Q: #138. How could God the Father let His Son Jesus die like that?
A: The key thing to understand in answering this is that while the Bible does say God the Father offered His Son to pay for our sins (Jn 3:16)(1 Jn 4:10)(2 Cor 5:21), it also says that Jesus FREELY gave His life for this purpose. He gave His life and shed His blood because of His great love for us.
In (Jn 15:13), Jesus tells us that the greatest act of love that one person can show for another is to lay down His life for that person. In (Jn 10:11), Jesus calls Himself the “good shepherd” who “giveth his life for the sheep (us).” A shepherd who is willing to give his life for his flock clearly has the choice to do this or not. Jesus goes on to tell us this in (Jn 10:18) saying, “No man taketh it (my life) from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have the power to lay it down, and I have the power to take it up again.”
It is also important to remember that while Jesus was fully man, He was also fully God. As God, He had the power to end His persecution and suffering at any time. Jesus gave us an example of this in (Mt 26:53-54) when He told Peter, “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? (54) But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?” The Old Testament was filled with prophesies of Jesus, and how He would be persecuted and die. If He had stopped it, the prophesies would not have been fulfilled. Jesus would never have allowed this to occur. In fact, (Rev 13:8) says Jesus (the Lamb) was “slain from the foundation of the world.” Jesus created ALL things (Jn 1:3)(Col 1:16)(Heb 1:10), and He created us, even though He knew before He did so, that He would later have to suffer and die on our behalf to pay for our sins.
There is a little story that is worth remembering in regards to this. A father lost his son in an accident, and prayed to God the Father, asking Him, “Why didn’t you stop this? Where were you?” And, he says he heard the Father reply, “The same place I was when My Son died.” There is no doubt that it was agonizing for God the Father to watch Jesus endure the sufferings and eventual death He did. However, when we realize that Jesus willingly did this, and could have stopped it at any time, it makes it a little easier to understand.
For more verses showing Jesus freely gave His life, See: (Jn 6:51)(Titus 2:14)(1 Tim 2:6)(1 Jn 3:16)(Heb 9:14)(Gal 1:4)(Gal 2:20)(Mt 20:28).