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Theology > Jesus > Christ's Death > The Divine Necessity 


Regarding the death of Christ the Scriptures affirm that He was “delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God” (Acts 2:23), teaching us that it was impossible for the death of Christ not to have occurred. There was the Divine necessity.

The death of Christ was according to the purpose of God, the determined purpose of God; and the death was according to the foreknowledge of God, not just a knowledge that knows beforehand but a knowledge that knows beforehand because it has determined beforehand what will be. Other Scriptures confirm this Truth:

He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will” (Matt. 26:39, 42, 44; submission to God’s will);

Those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled (Acts 3:18; God foretold because He had determined);

For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done (Acts 4:27-28; Godd’s purpose determined before it happened what would happen; see: All Things);

He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you (I Pet. 1:20; to be foreordained is to be foreknown);

. . . the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8; slain in history because it was determined before history; see: Theistic Determinism).

The death of Christ was determined, therefore, it was predicted, meaning that it was revealed because it had been ordained. It was foretold by the prophets because God made it known to them. Their understanding of what they wrote may not have been complete, but, nevertheless, they wrote because of the Revelation that was given to them. It is instructive to note that the accuracy of their writing was not dependent upon their comprehension of what they wrote.

Those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled (Acts 3:18);

For those who dwell in Jerusalem and their rulers, because they did not know Him, nor even the voices of the Prophets which are read every Sabbath, have fulfilled them in condemning Him . . . now when they had fulfilled all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb (Acts 13:27, 29);

Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures (I Cor. 15:3);

Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you (I Pet. 1:10).

Jesus understood that His life and death were the fulfillment of numerous predictions revealed to the Prophets as they were inspired by the Spirit; He constantly made reference to the fact that He did what He did because of what had been written:

From that Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things (Matt. 16:21);

The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him (Mk. 14:21);

The Son of Man must suffer many things  . . . and be killed (Lu. 9:22);

And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself (Lu. 24:27);

These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me (Lu. 24:44).

God determined that Christ would die for the sins of the world—the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8)—and, therefore, He revealed what would be through the prophets of the Old Testament. The Divine necessity is true because of God’s determination and because of His prophecy.

being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God,
you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death.
Acts 2:23

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