The Way that Refused to Go Away (2)
We have already discussed the general environment in which Jesus met His Cross. His path to this seemingly ignominious death has been discussed at length in The Language of Suffering.
What remains surprising is the determination of Christ’s enemies to overlook even the most convincing evidence that this Person might actually be the Messiah. For example, read the descriptions of the career of Judas the Galilean in the previous post and compare it to that of Jesus. The differences in action, motive, in every possible dimension could not be greater. And yet the authorities lumped Jesus into the same category as this man of violence and shame.
In fact, with every demonstration of grace, healing, mercy and wisdom his enemies only increased in their hatred and determination to destroy Him. One begins to sense that they were not in control of themselves, but rather were being driven forward by an unseen force. Jesus Himself said as much.
“The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”
Note the “must” in this statement, not “might be.” If in God’s sovereign will the “elders, and chief priests and scribes” must treat the true Messiah in a particular way then can they anything but be compelled to do so?