Nathanael was surprised when Jesus revealed that he knew who he was without seeing him. Jesus basically told him, “That was nothing, Nathanael, just wait.” Nathanael did. In the next three years, he saw things that were unbelievable. The blind were given sight, the crippled walked, demons were cast out and the dead were raised. Eventually, he would see the greatest feat imaginable.
Of all the unbelievable things that Jesus did the most unbelievable was to die on the cross for the sins of every human being who ever lived or will live on planet earth. No one, not even the angels expected this to happen. Jesus told the disciples that it would but they said, “Not so, Lord”, and closed their ears to the possibility. They just couldn’t imagine it. They couldn’t see it…couldn’t hear of it…and certainly couldn’t imagine it.
Jewish leaders, Roman leaders, evils spirit leaders all saw his death as an end of his preaching and teaching but they missed the real reason for the cross. Jesus was destined to die on the tree just because the plan called for his death. This would mean that he was no different than any other man who walked the earth and his death would accomplish nothing more than any other human’s death.
Jesus died a sacrificial death. He died not for his own sins but for ours. His death was the means by which God’s justice was satisfied. Jesus’s death was the key to overcoming the world. For the Devil, this was the worse possible thing that could happen and yet he was instrumental in sending Jesus to that cross. Paul explains it to the Corinthians.
1 Cor 2:6-9
Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away; but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; but just as it is written,
“THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD,
AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN,
ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.”
Of all the great things Nathaniel might have seen nothing compared with the dying Son of God burdened with the sins of the world. Those nails not only held Jesus to the cross they held the sins of humanity there as well. When they took Jesus down, they left the sins there. No one saw, heard, or thought that this is what God would do for us, but he did.
We are the beneficiaries of the greatest miracle of all, God took our sins to the cross.