through Him.
What you make of this gift of God will determine where you will spend eternity. Our Lord Jesus is bent on saving lost souls, even if it is just one and He is ready to offer His life as a substitute in order that all may be saved – we who have fallen short of God’s glory.
Over His dead body is the ultimate sacrifice that our Lord Jesus made in obedience to God, the Father. It was a price He was willing to pay and has paid. He not only paid it in full, but He paid it once and for all.
Praise be to God!