The Consequences of Free Will


By GF Herrin

     Jesus stood before the soldiers in His mock purple robe. Purple was the color of royalty but these soldiers had put it on him in an effort to castigate Him. These Gentiles didn’t know that He was the King of all Creation, the One who breathed life into existence. They had no idea that all things were created through Him and for Him and held together by Him (Coll. 1:17). If they had, how could they have done this?

“Then the soldiers led Him away into the hall called Praetorium, and they called together the whole garrison. And they clothed Him with purple; and they twisted a crown of thorns, put it on His head, and began to salute Him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” Then they struck Him on the head with a reed and spat on Him; and bowing the knee, they worshiped Him. And when they had mocked Him, they took the purple off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him out to crucify Him” (Mark 15:16-20).

“Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand” (Isaiah 53:10).

Why had He allowed them to do this to Him? After all, if He so desired, He could have struck them down at any minute or commanded His Angels to do so. Why endure it? The peasant clothes, the birth in an animal stable, the announcements delivered to the lowest of the low, the Shepherds? Why the plunge into obscurity, poverty, anonymity and ultimately torture on the cross? Why give up His Heavenly crown and become essentially a bondservant to man (Phil. 2:6-8)?

It comes down to choices. He chose this servant’s path because Adam (and men and women) chose the wrong path so long ago. God did not create us to mindlessly follow His commandments. Nor was it part of His plan for us to thoughtlessly put our trust in Him. Don’t get me wrong. There are steerings and nudgings and ways He reveals Himself and leads us to come to Him. But, whether you are a five point Calvinist or 100% Aremenian, you cannot deny that you have free will to make the choices you want to make in this life with regard to following Jesus or not. Mindless Robots are not His style. He equipped Adam and Eve with the ability to apply reason so that they could conclude for themselves what is good. God so loved the world (you and me) that He gave us the freedom to choose Him or not.

That choice or free will that we have been given has come with a price to Him, though. The consequences of giving us free will, were pain and suffering to Jesus Christ. When Adam and Eve chose rebellion instead of obedience, they brought the corruption of sin into the world.

Roman 5:12- 13 says, “we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.“

God is holy, righteous, and just. As sinful creatures we cannot be in His presence unless we have  had our sins removed. The only way for sin to be removed or cleansed from us individually is by sacrificial atonement. Jesus, perfect and sinless in every way, sacrificially died as payment for our sins by being crucified. Robert Morris astutely pointed out recently that Jesus traded His Heavenly crown for our crown of thorns. He gave up all He had, including His life, to willingly bear our ugly sinful crown with all of its thorns.

His Death was essentially the consequence of our free will.