Why Didn’t Jesus Take Himself Off the Cross?

From Issue: Discovery 5/2/2011

Dear Abby,

That is a great question. We know that Jesus didn’t want to endure the misery of the cross. In Mark 14:36, Jesus said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from me….” We also know that Jesus had the ability to avoid the cross. In Matthew 26:53 Jesus said, “Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?” One of these angels would have been more than enough to destroy all of Jesus’ enemies. So, if Jesus didn’t want to die on the cross, and He could have avoided it, why didn’t He take Himself off the cross? Our answer can be found in the second half of Mark 14:36 when He prayed to the father, “Nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.” It was God’s plan. Even though He knew He was going to suffer, Jesus was so submissive to the will of His Father that He died on the cross anyway. So, why would God will that His only son die such a horrible death? John 3:16 tells us the answer: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” He did it because He loved us so much. Because of sin the world owed a debt that it could not pay. However, Jesus loved us so much, that He paid the debt with His own blood. That is why He did not take Himself off the cross.


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