The Hour Had Come

March 5, 2022

Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end (John 13:1).

We have departed from a strict adherence to the Gospel of Matthew and have instead followed the chronology of events leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus as recorded in a Harmony of the Gospels entitled, “The Story of Jesus.” This will give us a more complete account of the last hours of our Lord here on earth.

After having entered the upper room to observe the Passover meal (Matthew 26:20; Mark 14:17; Luke 22:14-16), the disciples began to argue who would occupy the chief seats of authority in the Lord’s Kingdom (Luke 22:24-30). Having addressed this issue with His disciples, the Gospel of John makes an all-important statement regarding the time of our Lord’s death (John 13:1). It is a profound statement fraught with meaning.

After having rebuked the disciples for their expressed jealousy, and just before eating the Passover meal (Seder), John states that Jesus was fully aware that the time of His death had come. The word ‘knew’ is a perfect, active, participle (knowing) and means that Jesus was fully and consciously aware of the time of His death God had set for Him at that very moment. In other words, His crucifixion on the cross was not a matter of circumstance or the result of attitudes and actions of people. No. It was the agreed upon plan of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in eternity past, and the time for the fulfillment of that plan that had finally come. All attempts to kill Jesus before that specific time had failed. Why? Because it was not time.

King Herod’s attempt to kill the infant Jesus failed because Joseph had taken Jesus into Egypt (Matthew 2:13-18). When His brothers encouraged Jesus to go to Jerusalem and openly display His Messianic power, Jesus said it wasn’t time, so He stayed in Galilee (John 7:3-9). Early in His ministry when He taught in the Temple courtyard declaring He was the Messiah, people tried to kill Him, but no one laid a hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come (John 7:30). Even on the first day of Unleavened Bread, which marked the beginning of Passion Week leading up to His crucifixion, the Chief Priests and Elders tried to kill Jesus, but it wasn’t time (Matthew 26:3-4; Mark 14:1). It was only when the precise time had come for Jesus to offer His life as a sacrifice for sin that He began to close out His ministry and set His face to go to Jerusalem (Luke 9:51).

Throughout Scripture we are made aware of the sovereignty of God. Nothing happens without His knowledge and expressed will. Not even a single sparrow falls to the ground apart from the Father's will (Matthew 10:29). We can take comfort, courage, and assurance in the knowledge that God knows all things and controls all things according to His sovereign will for every nation and for each and every one of us. Amen.


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