The crucifixion of Jesus is the moment that Jesus’ ministry and the entire biblical story have been building toward. Through His death on the cross, the path is paved for human beings to be rescued from sin and reconciled to God. This is the moment when all of history pivots away from death and destruction and toward resurrection and new creation. Because it was on the cross that Jesus would come into His glory and win the decisive victory over the powers of sin, death, and the devil.
But why did Jesus have to die? Couldn’t God have won without the death of His own Son?
These are questions that people have asked since the very earliest days of Christianity. Because nobody could have guessed that God’s plan for redemption would include His own death. This is why the Apostle Paul described the crucifixion of Jesus as foolishness to Gentiles and a stumbling block to Jews. Because the idea of the Lord of All humbling Himself to death on a cross to save the very creation that had rebelled against Him would have been scandalous and offensive. It just seems so undignified.
And yet, that’s what God did. He became a man and willingly died so that we could live.
In the beginning, God created everything and it was good. Everything was as it should be. God, His people, and all of creation were joined together in justice, fulfillment, and goodness. This is what the writers of the Bible called shalom.
At the Fall, we opened the door for sin, death, and evil to invade. Through our act of rebellion against God, shalom was lost. Creation was vandalized. We were fractured. And we did violence to the way things were supposed to be. Until they weren’t the way they were supposed to be anymore.
This is the state of the world when Jesus arrives. Sin, death, and the devil have taken humanity captive, corrupted creation, and are ruling this world. But all of that is about to change. In Jesus, the shalom of God will be restored. Human beings will be rescued. And God’s rightful rule of this world will be reclaimed.
And that’s the Memo.