God and Free Will
(Part 3 of 3-part Study)
God and free will go together almost like God and love. Why would God allow the crucifixion to occur on a different date (Nisan 15) than that prefigured in the ceremonial service (Nisan 14)? Did that have anything to do with the free will of man? Consistent with the main point of this study, God did not force the will of man to follow His plan (more on this shortly). As pointed out earlier in this 3-part series, Jesus should have died on
Nisan 14 (part 2).
But God allowed man's will to be carried out in the sacrifice of Jesus. The method of sacrifice also was according to the will of man, using a form of execution invented by the Romans. Don't think for a moment that God came up with that! The crucifixion showed what was in the heart of man. The Bible describes man's heart:
"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jer 17:9)
"For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders," (Mark 7:21)
Man's heart was and is, so desperately wicked that it could go so far as to murder his Creator. The same circumstances showed what was in the heart of God. And free will for His created beings is a big part of that. God's thoughts toward us were described by Jeremiah:
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." (Jer 29:11)
The Lake of Fire and Brimstone
to see the surprising way in which God will finally deal with lost sinners including those who actually killed His Son.)
From the people's perspective, Jesus also died for the wrong reason. He died to remove the guilt of the people's sins yet they were claiming the responsibility for His death ("... His blood be on us ..." Matt 27:25) because they thought He had sinned.
God had a plan for how things should happen. In fact, it seems that plan was set long ago:
"... the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." (Rev 13:8)
While God had a plan A, He did not force His agenda on man. Rather, He allowed man to exercise his free will and do what was in his heart toward God's Son for this period of time. The result, in summary, was that Jesus was sacrificed:
Man did not accept God's plan A and instead shamefully sacrificed God's Son on the wrong day, in the wrong place, in the wrong way and for the wrong reason. How far God is willing to go to allow man to exercise his free will! And yet the result is still the same as in Plan A - His blood is still on us and our children - not for guilt but for our forgiveness - if we will accept it. God's eternal purposes never fail.
- On the wrong day - it should have been on Nisan 14, a day earlier
- In the wrong place - it should have been at the altar of sacrifice in the temple
- In the wrong way - it should have been by the method used for centuries for Passover lambs and all other sacrificial animals
- For the wrong reason - (from the people's perspective) it should have been in acknowledgment of our need for a substitute and acceptance that "... God will provide himself a lamb ..." (Gen 22:8)