Committed to the Cross

June 16, 2021

And while they were gathering together in Galilee, Jesus said to them, "The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men; and they will kill Him, and He will be raised on the third day." And they were deeply grieved (Matthew 17:22-23).

Some people believe Jesus was the victim of the apostate Jewish elders who wanted nothing more than to get rid of Him so they could preserve their authority and control over the masses. Although the Jewish elders hated Jesus for His popularity and their declining influence, Jesus was no victim of their insidious plot to kill Him.

Others believe Jesus was the victim of the Roman government as administered in Judea by King Herod and Pontius Pilate. Their concern was to keep the peace among the Jews, a peace that was tenuous and fragile because of the constant resistance of the Jews to comply with Roman authority. As one who ‘stirred up the people’, Jesus became the example of what Rome would do to those who upset their applecart. But Jesus was no victim of Roman authority and power.

Jesus was not a victim of man’s hatred and faithlessness. He was not even a victim of Satan’s rage against God. God is Sovereign Lord over all of creation. From eternity past the plan for man’s salvation was set by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It was only a matter of time before that plan for salvation was initiated and carried out.

(Luke 9:51) When the days were approaching for His ascension, He was determined to go to Jerusalem. . . . (Luke 18:31) Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things which are written through the prophets about the Son of Man will be accomplished". (John 10:14-15) I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep . . . (John 10:17-18) For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.

What is sometimes hard for us to understand is that in His willingness to offer His life as a sacrifice for our sin, Jesus submitted to the holy and righteous plan of God and to the evil and wicked plans of men. Both streams flowed into the same river of grace that brought about our redemption. It was not accidental. It was not coincidental. It was the sovereign plan of God empowered by the Holy Spirit and carried out by Jesus Christ.

(Act 2:22-23) . . . Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know - this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.

Thank You, Lord, for Your commitment to God’s plan to save us from sin by going to that horrible cross. May Your name be praised forever, Amen.”


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