— I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again–. John 10:17-18
To use the magnificent words of B.B. Warfield, ‘Jesus dies on the cross, but not of the cross.’ The cross was the means by which He died, but not the reason why He died. He died through being crucified, but not because He was crucified. He was nailed to the tree, but that wasn’t the cause of His dying.
The cause of His dying is precisely because He is there as the substitutionary atonement for the sins of His people. He dies bearing my sins in His body to that tree, so that I might live; so that through His condemnation at Calvary, the Judge in heaven will say to the sword of justice as it hangs over my head for my sins, ‘Do not slay my son. Jesus has been crucified. He has been put to death’; and I am now pardoned through His dying, justified by His blood, saved from the wrath to come. ( Iain D. Campbell)
Let us never forget, it was His love, not the nails, that held Him there! He could have called “more than twelve legions of angels”(Matt. 26:53) to deliver Him from the agony of the cross, but He, “for the joy that was set before him endured the cross–“(Heb. 12:2). O Hallelujah, what a Savior!