An Innocent Man

In the previous chapter, we observed how there was no credible testimony given to the leaders of Israel that should have permitted them to condemn Jesus to death. According to the law, two witnesses were required. The religious leaders of Israel, who were charged with conducting a fair and legal trial, could not find two witnesses who agreed on any charge against Jesus. Ignoring the law and instead; proceeding with a great travesty of justice, Jesus was crucified.

Isaiah writes in confirmation of David’s prophecy from the previous chapter, that when the Messiah is condemned to die, He will be innocent.

Isaiah 53:9b And they made His grave with the wicked— But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.

New Testament Fulfillment:

2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us…

1 Peter 2:22 “Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”

Mark 15:3-5 And the chief priests accused Him of many things, but He answered nothing. Then Pilate asked Him again, saying, “Do You answer nothing? See how many things they testify against You!” But Jesus still answered nothing, so that Pilate marveled.

Jesus had Done No Wrong

Here, Peter quotes Isaiah 53:9b in confirmation that Jesus—as the Messiah—fulfilled the words of Isaiah’s prophecy.

How could a good and innocent man, who had done no wrong throughout His entire life, be condemned to die by crucifixion? The extraordinary circumstances that surrounded the arrest, trial, and condemnation of Jesus—which resulted in His death; make no sense. It was well known by all that Jesus was a good, honorable, and Holy man who had never sinned. The fact that He could be sentenced to death, demands that the origin of these evil deeds is none other than, satan himself. In Jesus’ death, there were three forces at work:

Satan, who earnestly sought Jesus’ death.
Men, who hated Jesus and wanted His death.
God, who planned the death of His Son to save the world.

There were also three outcomes that each of the above believed had happened when Jesus died.

1. Satan felt that he had stopped God’s plan of salvation.
2. Men believed that they had prevented Jesus from being accepted by the people.
3. God, who ordained Jesus to die for the sins of the world, understood that His death and resurrection, had accomplished this desire.

In many of the events that occur throughout the course of human history, men and satan often believe that they have won certain battles against God. The lesson that we learn from reading the Bible is that all of the supposed victories that men and satan think they have won were really planned, orchestrated, and carried out—according to the purposes and foreknowledge of God.

Peter, who stood before the people of Israel on the day of Pentecost and spoke of the facts of Jesus’ death and resurrection, told them that the Lord was killed by the lawless hands of men but allowed by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God.

Acts 2:22-24 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know—23 Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; 24 whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.”

Isaiah writes that when the Messiah arrives on earth, evil men will put Him to death—even though He is completely innocent. This prophecy was written over 700 years before Jesus was born. Even this far in advance, God had determined for His Son that He should die in our place. The shocking truth is that long before Isaiah described this event, God wrote that His intention for Jesus, to die for us; was actually an eternal plan.

Jesus is spoken of as the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. The obvious meaning of this verse is that Jesus was offered for our sins even before God created the universe or the first man. God knows all things. He knew before He made each one of us that we would rebel against Him, and that we would need a Savior. The love, care, and knowledge of God for you in your life, is without limits. He has loved you even before He created anything else in the universe. When He created the world, He did so with all of us in mind. He knew that we would require His help, or we would be lost forever. It has always been His intention to give us the opportunity to live together with Him in the perfection of Heaven. For this reason, God conceived this solitary method of saving us all—through His own dear Son.

Jesus was prophesied to suffer and die, though He had never committed any wrong. He endured the pain of His crucifixion, beating, and death because He was paying for our sins, not His own. It is truly incredible that Isaiah could accurately describe these facts, hundreds of years before they took place.

It is apparent that there was a plan in operation by God, even before the beginning of the material universe. His strategy was hidden beneath the schemes of evil men who wanted to put the Son of God to death. It would have been highly unusual for a good man, with no record of wrong throughout his entire life, to be expeditiously convicted of crimes to which there was absolutely no evidence, and then crucified within 24 hours of that unjust conviction.

See: the chapter: Six Illegal Trials

To the diligent observer, the circumstance of Jesus’ life appear odd and out of place. If a person was attempting to contrive a story that would sell people on the new religion of Christianity, the reasons that are given for crucifying Jesus would not attract anyone to Him. An innocent man dying for crimes He did not commit is not reason enough for someone to commit his entire life to Jesus Christ. It is upon an examination of the Old Testament prophecies which foretold that this would happen, which makes us sit up and take notice that this story is not only extraordinary, but clearly set about by God so that we might believe.

Jesus not only died for crimes that He had not committed, three days later He rose from the dead; an event that has never happened before in the history of the world, nor since that time. Now, that is a great reason to take notice.