Even Jesus had to walk it on his own, which is the only meaning of God “requiring” his death of him. Jesus calls this goal the “destiny” of the “Human One” (Mark 8:31), and he seems to know that he is a stand-in for all of us (Mark 10:39)—much more than he ever walks around saying, “I am God”! The only person Jesus ever calls a “devil” is Peter when he, the so-called “infallible” first pope, tries to oppose Jesus’ central message of death and resurrection (Matthew 16:23).
He recognized that he had been chosen by God even “while breathing murderous threats” (Acts 9:1), and that the God who chose him was a crucified God and not an “Omnipotent” or an “Almighty” God. In fact, Paul only uses the word “Almighty” for God once (2 Corinthians 6:18), and then he is quoting the Hebrew Scriptures. This is quite significant considering his tradition and training. Paul’s image of God was instead someone crucified outside the city walls in the way a slave might be killed, and not of a God appearing on heavenly clouds. Christ was not the strong, powerful, military Messiah that the Jews had been waiting for throughout their history. He was in fact quite the opposite. This was Jesus’ great revelation, surprise, and a scandal that we have still not comprehended. God is not what we thought God could or should be!.. Only vulnerability allows all change, growth, and transformation to happen–even in God.Paul, like few others, read his own tradition honestly and recognized that Yahweh consistently chose the weak to confound the strong (1 Corinthians 1:17-31)... Only later does Paul have the courage to confront Peter and James in Jerusalem (Galatians 1:16-21), and then a full fourteen years later he tells Peter “to his face” that Peter is wrong (2:11) for imposing non-essentials on people that only give them an incorrect understanding of their correctness or righteousness. (Apparently Peter, the first Pope, was himself fallible, and he too had to learn how to be wrong to grow up!)