Rick Warren Answers: Why Didn't Jesus Defend Himself Before His Death?

Rick Warren
Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren participates in a panel discussion during the Clinton Global Initiative in New York September 26, 2008. |

Ahead of Easter Sunday next week, evangelical pastor Rick Warren took to his blog to answer the question: "Why didn't Jesus defend himself" before his crucifixion, death and resurrection?

Warren, who founded Saddleback Church in Orange County, California, wrote in a March 18 post that the most important thing to remember about the Easter season is that Jesus was who he claimed to be: the Savior, and that his death "was all part of the plan."

"[Jesus] was God in the flesh, and he came to Earth to save us," Warren writes.

On the night before his crucifixion, Jesus went through six trials, Warren explains, having to appear before Annas, Caiaphas, the Sanhedrin, Pilate, Herod, and then Pilate again.

During all of these trials, no one could find an actual crime to charge Jesus with, the pastor continues, and ultimately he was charged with claiming to be God's son.

The megachurch pastor says that during all of these trials and false accusations, Jesus could have stopped the proceedings, but he didn't because he knew he had to follow through with the plan of his death, crucifixion and resurrection.

"He allowed himself to be put on trial so there would be no doubt about who he was. He could have stopped the trial at any moment; he knew he would be proven guilty and put on the cross. But he allowed it to happen. It was all part of the plan," Warren writes.

Warren has discussed the importance behind Jesus' trial, death and resurrection on his previous blog, writing in May 2014 that Jesus had to die for us to save us from our sins.

"Easter celebrates an event that proved Jesus was who He claimed to be. He was God in the flesh, and He came to earth to save us. And that meant He had to die for us," Warren writes in the post.

The evangelical leader goes on to cite 1 Peter 3:18 NIV, which states: "For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God."

"Why did Jesus have to die? Because He alone was able to pay for your sins. You deserved punishment, but Jesus paid the penalty for you," Warren adds.

Other megachurch pastors have also spoken on the importance of Easter, especially for the evangelical church as it provides a good opportunity to bring new people to Christ.

Perry Noble, who oversees NewSpring Church in Anderson, South Carolina, wrote in a 2014 post that ahead of Easter Sunday, Christians must remember to "A.S.K."

By this, Noble means that Christians must "Accept the fact that God really does want to save people! […] Seek opportunities in existing relationships [and] Keep on trying" when practicing evangelism.

"Take a minute or two to literally stop and ask God WHO you need to bring with you to an Easter service. And if The Lord puts someone on your heart, then do whatever it takes to get them here. That person on your mind is no accident. That's the Holy Spirit speaking to you," Noble encourages in the May 2014 post.

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