When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left.Luke 23:33 NIV
During the three years that Jesus had taught in Judea and Galilee, the Jewish religious leadership had become increasingly antagonistic toward him. He was not ‘one of them’, and was becoming increasingly popular, threatening their position of authority. And it was not uncommon for him to paint a picture of them that was not not favorable. Something had to be done before they lost their place of influence in the nation.
Putting Jesus to death would seem to solve their problem with him. But they had to do it in a way that would discredit Jesus, and convince the Romans to carry out the deed. Accusing him of blasphemy would turn public opinion against him. While charging him with subversion would turn the Roman government against him. And they were successful. Jesus was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death on a cross.
From the perspective of the Jewish leadership, Jesus’ crucifixion solved their problem. Or at least they thought it had. But Jesus’ crucifixion actually solved a much bigger problem; the problem of sin. My sin had separated me from God. But Jesus’ substitutionary death on the cross, taking my place, reconciled me with God. Because of the cross, I am able to experience life in Christ. Not just now, but for all of eternity.