Why Did Christ’s Death Need to be Done By Way of a Brutal Crucifixion?
The title of this subject is not as uplifting as one would like, however it is absolutely necessary for one who is a follower of Jesus Christ, and to understand why His death had to be done in such a brutal way.
At the last supper, Christ disciples asked Him where He was going and why was He saying that He must be killed? Their understanding was very limited. (John 16).
John 16:12, “I have many things to say to you but you can’t bear them now”.
We are just like they were. They lacked the understanding then, and we need a better understanding now. It would be important for us to fathom the depth and to understand the seriousness as well, concerning the purpose in the new creation of His children. He invested His life for the purpose of His people, and His love can’t be measured in a human way.
Ephesians 3:16, “That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthen with might by His spirit, in the inner man; 17, That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye be grounded in love, 18, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and the length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ which passeth all knowledge, that ye be filled with the fullness of God”.
What would it take for man to be filled with the fullness of God? The first realization of what the Apostle Paul is telling us seems simple enough, but Jesus refers to His fullness in a different way.
Matthew 9:17,” neither do men put new wine into old wineskins: else the bottles would break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles and both are preserved”.
This statement is found in the book of Mark as well as the book of Luke. The new wine referred to here is Jesus very life. The new bottles are the reference to the filling of Jesus in His resurrected life into His disciples, John 20:22. When we realize that we are talking about the very life of the God of the universe, the God who King David says in Psalms 8:4: “What is man that thou art mindful of him”? We need to be very clear concerning what God’s purpose is all about. Towards the end of Jesus ministry, He referred to Himself as food and drink.
John 6:53, then Jesus said to them, “Verily, verily I say unto you, except you eat the flesh of the son of man, and drink His blood; you have no life in you. 54, Whoso eateth My flesh and drinketh My blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. for My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed”.
To understand what His statements mean, about eating Him, we would need to go back to the Old Testament and examine how God instituted and prepared the offerings that would be presented to Him. We would find these offerings in the first two chapters of the book of Leviticus. The first chapter describes the burnt offering, Jesus Christ. The meaning of Christ as the burnt offering accepted by God was a fulfillment of the humanity of Jesus Christ, while He was a God-man on earth and that He was perfect in every way. He was one hundred percent fully for God’s purpose, whereas we are not fully for God as we like to think. Even the best of us want something for ourselves, no matter how sincere we are in our serving God.
Romans 3:25, ” Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God”.
As far as God is concerned, we are sin. There is nothing by ourselves that we can do about our situation. We can only approach God through the life saving blood of Jesus Christ. The word propitiation means: to become favorably inclined; win or regain the good will of. The propitiation is an act of faith for those who are redeemed by the blood of Christ. This is what is called by some, “the message of the cross”. As important as the cross of Christ is, it is not the fully implemented plan of God. There are terms such as, quickened, vessels, the old man as well as the new man that need to be understood also. If we don’t examine these things, we will never understand why Christ had to be whipped, cut, bruised, and humiliated in a brutal way.
Christ Becomes Our Food
John 12:24, Verily, verily I say unto you, “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abided alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit”.
Christ identifies Himself as a grain of wheat. If we examine the process in which wheat becomes fine flour, we can understand the sufferings of Christ.
Leviticus 2:1, And when they offer a meal offering unto the Lord, his offering shall be of fine flour; and he shall pour oil on it, and put frankincense on it.
The fine flour is produced out of wheat which has passed through many processes. It had been sown, buried to die, the shell of the seed pod has to be broken to germinate it’s life, grow up, being beaten by the wind, frost, rain, and sun, then being reaped, threshed, sifted and pass through many grindings. This process signified the many sufferings of Christ which made Him a Man of sorrows. (Isaiah 53:3).
The fine flour is perfect in its texture, evenness, tenderness, gentleness, and is fully balanced. This fine flour signifies the beauty and excellence of Christ. Christ as the God-man was excellent in His humanity. He was perfect and spotless as a burnt offering to satisfy God. The fine flour had to now be mingled with oil signifying God’s Holy Spirit. (Luke 4:18; Hebrews 1:9). The frankincense signified the miracle and beauty of Christ’s resurrection. (Matthew 26:12). This is the process in which Christ would become food for us as the meal offering, and would satisfy our relationship with God. In the burnt offering, Christ would be offered to God as a perfect sacrifice. God then consumed the sacrifice which mingled the Humanity of Christ with the Divinity of God. All that was left to do was to dispense Christ as life into His believers. We were once without God in our lives. (Romans 5:10) Upon repentance we were quickened, (Ephesians 2:1); Colossians 2:13) signifying by the being made alive by the earnest of God’s Holy Spirit. (2nd Corinthians 5:5) We now have become vessels (2nd Corinthians 4:7; 2nd Timothy 2:21).to contain God’s Spirit. As we read and study God’s Word, we grow. (2nd Peter 3:18; Ephesians 4:15). This growth of His Spirit fills us as food, little by little. There will be a time when the disciples of Christ, who make up the church and members of His body, will be filled with the fullness of Christ. As His disciples, who have become vessels to contain Him, we would not be able to bear Christ all at once. (John 16:12). We would need to absorb Christ and His teaching, as food, and it would be a slow process. This is the reason Christ had to have His flesh cut and pulled apart, spit upon, humiliated, and degraded in such a way. We can only take a portion of Him a little at a time, otherwise we would be like a bottle which being filled with His Spirit would burst. There are many mysteries in God’s word and the Triune nature of God is one of the greatest. The Apostle Paul says that man is triune as well and is composed of a body, soul, and Spirit, 1st Thessalonians 5:23
A graphic way for the human mind to comprehend Christ as food for us is to think of a simple glass of orange juice. God as the Father created the entire orange. Within the orange is the juices and pulp. The juices and pulp would be the second person of the Godhead, Jesus who became the Christ. The pulp, within the orange, needs to be squeezed and pulverized to released the juice which would be symbolic of the Holy Spirit. The juice, as the Holy Spirit, is then poured into us as vessels, to contain Him as our life and growth. This is a fair analogy of the brutality Christ went through for us. When the Apostles tell us of the love of God and how it is unfathomable. This is how they might have understood what the great and mighty God of the universe had to go through for His children to contain him.