Have you ever started something and then about half way through forget why you started doing it in the first place? Or, you begin something and then once it gets difficult you decide it just isn’t worth it anymore. Unfortunately, this has become somewhat of a trend in my life when it comes to going to the gym. I always begin with great vision and vigor pursuing better health, muscle tone, and I really enjoy it. But, it doesn’t take long and the difficulties of time and life seem to get in my way and I waste $30 per month for a couple of months before I shamefully cancel my membership. Obviously, this is not an example to follow.
Jesus however, never lost sight of why He came and He certainly never gave up when it got difficult. In today’s passage we see the last moments Jesus spends as a free man on earth before he is arrested, put on trial, and sent to the cross. In these moments He certainly could have lost sight of why He came or decided that it just wasn’t worth the sacrifice He was about to make. But, Jesus knew exactly why He came and He knew exactly what His death and resurrection would accomplish. Verse 4 shows us this:
4 Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?”
I cannot fathom knowing the immense torture, scorn, and brutality Jesus knew of His impending death and still going through with it. Not only that, Jesus knew that for the first and only time The Father would turn His face from the Son and pour out His wrath for the sins of the world. These are incomprehensible thoughts to us, yet they are worth our time to dwell on as we meditate on these passages today. Do not read this account and see Jesus as a victim. The events of Jesus’ life, ministry, arrest, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension were all completely in His hands. We see this throughout this betrayal account as the soldiers bowed down to Him (v.6), as He healed the servant’s ear, and meticulously fulfilled prophecy (v.9). Jesus’ life was not taken from Him; He gave up His life willingly, which was always the purpose for which He took on flesh.
John 10:17-18 17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”
Spend a few moments today meditating on the willingness of Christ to take your place. His substitutionary death made a way for you and I to receive His righteousness. This great exchange should never cease to lead our hearts to praise Him, worship Him, and surrender every moment of our lives to Him.
By: Matt Mofield