Was the Crucifixion a Mistake?

The following is excerpted from Bill Rudge's book, "Who Is This Jesus?" 

The raising of Lazarus from the dead and numerous other miracles Jesus performed created a high intensity of expectation among the multitudes. The Jewish people were eager for the Messiah to defeat the Romans and restore Israel to its former glory under King David.

As Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, fulfilling Zechariah 9:9, the people welcomed Him with shouts of Hosanna, and the words of messianic Psalm 118:26, "Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord." Spreading their cloaks on the road was an act of royal homage (2 Kings 9:12,13).

Less than a week after the triumphal entry, many of this same multitude were shouting for Him to be crucified. Why? What happened? They didn't understand that it was God's plan for the Messiah to die during His first coming (Romans 11:25,26). Therefore, they rejected Him and called for His death.

Numerous Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) foretold the suffering, death, and resurrection of the Messiah (Isaiah 53:5-12; Psalm 22:16; Zechariah 12:10; Psalm 16:10). Nevertheless, the Jewish leaders, as well as Jesus' disciples, could not understand that God's purpose was for the Messiah to die first as a sacrifice for the sins of the world. A. B. Bruce stated, "...a crucified Christ was a scandal and a contradiction...."

Jesus repeatedly told His disciples He must suffer, die, and on the third day rise again (Luke 18:31-33), but they were confused and did not comprehend what He meant (Luke 18:34; Mark 9:9,10, 31,32).

New Testament scholar, Dr. George Eldon Ladd, writes:

This is also why his disciples forsook him when he was taken captive. Their minds were so completely imbued with the idea of a conquering Messiah whose role it was to subdue his enemies that when they saw him broken and bleeding under the scourging, a helpless prisoner in the hands of Pilate, and when they saw him led away, nailed to a cross to die as a common criminal, all their messianic hopes for Jesus were shattered.

Peter actually began to rebuke Jesus for stating that He must suffer, be rejected, killed, and rise again after three days (Mark 8:31,32). But Jesus rebuked Peter and said —

Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God's interests, but man's. (Mark 8:33)

The animal sacrifices in the Hebrew Scriptures were a foreshadow of the death of the Messiah. Hebrews 9:22 says,

"...without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness."

Whereas the animal sacrifices were regular occurrences, Messiah's sacrificial death was,

"once...to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself." (Hebrews 9:26)

The crucifixion of Jesus Christ was no mistake. It had been determined before the creation of the world. The Hebrew Scriptures foretold this mystery of God which was meticulously fulfilled in Jesus Christ and majestically proclaimed to both Jews and Gentiles. God's ultimate sacrifice is undeniable proof of His amazing and incomprehensible love for us.