Long before the cross was even an instrument of torture and death there was prophecy concerning a certain death by crucifixion:
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:3-6)
Though the reason and purpose of this death may be obscured by certain scholars and theologians, Isaiah clearly explains its purpose. This is the Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world.
Long before anyone had experienced this torturous death we have a perfect description of what it might be like. Not only that but we are given a picture of certain events that foretell a very specific crucifixion:
I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are disjointed;
my heart is like wax,
melting within me.
My strength is dried up like baked clay;
my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.
You put me into the dust of death.
For dogs have surrounded me;
a gang of evildoers has closed in on me;
they pierced my hands and my feet.
I can count all my bones;
people look and stare at me.
They divided my garments among themselves,
and they cast lots for my clothing. (Psalm 22:14-18)
How do we respond to all of this? In the face of so great a sacrifice on our behalf what are we to do?
Therefore, brothers, since we have boldness to enter the sanctuary through the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that He has inaugurated for us, through the curtain (that is, His flesh); and since we have a great high priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water. (Hebrews 10:19-23)
The finality of Jesus’ earthly ministry is assured. He was obedient to the Father, even to death on a cross:
Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (John 19:28-30)
Our earthly ministry still remains. It is a time to draw near to God otherwise Christ’s sacrifice for us was in vain.
For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.
For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them. (2 Peter 2:20-21)