After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.”  A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth.  When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
– John 19:28-30
Some things are not our choice. They just happen to us. I was born in southern California. I am a boy. I am short. I did not choose these things.
The cross is not a tragedy that happened to Jesus. It did not surprise Him. It was not something unfortunate, outside of His control.
On Good Friday, the crowd was not in control. The Pharisees and scribes were not in control. Pilate was not in control. Not even Satan himself was in control. Jesus and Jesus alone was in control.
What does this mean? It means you are loved.
Things that just happen to us don’t say much about what we value or what’s in our hearts. My core value is not manhood or shortness. It’s the things we choose that reveal what we really love. What we choose to do with our time, money, vacation days, etc. reveal what we love.
Jesus chose all that happened to Him. He did not have to die on a cross. Some may say He had to because He’s God and God is supposed to do that, but it’s not true. He had the power and right to do otherwise. He would have been equally just, righteous, and good if He left us in our sin.
But He chose. He chose to be flogged, mocked, rejected, and crucified. He chose to become sin and bear the wrath of God in our place because He loves us.
The cross tells us that sin deserves death. It tells us our Lord suffered terrible. And it tells us that we are loved by the God of all creation. Jesus proved it by choosing the cross.