Q: I’ve never understood why Jesus didn’t go into hiding once he realized his enemies were out to kill him. Instead he deliberately stayed out in full public view and let himself be arrested and condemned. Why would anyone do that? — W.R.
A: Jesus refused to flee from his enemies and save his life for one reason: He knew that God had sent him into the world to become the final sacrifice for our sins through his death for us. He warned his disciples, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise” (Mark 9:31).
Jesus knew, however, that his death must take place only when God had planned it, and until then he evaded those who wanted to kill him. Early in his ministry, for example, Jesus came to the town of Nazareth, where he had grown up. When he claimed to be the promised Messiah, the people grew angry and tried to throw him over a cliff. Miraculously he escaped, however; it was not God’s time for him to die. “But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way” (Luke 4:30).
What if Jesus had done as you suggested? What if he had fled from his enemies and withdrawn from any contact with people? Then he never would have gone to the cross, and you and I would have no hope of salvation.
But we do have hope because on the cross all our sins were transferred to Christ, and he took upon himself the judgment that we deserve. As you approach this Easter season, thank Jesus for his love for you — a love so deep that he was willing to give his life for you. Have you responded by giving your life to him?
Write to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201 or go to BillyGraham.org.