“Which none of the princes of this world knew; for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” (1 Cor. 2:8)
To the religious leaders in Jerusalem in the first century the messiah was merely a cheap “means to an end”…a useful deliverer to set the nation of Israel free from Roman political and military occupation. They could not see any value in a relationship with God through faith in Jesus the Christ leading to a journey of faith after the pattern of Abraham, Moses, David, and the other great men and women of faith in the Hebrew Bible (the Christian Old Testament).
These religious leaders were users of people…users of this world. They were experts at bending people to their will. In this mindset, they were incapable of an open, teachable, give-and-take personal relationship with God through a biblical-quality journey of faith. They did not want to know anything about Proverbs 3:5-6 or Jeremiah 31:31-34. Resistance to personal reformation, repentance, and change sadly blocked this out of their consciousness.
The new covenant Christian life is the diametric opposite of this mindset. We are not a “means to an end” for God. God is not “using” us in our journeys of faith. God-composed journey of faith life-scripts are designed to establish and solidify a personal relationship with God. Jesus said: “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
Jesus Christ offers deliverance in the deepest and fullest sense imaginable. Christianity and God-composed journeys of faith are all about radical change in the highest and best possible way.
Roman crucifixion is what the Pharisees, Sadducees, lawyers, and scribes in first-century Jerusalem thought of this concept of a biblical-quality walk of faith following Jesus Christ into personal and national deliverance. They were blinded by worldly horizontal thinking.
The rejection of Jesus the Son of God, based upon worldly perceptions and calculations, is factored into the equation of the cross (Isa. 53). God makes this rejection of a personal relationship with Him…condensed, focused, and intensified at the cross of Calvary…the portal through which salvation and eternal life comes to people of faith through Christ.
But the rejection of a personal relationship with God through a journey of faith…culminating in the cross…is not just one factor. It is the main component in the social, political, and religious reality that sends Jesus of Nazareth to a brutal and ignominious death on the cross.
Jesus encourages the disciples in John 16:33 by saying: “…be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” This forever places worldly conventional normalcy in the subordinate position it merits in relation to a God-composed journey of faith.
An old saying aptly applies here: “If we aim for nothing, we are sure to hit it.” Our new covenant Christian life is not a cheaply purchased, cheaply gained means to an end. The value to God of a joint-venture journey of faith with us is seen in the high purchase price of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ the Son of God.