Being a Christian, I am attuned to jokes at the expense of Christianity. One of the things that I would regularly hear is, “Aren’t you glad that your God didn’t die in an electric chair? Otherwise you’d have a symbol of an electric chair around your neck, eh?”.
Whilst perhaps it is a harmless joke, but it got me thinking. Of all the methods of cruelty, why the Cross? Of all the periods of human history, why did God choose to send His son to die around 30-33 CE. Why not now? Why wasn’t He born during the 1800s? Or 1950s?
The answer came during moments of contemplation – that if I believe that nothing is ever truly random in this world and that nothing is of pure coincidence, God must have planned it well so that Jesus would be crucified.
What would an electric chair, a gun, a noose, a lethal injection, a guillotine, a sword, bow and arrow, or any other methods of killing symbolise other than death itself? Surely God chose the Cross so that it would serve as a symbol and as a reminder. He also chose the period where it was so commonly used as the most degrading and humiliating method of painful, punishment and death, in line with what was prophesied in the Old Testament.
Another part of the answer also came when I listened to Kari Jobe’s song What Love is This. The song is a beautiful song about God’s unchanging love. It has this line that has haunted me ever since, “And standing here beneath the shadow of The Cross, I’m overwhelmed that I keep finding open arms”. This is another part of the answer why He sacrificed His son on the cross – not through drowning, burning, poisoning, and not even the electric chair. Of course, other academics and Biblical scholars can probably give a much accurate or philosophical answers. However, this is the answer that I grab wholeheartedly.
Jesus could have saved himself, jumped down from the Cross or saved himself from punishment, with or without any help from the angels. Jesus could have escaped this plan of salvation – but what would it serve? He wasn’t sent here to save himself – he voluntarily came to die on the Cross.
He keeps His arms open to welcome me, even when I feel unworthy and dirty.
When I feel like a failure, falling to keep up with my commitments and promises.
When I keep on making mistakes and knowingly hurt God in being disobedient.
When I just don’t know how to move forward and where to go.
He says that He has paid it all and that it is finished.
And I keep finding open arms.