I don’t mean, did the malefactors deserve crucifxion, but the centerpiece on Skull Hill? Did Jesus deserve crucifixion? According to Leviticus, he did.
Lepers were to stay away from people calling out, “unclean, unclean.” Yet, a leper came to Jesus asking to be healed. Instead of rebuking him, Jesus stretched out his hand and healed him. Now Jesus was unclean. Jesus entered Peter’s house and touched Peter’s mother-in-law healing her. Nowhere do we read that he cleansed himself of the uncleanness he had contracted. On the way to Jairus home to visit his sick daughter, a woman with a twelve- year blood discharge touched him and she was healed. At Jairus’ house, he took the dead girl’s hand and she was brought back to life. He walked too far on the Sabbath, healed on the Sabbath, picked grain on the Sabbath.
God (and Jesus was God) set down a variety of laws in Leviticus. God tells them that if they obey his commands their crops will receive needed rain and there will be peace. But if they are disobedient they will be cursed. God would terrorize them with disease and fever, blindness and depression. Crops will fail. Their enemies would harass them.
Here was Jesus, threatening the very peace, security and health of the nation. To top it all off he was forgiving sins. Yes, he deserved death just as Caiaphas advised, “It is better for one man to die for the people than for the whole nation to be destroyed.”
So, it happened. Jesus took upon himself all uncleanness, sinful lawbreaking, disease, demon possessions and death. One man died for the people that the nation of God would not be destroyed but live. In baptism, we are joined to God’s people washed clean, given life which ultimately outlives all the causes of death.