For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”
When Jesus died, it was because he chose to die. He was not killed or murdered. He consciously chose for his earthly life to end. The only reason anyone was able to do anything to Jesus was because it was granted to them AND took place because God ordained it. Jesus was not hanging on to life by a thread when he died, no… he was in full control of his mind, soul, spirit, and body. When God’s wrath was inflicted on Jesus for those who believed was complete, the following took place as recorded in John 19:30…
When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
“It is finished” meant he had paid the eternal punishment required to provide salvation for all who would believe. THEN, and only then, he “gave up” his spirit.
The Romans didn’t end Jesus’ life through their torture, no… he “GAVE UP” his spirit. Every step of the salvation process was a conscious choice made by Jesus. He chose not to stop Judas from betraying him. He chose to allow himself to be arrested. He chose NOT to call ten thousand angels to deliver him. He chose to submit to the “authority” of Pilate to sentence him to death. And Jesus chose the hour, minute, and second that he would die.
That means Jesus CHOSE to love everyone who believes. Jesus CHOSE to be eternally punished for three hours on the cross. Jesus CHOSE to give his life in exchange for your forgiveness. Jesus CHOSE to rise from the dead on Sunday. Jesus CHOSE to ascend to heaven. And one day he will CHOOSE to return and gather all who believe to live and reign with him in heaven… FOREVER.
By the way, when Jesus gave up his life, he went to heaven. He didn’t stay in the tomb… he didn’t visit hell either. I say that because of what is written in to places…
Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father (Jn 13:1. NIV).
And (Jesus) said to (the thief), “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Lk 23:43, ESV).