…God chose His children before the foundations of the earth were ever formed.
…we are God’s own possession, chosen for the praise of His glory, and that we have an inheritance in heaven with Him as His children.
Jesus grew up. The Bible says He grew in size; He grew in wisdom (learning); He grew pleasing to God and pleasing to men. (You, too, can grow up in these four ways if you choose to do so.) When He was 30 years old He began to teach, but not everyone listened to Him. Not everyone believed. Many liked the miracles He did, special things that only God could do.
Even one of His disciples did not believe, and when he had a chance Judas agreed to sell Jesus to His enemies for 30 pieces of silver! Judas was unbelieving. Judas pointed out Jesus to His enemies, and they came with swords and clubs and torches to take Jesus away. What had He done? Why were they treating Him like a criminal? He had only taught the Truth, but these men were not believing. They hated the truth. They hated the Lord Jesus. In their hearts they hated God though they thought they were loving Him.
They led Jesus to Pontius Pilate. They falsely accused Him, telling lies, saying He was worthy to die, but they could not prove a word they spoke. Jesus had done no wrong. He was the perfect Son of God. Pilate knew this for he said, "I find no fault in this man." But the angry mob was not satisfied. Pilate sent Jesus to another ruler, King Herod. Herod wanted to see Jesus do miracles. He wanted to be entertained, but Jesus would do nothing for Herod because Herod was unbelieving. The unbelieving soldiers began to mock Jesus. They made fun of Him. They kicked Him and spit on Him. They punched Him with their fists. They hit Him with sticks. They dressed Him in an old kingly robe. They put a crown of thorns on His head. They pretended to worship Him, but they were unbelieving. They would not believe God's record concerning His Son. Herod sent Jesus back to Pilate.
Pilate was afraid, afraid to do what he knew was right. He knew Jesus had done no wrong. He knew he should let Him go, but the crowd kept crying "Crucify Him, Crucify Him. If you don't, you are no friend of Caesar. Jesus is no king. Caesar is the only king."
Pilate ordered Jesus to be whipped. The soldiers whipped His back to shreds. Still, the unbelieving mob was not satisfied. "Crucify Him, Crucify Him," they cried. Finally Pilate gave in.
They led Jesus away to a hill called Calvary. There they drove nails through His hands and through His feet. Jesus had made the wood of the cross. Jesus had made the nails. Jesus had created those soldiers. Jesus had created the whole world, but the world knew Him not, believed Him not. They nailed Him to a cross between two thieves. One thief said: "If you are the Son of God, save yourself and us too." He was unbelieving. The other thief believed. He said, "Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom." Jesus said to this believing one, "Today you will be with Me in Paradise!" This thief believed that Jesus was the Son of God. He believed Jesus was a just man. He believed Jesus would rise again. He believed God's report about His Son.
How about you? "Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures… He was buried, and… He rose again the third day according to the scriptures"
1 Corinthians 15:3-4. Have you received Him into your life, trusting Him as your only God and Savior from sin? "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name" John 1:12.
—Excerpts from “Jesus is Crucified”, Children's Bible Ministry