The horror of Roman crucifixion defied imagination, the intent being to bring supreme shame and excruciating suffering to the condemned malefactor. So, precisely as intended by his accusers, and according to divine purpose, Jesus, falsely accused and convicted, laid down his life to tortuous execution.
Isaiah describes the scene:
…many were appalled at him. His appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness. (Isaiah 52:14)
The crucifixion of Jesus appeared a horrible miscarriage of justice, the shameful waste of a young man’s life, but in reality was the cosmic coup. That single event, lynchpin of human history, brought about the disillusion of all the kingdoms of the world.
Understanding this, Paul declares, I will glory (boast) in the Cross. In 1 Corinthians 2:8, he further explains, None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory. The plan to get rid of the annoying Palestinian prophet, Jesus of Nazareth, accomplished the exact opposite, the cosmic coup. The horror of the cross brought about the hallelujah of heaven.
C.S. Lewis calls it the deeper magic in his classic The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. The death of the innocent for the guilty, the substitutionary death of God changes everything. That single act of sacrifice: took our pain, bore our suffering, pardoned our transgressions, took our deserved judgment.
God accepted the sin offering and death had no authority over Jesus. He rose from death. Because God made him the offering for our sins, he is highly exalted above everything in heaven and earth. His name is THE NAME with all authority commanding all obeisance. (Isaiah 53, Philippians 2)
Robert Lowery, 1874
He wears the victor’s crown!
Hallelujah, He is Risen!
The Lord is Risen Indeed!
Shine the light; defeat the dark