When the Apostle Peter discovered that Jesus would experience humiliation and suffering, he exploded, “God forbid, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” Then, Jesus’ offered a devastating rebuke: “Get behind me, Satan, you are a stumbling block” (16:22-23). Jesus reminded him and us that the son of man came to give His life.
This notion parts company with all other religions. The Jewish Encyclopedia quotes Psalm 22:1 in debunking the notion of a crucified God: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” “This final utterance was in all its implications itself a disproof of the exaggerated claims made for Jesus after his death by his disciples. No real messiah could suffer such a death. It is an impossible article of belief which detracts from God’s sovereignty and absolute otherness.”
Jesus is defeated and destroyed… destroyed by his enemies. This was a sign of weakness and a sign of judgment from a common-sense perspective, but it wasn’t God’s perspective.
Something happened to his disciples that overcame their common sense. It “changed the cross from a proof of defeat into a badge of honor, a bottomless source of joy and peace and a comfort for absolutely anything” (Timothy Keller).
“First, our sin must be extremely horrible. Nothing reveals the gravity of sin like the cross…. If there was no way by which the righteous God could righteously forgive our sin, except that he should bear it himself in Christ, it must be serious indeed….
Secondly, God’s love must be wonderful beyond comprehension…. He pursued us even to the desolate anguish of the cross, where he bore our sin, guilt, judgment and death. It takes a hard and stony heart to remain unmoved by a love like that….
Thirdly, Christ’s salvation must be a free gift. He `purchased’ it for us at the high price of his own life-blood. So what is there left for us to pay? Absolutely nothing!”