The most important question of the twenty-first century is: Why did Jesus Christ come and die? The ultimate answer to the question, Who killed Jesus? is: God did.

It is a staggering thought. Jesus was his Son! But the whole message of the Bible leads to this conclusion. The prophet Isaiah, centuries before Christ, said: “It was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief” (Isaiah 53:10).

The Bible says: “God did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all” (Romans 8:32).

But how does this divine act relate to the horribly sinful actions of the men who killed Jesus? The answer given in the Bible is expressed in an early prayer:

“There were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus . . . both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place” (Acts 4:27-28).

The scope of this divine sovereignty takes our breath away. But it is also the key to our salvation. God planned it, and by the means of wicked men, he accomplished it. To paraphrase a word from the Jewish Torah: “They meant it for evil, but God meant it for good” (Genesis 50:20).

And since God meant it for good, we must look beyond human causes to the divine purpose. The central issue of Jesus’ death is not the cause, but the purpose—the meaning. Human beings may have their reasons for wanting Jesus out of the way. But only God can design it for the good of the world.

From: Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die – John Piper