The other day I went to witness to a guy that the Lord laid on my heart to go talk to about Jesus. When I finally got the chance I told him I have a message for you. His looked at me in total seriousness and I said Jesus told me to tell you He loves you and He died for your sins on the cross. This fella started laughing when I got to the part about the cross and replied â€śnah, I think if He had any choice He would have put me up there instead. Hey can you do me a favor and hang here over the weekend!â€ť It certainly caught me off guard because that was the first time that I have ever gotten that response, usually it is â€śI don't believe thatâ€ť or something to that effect. I tried to tell him that Jesus did have a choice but he was just to busy.
So did Jesus have a choice? After all wasn't it the plan before there was even a concept of creating a world full of people as Paul said in Ephesians 1:4 â€śAccording as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the worldâ€ť? That before time even began He was already predestined to die? The very first time we see Him having a clear choice about dying for us is in Genesis 1:26 where He said â€śLet us make man in our own imageâ€ť. He wasn't speaking to the angels there this was an agreement between God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. He could have made this world and left out the very people who would betray Him, but He didn't. In the garden after the fall we see in Genesis 3:8 â€śAnd they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the dayâ€ť Jesus didn't come walking in there (and yes that is Him listed solely as the voice of God, 1:3) in the heat of the moment, right after Adam and Eve ate that fruit. At that point He had every right to be angry and to kill them then and there, but instead He 'waited' till what we would call a cooled off period of time and then went to them. It wasn't that He had to cool off or calm down He simply demonstrated His love and choice by waiting and thus set an example for us not to react in the heat of the moment. Time and time again God showed He had the choice. The famous temptation scene found in both Matthew 4 and Luke 4 have Satan trying to get Jesus to chose to walk away from His mission. While Satan may not have known how salvation would be accomplished he knew Jesus had come for that very purpose and he had to stop him. In fact the very last of the recorded temptations (Luke says this incident occurred after forty days of temptation) Satan's was basically, fall down and worship me and you won't have to do whatever it is you plan on doing because I will give you everything on this planet. Satan was offering what he did not possess, at a cut rate price because it meant nothing. Had Jesus taken that deal it basically would have been for only the existing generation to be okay with Satan, but still end up dying and going to Hell, all those who died in faith end up being transferred to Hell from paradise and all future generations would die and go to Hell all so Jesus wouldn't have to endure the cross and the shame and suffering involved with it. In the other garden where Jesus lead the disciples to pray, Judas came along to betray Him with a kiss a simple sign to show the soldiers here at night which one of these unassuming Jews was the man they were seeking. That was because Jesus didn't really stand out from the crowd with His appearance. John 18 tells us that twice Jesus had to ask who these men were seeking and twice He had to tell them I am the one you are after. A kiss and twice flat out telling them I am the one you are looking for to arrest, put on trial, condemn, and hang on the cross to die. That my friends sounds like a pretty big choice to me. To put emphasis on it would be to add that He told Peter in Matthew 26:53 that if he wanted to He could ask for help from God the Father and He would instantly send twelve legions of angels to defend Him, but that wasn't the choice He was making.
I'm glad He had the choice to give me a choice because if God the Father made God the Son go and die without a choice then I would have to question if He really loved me or just did what He was told. Not only that, I'm even happier still that He chose to die on that cross so that I could have the choice. It proved that, yes Jesus does love me and you. Before we are saved by His grace we cannot truly love Him but once we are saved we can grow more in love with Him every day. One way we can show that love is by going to those who don't love Him and telling them He had a choice.