He bowed His head, and gave up His spirit.
Read carefully these words written by John. Jesus gave up His spirit. He wasn’t killed by the executioners. He gave His life.
The last breath of the Incarnate God was a choice that He made. At any moment He could have ended it all. He could have called down the judgment of Heaven and all would have been destroyed, His eternal and sovereign reign over all the hosts of Heaven restored.
But in this moment on the cross, God’s holy justice and His tender love and compassion intertwined and He gave us this unfathomable gift.
There was a ritual that the Jewish priests had to follow in the Temple to atone for the sins of Israel. The priest would take his hands and lay them on the head of a goat. And he would confess over it all the sins of Israel. Then, the goat would be led out of the Temple. A man would be outside waiting to lead the goat out through the streets of Jerusalem and out into the wilderness.
I wonder if the Jewish people who watched as Jesus carried His cross to Calvary somehow understood that their complete atonement was being carried out, not by an innocent animal, but by the innocent Lamb of God.
But whereas the scape goat had no choice, Jesus did. And in an act of great might and great power and authority, He chose to give His life on that cross.
He recognized that the people He created and dearly loves, are hopelessly bound in a fallen creation, and are helplessly locked in the prison of sin. He knew that He alone is our help and our hope. But only by means of a sacrifice.
The Perfect One Who made the law has fulfilled the law on our behalf.
When I meditate on Jesus at Calvary, I don’t think about what is right or wrong in my life. I don’t dwell on all the things I need to change to deserve His sacrifice. Who could be so presumptuous to think any of us could ever deserve that?
The point of Calvary is that we do not, we can not ever, deserve that.
And that’s why He did it.
Because He loves me with a love that I can never understand, He endured that awful Good Friday.
I was His reason. Because of His love for me He bowed His head, and gave.