Jesus Christ had to die on the cross, first and foremost, for himself. The experience of earthly travail is the gestation process for all the Sons of God. Jesus Christ had been conceived by God, both physically and spiritually. But he still had to grow up. It is the earthly experience of good and evil that transforms the sons of Adam into the Sons of God. Like you, Jesus needed to become an Overcomer, and to be made perfect through suffering. By his cross, Jesus Christ gained his own permanent perfection, and became the loving, limitless deity that he is today. Six aspects of his personal maturity are discussed below.
1. Jesus Gained The Knowledge Of Sin Just like Adam, Jesus Christ was physically made by God to be a sinless being. Not having an Adamic father, Jesus was born without the curses of Eden’s failure. Like Adam prior to the fall, Jesus was raised in sinless peace and obedience. He was filled with wisdom and goodness, and without guile. His mind was not at enmity against God. His spirit was not a slave to his physical desires. Jesus was the restoration of Edenic perfection. But the knowledge of good and evil is required for every Son of God; this is the purpose for the earthly experience. Thus Jesus needed to be betrayed, just as Adam was. In the garden of Eden, Adam was betrayed and fell into sin. So also, in the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus was betrayed and fell into sin. In Gethsemane, Jesus took upon himself all the sins of mankind. He accomplished this feat by willingly accepting the curses of Eden. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
The knowledge of good and evil originated in the mind of God, and Jesus required this personal knowledge for his own perfecting. And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil. Jesus needed to learn the ravages of sin, as certainly as you need to learn the excellence of righteousness. Jesus had to be made like unto you, just as you need to be made like unto him. Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren. God thus laid upon Jesus the same Edenic curses that you were born with. And as Jesus stated, this was to be accomplished at the end of his life. For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors.
When Jesus received the curses of Eden, he gained the knowledge of sin. But as the poison of Eden’s curse entered his being, he was also made worthy of death. For the wages of sin is death. Having acquired these curses in Gethsemane, Jesus Christ was dead in less than twenty four hours. His crucifixion was the payment required, for having gained the knowledge of sin. For in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
2. Jesus Learned Obedience.
By suffering in earthly travail, Jesus Christ learned obedience. I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. He willingly gave himself to pain and anguish, to prove his unalterable fealty to his Father. Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered. Obedience is demonstrated only by yielding yourself as a servant. To whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness. Jesus Christ learned obedience as he yielded himself to his Father’s superior wisdom, even to death on the cross. To refuse his crucifixion would have been disobedience. Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?
Obedience is the progenitor of trust in a relationship, and generating this trust is a requirement for those who seek to please God. By his death on the cross, Jesus demonstrated obedience and created an immutable bond of trust between himself and his Father. It was this obedient suffering, and the resultant intimacy of trust, that perfected his spirit. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
3. Jesus Became Agape-Love.
Jesus Christ died to become agape-love. Prior to his cross Jesus had wisdom and knowledge and did miraculous works. But these are not the evidence of agape-love. Though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity (agape), I am nothing. Spiritual power and works are no substitute for inner character, personal perfection, and the stunning presence of agape. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity (agape), it profiteth me nothing.
Agape-love is the substance of God’s character. God is love (agape). It is the essential essence of begotten spirit, the goal of spiritual maturity, and it is fashioned individually inside each person, by exposure to heartache, confusion, and pain. The recipe that transforms these afflictions into agape-love is a three step process. First you must accept these trials from God’s hand. Second, you must crucify your own will. And third, you must forgive. By these actions you will abandon your spirit to the wisdom of God and spark the birth of agape in you. Love (agape) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it, pays no attention to a suffered wrong. 1 Corinthians 13:5 (Amplified).
Jesus Christ needed to perfect this love within himself, and this he accomplished at his cross. At Gethsemane, Jesus set aside his own will and took upon himself the fallen nature of Adam. Not my will, but thine, be done. At his trial he acknowledged that his pain had come from the hand of his Father. Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above. At Calvary he forgave the iniquity of sin against him. Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. By these he abandoned his spirit to the wisdom of God. Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.
By this formula Jesus Christ became agape-love, and procured for himself the substance of deity. Greater love (agape) hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
4. Jesus Secured His Resurrection.
Jesus Christ died to obtain his own resurrection. It is absolutely impossible to be resurrected from the dead, if you have never died. Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die. Death is an essential prerequisite for resurrection. Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Since Jesus Christ was to become the door of resurrection for all mankind, it was necessary that he first experience resurrection for himself. This requirement necessitated his death. Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. Even the particular circumstances of his death were important. For by martyrdom, Jesus obtained a more magnificent resurrection. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection.
At his resurrection Jesus Christ entered into the fullness of Sonship. By resurrection he became the first spiritually begotten Son of God, in the fullest possible sense. In that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. By resurrection, Jesus also obtained the resplendent excellence of an endless life, for prior to Calvary’s cross, his life was not endless. Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
By his resurrection Jesus Christ was empowered to fill the heavens. Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things. By resurrection, Jesus gained his own exaltation and eternal preeminence. Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places.
All these things were achieved by his resurrection. And this resurrection was made possible by his death on the cross.
5. Jesus Perfected His Divine Right To Rule.
Jesus Christ died to perfect his divine right to rule the universe. It is only fitting that the commander of life should begin his rise to power from the humility of lowly creation. Jesus needed to personally experience the confusion, emptiness, and demise of created beings. By this personal experience in death, Jesus Christ was made worthy to take the throne of creation. Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. Had he not been slain, he would not have been worthy. Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain.The authority to rule the heavens is conveyed through the experience of Adamic death. Jesus Christ was the first to complete the earthly process that transforms the dead sons of Adam, into the living Sons of God. We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor.
This process of rising up through every level of creation is the preparation required for kings. By partaking of Adamic death, Jesus Christ justified his divine right of authority and obtained the helm of creation. For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.
6. Jesus Became An Overcomer.
It was by his cross that Jesus became an Overcomer. Overcome is the Greek word nikao, which means “to conquer; to carry off the victory.” By his cross, Jesus conquered betrayal and the carnal nature of man. By his resurrection he conquered death. As a warrior he carried off the victory, overcoming all things in the created realm. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive. Prior to Gethsemane, Jesus had very little to overcome. He endured no great stress in feeding the five thousand or walking on water. He was never moved by earthly events, or threatened by any difficulty. Instead he healed all the sick and slept through perilous storms.
The cross was the first time that Jesus Christ ever faced a challenge, and there he secured for himself the blessings reserved for the Overcomers. These blessings are the essence of Godlikeness. They are the laurels of victory, the medallions of the fullness of God. Consider Revelation 2:7 – 3:21.
To him that overcometh:
1. Will I give to eat of the tree of life.
2. Shall not be hurt of the second death.
3. Will I give to eat of the hidden manna.
4. Will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written.
5. Will I give power over the nations.
6. Shall be clothed in white raiment.
7. I will not blot out his name out of the book of life.
8. I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
9. Will I make a pillar in the temple of my God.
10. I will write upon him the name of my God.
11. I will write upon him my new name.
12. Will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
By his cross Jesus Christ became an Overcomer. If he had been denied this opportunity, he would never have procured these blessings for himself. All the Sons of God are matured by the same process. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world. This personal victory to Overcomer status was required for Jesus, as certainly as it is required for you. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
Crucifixion was pivotal to the maturity and perfection of Jesus Christ. By crucifixion Jesus gained the knowledge of sin, learned obedience, and became agape-love. By his cross he secured his resurrection, justified his right to rule, and became an Overcomer. God ordained Jesus to crucifixion so that he might obtain the effulgent glory of victory. This victory became a personal diadem for the new King of Kings. By the death and resurrection process, Jesus Christ became the glorious limitless deity that he is today. He humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow.