Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The cross was no accident.

stone cross

As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, "The Son of Man is about 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 greatly distressed.
Matthew 17:22-23

Jesus was aware of His redemptive purposes. His crucifixion was no accident. It was the plan of the Father that He accepted and knew was coming. This was NOT going to be easy for His disciples to undergo, and with this warning, Jesus has spoken of it twice according to Matthew's account. And it caused a stir among His men.

The ESV Study Bible notes seem to show us that the stir was created by the new information that Jesus would "be delivered into the hands of men", indicating a betrayal from among His own ranks. This would make sense, because when the hour did come, the disciples fled in fear, making them all disloyal to some degree or another. But the distress at hearing their Master say these things must have had the entire entourage of the twelve talking.

Jesus, however, did not seem distressed at this point. His prophetic warnings seem more to prepare the disciples then to protect Himself from this purpose. It was love that was driving His heart and His life. And it was love that would give Himself over to the redemptive plan of God. It was love that would let sinful men take a holy God to public torture and execution. And it was love that would bear the sin of the world as the Lamb of God.

Lord Jesus,
You were never surprised by the cross. You saw it as the goal of all You wanted to give us. And I know that I can only receive and contemplate that love, hoping that someday I might appropriate enough of it to love just a little like You do!

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