Jesus’ death was not a tragic accident. Jesus’ death was not like the suicide bomber whose vest accidentally explodes. It was not the case, as many think, “If only Jesus had lived longer, imagine how much more good he could have done.” It was not the case that Jesus found himself caught up in circumstances beyond his control that unfortunately lead to his premature death.
The New Testament says that Jesus died at exactly the right time (Galatians 4:4) according to the definite plan of God (Acts 2:23).
Mel Gibson’s movie Passion of the Christ came out in 2004. It was a phenomenal box office success and confounded industry experts. It was one of the fastest money-making movies at the time, only Spiderman and Lord of Rings: Return of King grossed more money. Hollywood has realized that there is market for so-called Christian films – which may be a good or bad thing.
The Passion of the Christ movie again fuelled the big debate: Who killed Jesus? Who was responsible for Jesus’ death and does it actually matter?
This past Friday was especially good. We remembered specifically Jesus’ death to secure our ultimate good. For the first time ever I preached from the book of Leviticus in the Old Testament. What was I smoking you may ask? What drew me to Leviticus was the recent popular denial of Jesus’ death as a sacrifice to appease the wrath of God. Jesus is seen as an enlightened teacher from the realm of light, or a good moral example for our children to follow or even the ultimate chinese ying-yang who restores balance to the universe.