Final Preparation for Death
February 8, 2022
Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, that He said to His disciples, "You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified" (Matthew 26:1-2).
With the conclusion of the Olivet Discourse, Jesus prepared the disciples for the purpose for which He had come to us in the flesh - His sacrificial death on the cross. Everything that had been said and done in His life prior to this had led to this one climactic event in God’s plan for Him. Without the cross His life, teaching, and ministry, was meaningless. It was for the cross that Jesus left the courts of heaven. It was for the cross that He lived a sinless life. It was for the cross that He taught, ministered to, confronted, and shown compassion for mankind. The cross of Calvary was the consummation of the prophetic teaching of the Old Testament, the fulfillment of the types, symbols, and religious system given to the patriarchs and to Judaism, the 33 years in the Son of God becoming the Son of Man. It was the pivotal event in all of human history - God’s salvation to a spiritually lost and condemned humanity.
In two days Jesus would be condemned and crucified by the elders of Israel. That means it was still Wednesday of Passion Week, an already full week of teaching and ministry for Jesus. He had spent the day teaching the people in the Temple courtyard. He had confronted and condemned the priests and elders of Israel for their spiritual and religious hypocrisy. On the Mount of Olives He had revealed to the disciples the coming destruction of the Temple and of Israel, His 2nd coming, and the final judgment at the end of time (Matthew 24:3 - 25:46).
Now it was time to bring the disciples back to the reality of the matter at hand - His impending death. This was the 4th and final time Jesus would speak of His coming crucifixion (Matthew 16:21; 17:22-23; 20:18-19; 26:2). It was important they understand what would happen to Him and how it would affect them - the role they would play in God’s plan of redemption. They had to be physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually prepared for what lay ahead.
In thinking back over all that had led up to this moment in time, and in the two days yet remaining that would end in His crucifixion, there are some truths that need to be expressed. (1) All that transpired in the life of Jesus and the events that culminated in His sacrificial death were orchestrated by the sovereign plan and power of God. Nothing was accidental, incidental, or circumstantial. All was planned, coordinated, and carried out according to His will and purpose. (2) All of the events in His life and ministry were executed according to God’s timetable. From before His birth through the days of His public ministry, Satan and his ministers tried to kill Him, but were unable to carry out their plans because it wasn’t in sync with God’s timetable for Jesus. (3) In all things great and small in the life and ministry of Jesus, everything He said and did, every place He traveled, every person He ministered to, was bathed in prayer, and directed by the Holy Spirit. Jesus lived in complete obedience to the word and will of the Holy Spirit in His life. (4) Jesus was supremely confident in His life and ministry and death because of these things. So should it be for every follower of Jesus Christ every day of his/her life. Amen.