Was Jesus Forced to Die on the Cross?

Most men and women do not want to meet their death. We desire to prolong our lives as long as possible with medicine and by living an active lifestyle. Hardly a murder victim has desired to lose their life. Even the murderer appeals his death sentence.

So… Was Jesus forced to die or did He choose to die?

To answer that question, read Matthew chapters 26 and 27 in the Bible and consider the following.

  1. Jesus prophesied that His arrest leading to death was soon coming, but He made no effort to leave Jerusalem to avoid it. See Matthew 26, verses 2, 11, 21, 23-25, 31, and 45.
  2. When hundreds of soldiers came to arrest Jesus, He had eleven of His twelve disciples with Him. Peter took out his sword to fight against these men, yet Jesus commanded him to put his sword back away. See Matthew 26, verses 51-52.
  3. Peter swung his sword once at a man’s head before Jesus told him to put his sword away ( Matthew 26:51). Malchus ducked, and Peter cut off only his ear. Jesus took the time, as He was being arrested, to heal his ear. See Luke 22:50-51.
  4. Not only did Jesus not want His disciples to fight against those who had come to arrest Him, but He also asked that they let His disciples go in safety since they were only interested in taking Him. Jesus did not resist His arrest in any way. See John 18, verses 7-8.
  5. He prayed that there might be another way for man’s sins to be forgiven because He did not want to drink of “the cup“ of suffering and death. Nevertheless, He was committed to what God the Father wanted. See Matthew 26, verses 39 and 42. There was no other way, so He accepted the shame and suffering of the cross so we could be saved from death in hell.
  6. As Jesus was brought to trial before the Jewish High Priest, He offered no defense to the outlandish accusations against Him. See Matthew 26, verses 59-63.
  7. Jesus was then sent to Pontius Pilate, the Roman governmental official who had legal authority to condemn men to death. As Jesus was vigorously accused by the Jewish religious leaders, He didn’t answer these charges before Pilate either. See Matthew 27, verses 12-14.
  8. Pilate, knowing Jesus was innocent, sought to release Jesus. Yet Jesus did not assist Pilate in this endeavor. See John 19, verses 7-12.
  9. Jesus knew He could have called more than fifty thousand angels to come and rescue Him from the cross, but He remained silent. See Matthew 26, verse 53.
  10. As He was dying on the cross, He asked God to forgive His murderers, “for they know not what they do.” See Luke 23, verse 34.

Jesus endured the shame and suffering of the crucifixion because of “the joy that was set before Him” (Hebrews 12:2). What joy could Jesus find in dying such a painful death? He knew that because of His death we could be saved from our sins and our sins’ punishment, which is the lake of fire. Peter tells us that because of Jesus’ being beaten with “stripes,” we can be healed (First Peter 2:24). As He went to the cross, He did so bearing “our sins in His own body on the tree.”

John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Jesus was not forced to die. Rather, He allowed man to kill Him because by His death we might have life – everlasting life with God in heaven! Jesus took the punishment you and I deserved for our sins.

If you would like to believe in Christ and have Him give you “everlasting life,” simply ask Him for it. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13). That’s God’s promise to you!

There are no special words to pray to be saved, as God will hear even a simple child’s prayer. More important than the words you speak, God sees your faith. If you believe it, you can receive it!

Here is a sample prayer to be saved:

Dear Jesus, I know I am a sinner and that You died for my sin. I ask you to take me to heaven and give me the gift of everlasting life. Thank you for loving me, dying for me, and saving me! Amen.

If you have asked Jesus to save you and take you to heaven, please let me know! I will be so happy to hear you are now on your way to heaven!

Mat. 26 verses
Mat. 26:2 Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.
Mat. 26:11 For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always.
Mat. 26:21 And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.
Mat. 26:23 And he answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me.
24 The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.
25 Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said.
Mat. 26:31 Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.
Mat. 26:45 Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
Matthew 26:51-52
Mat. 26:51 And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest's, and smote off his ear.
52 Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.
Matthew 26:51
Mat. 26:51 And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest's, and smote off his ear.
Luke 22:50-51
Luke 22:50 ¶ And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear.
51 And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him.
John 18:7-8
John 18:7 Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth.
8 Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way:
Mat. 26:39, 42
Mat. 26:39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
Mat. 26:42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.
Mat. 26:59-63
Mat. 26:59 Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death;
60 But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses,
61 And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.
62 And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?
63 But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.
Mat. 27:12-14
Mat. 27:12 And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing.
13 Then said Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee?
14 And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly.
John 19:7-12
John 19:7 The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.
8 ¶ When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid;
9 And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer.
10 Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?
11 Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.
12 And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar's friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.
Mat. 26:53
Mat. 26:53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?
Luke 23:34
Luke 23:34 ¶ Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
Hebrews 12:2
Heb. 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
1 Pet. 2:24
I Pet. 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
John 3:16
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Romans 10:13
Rom. 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.