Jesus Spoke Publicly He Was There to Die- John 12

Jesus knew why he had ridden into Jerusalem. He knew he was there to die for us to pay the penalty for our sins. Jesus knew the plan all along and long before he rode into Jerusalem. Jesus speaking of the time has not come or the hour has not come is a theme thread in John. After Jesus rode into Jerusalem, he proclaimed.

The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified

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We explored that last week in- What Do We Choose Regarding Jesus?

Jesus did not relish going to the cross, the torture he would endure. In Hebrews 12 we see how Jesus felt.

Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Jesus went to the cross because of his immense love for us, but he despised the shame and did not look forward to the pain and torture. It is so understandable that he would look to God the Father which we see in John 12.

“Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.”

Then something happened that got the attention of everyone there. God the Father spoke.

Then a voice came from heaven, saying, “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.”

The reaction of those around?

Therefore the people who stood by and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to Him.”

The purpose of the voice from heaven was to confirm who Jesus is which Jesus spoke to.

This voice did not come because of Me, but for your sake

Jesus spoke of two results of his crucifixion. Satan would be judged and stripped of authority in this world and Jesus would draw people to himself.

 Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. And I, if I am  lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.

The people needed no explanation for what lifted up meant. They had seen people crucified and left on crosses. It was a practice of the Romans to intimidate people by leaving bodies on crosses to cause fear. The people were confused. They thought perhaps Jesus was the Messiah and there is a promise about the Messiah being on David’s throne forever. But they did not consider Isaiah 53 and the suffering servant.

He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;

In response to the people openly wondering about why Jesus would say he would be lifted up, Jesus exhorted them

You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going. Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may

He was calling them to make a choice. We also need to make a choice regarding Jesus. Will we believe in him, ask him for forgiveness and follow him or will we reject him?

What does it mean to you that even though Jesus despised the shame of the cross, he went there because the joy set before him was anyone who believes in him having eternal life?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

What Do We Choose Regarding Jesus? John Chapter 12

Jesus rode into Jerusalem knowing he was riding in to be crucified, to die, for us, so we could be forgiven and and eternal receive relationship with God. He knew it was his time. This is something I wrote about in Jesus Knew His Mission All Along.

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After riding into Jerusalem, some Greeks wanted to meet Jesus. They approached Philip who in turn talked to Andrew. The two disciples, followers of Jesus, talked to Jesus. Jesus’ response did not address the request. Jesus replied by speaking of his impending death. Jesus spoke of it days before he died for us. His reply began with:

“The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified.”

Jesus shared the analogy of a seed. Seeds have one purpose to contain what is needed for a plant to grow and produce more seeds.

 “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain”. 

By Jesus dying for us, countless numbers of people over the centuries since have come to know Jesus. There is a choice to make. Do we want to follow Jesus or reject Jesus. If we choose to follow Jesus, God the Father will bless us with eternal life. If we reject Jesus, we lose the opportunity for eternal life.

:“He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”

“If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.”

Each person on earth today has that choice to make. Do we choose to believe in Jesus as our Savior and follow him or de we reject Jesus.?

What will you choose?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished Part 2- John 11

When we looked at John 9 about Jesus healing a man who had been blind since birth, we saw that the religious leaders sought to make problems for Jesus in No Good Deed Goes Unpunished.

Last week we looked at Jesus Showed He Has Power Over Death as we reflected on Jesus calling Lazarus back from the dead after Lazarus had been dead for four days. Today we will look at the reaction of the religious leaders to the greatest miracle of Jesus up to that point.

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One would think that after such a miracle that people would come to faith in Jesus and follow him. While that was true for some:

Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.

it was not true for all

But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.

Instead of coming to faith in Jesus and believing Jesus is the Messiah, the Pharisees, religious leaders, had a meeting about what to do.

 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin.

The Sanhedrin was a mix of groups that did not belong together. The Pharisees believed in the resurrection from the dead in the end times and the Sadducees did not. But they were in cahoots in their desire to try to stop Jesus.

“What are we accomplishing?” they asked. “Here is this man performing many signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.”

The next part is a bit scary to think about. A man who had no faith prophesied because he was in the office of High Priest. This is a reminder that even though someone has a ministry and outwardly seems to be living for God, they might actually not be.

Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, “You know nothing at all!  You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.”

Caiaphas prophesied of the death of Jesus being for all the nation but the crucifixion of Jesus was not only for the Jews. It was for all people.

 He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation,  and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. 

What was the response of the Sanhedrin, religious leaders? They wanted Jesus dead.

So from that day on they plotted to take his life.

Think about it. Jesus had healed people, taught about God, and brought Lazarus back from the dead. Jesus committed no crime. He is the only person to ever live that committed no sin. The reason the religious leaders were seeking to kill Jesus was due to him being a threat to their control over the people.

Who do we want to follow? Jesus or leaders with ulterior motives who are against God?

Contemplate this thought- Jesus knew what was happening and he went into Jerusalem anyway because of his love for us.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Jesus Knew His Mission All Along- Theme in John

Cynthia of cynthiaswarroom.home.blog requested I expand more on a theme in John of my time/my hour has not yet come. First I want to say as a teacher I love it when people ask questions like this.

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To understand this theme of my hour/my time has not yet come, we need to remember how John begins in chapter 1:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

The Word we see referenced here is Jesus. Jesus is the creator. All things were made threw him. He existed for all eternity before entering time being born as a baby.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth

Jesus knew his mission for coming was to be our Savior. He stated this when talking with Nicodemus in John 3:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Jesus knew he was here to die on the cross for our sins and to defeat death for us through his resurrection. He knew there was an appointed for his crucifixion. So when Mary asked him to intervene during the wedding feast in Cana in John 2, Jesus first replied:

“Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”

Jesus was letting Mary know he had a mission and the time for that had not yet come.

John understood this as he wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. That is why we see the theme repeated such as in John 8:20

Yet no one seized him, because his hour had not yet come.

While Jesus was talking with his disciples in John 13, he let them know:

 “Now the Son of Man is glorified and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once.

Before Jesus was arrested, he told the disciples in John 16:

Jesus went on to say, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.”

Before Jesus was arrested, put through a farce of a trial, tortured, and crucified, he prayed in John 17:

“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.”:

Jesus is our creator. He came to be our Savior and knew all along what the mission and plan was. It was for him to die on the cross for us, so we can be forgiven and receive relationship with God and eternal life. He came intentionally with that purpose always in mind.

When Jesus died for us, it was God’s plan all along. Jesus knew this, which is why he referred to his time/his hour and why John records it. It shows the intentionality of his sacrifice for us. His hour/his time was the appointed time for his death on the cross on our behalf.

Question- If Jesus would come knowing all along what would happen, is he someone you can trust?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

700 Years Before Jesus Came-His Burial Predicted

The focus of Easter weekend is Good Friday remembering the death of Jesus and Easter Sunday remembering the resurrection of Jesus. Jesus died before sundown on a Friday and was risen after sunrise on Sunday. There is something about the between time, a small detail, that is faith building. It has to do with where Jesus’ body was between his death and resurrection.

Isaiah was written over 700 years before Jesus came. The are specific prophecies in Isaiah that point to Jesus such as a virgin will conceive and give birth to a son and call him Immanuel in Isaiah 7:14.

Isaiah is filled with prophecies about the promised Messiah coming in power. However tucked into Isaiah is a chapter that is about the suffering servant. Isaiah 53 points to details about the suffering and death of Jesus. One aspect is the burial of Jesus in Isaiah 53:9

He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
    and with the rich in his death,

A crucified criminal would have ben tossed into a mass grave after they died unless someone claimed the body. In Matthew 27:57-58:

As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him.

Why is this faith building? Consider the fact that over 700 years before Jesus came, a detail such as his burial was prophesied and was fulfilled by Jesus. It points to the validity of the bible.

Now think about the fact that Isaiah also has prophecies yet to be fulfilled such as The New Heavens and New Earth in Isaiah 65:

“See, I will create
    new heavens and a new earth.
The former things will not be remembered,
    nor will they come to mind.
 But be glad and rejoice forever
    in what I will create,
for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight
    and its people a joy.

One could say the best is yet to come.

Thank you for reading. God bless.

We Can Enter God’s Presence Because of Jesus

Something powerful happened at the moment Jesus died on the cross for us. It was no simple symbolic event. It carried with it immense meaning for us, for all who believe in Jesus. We read in Matthew 27:50-51:

And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.

At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom

The curtain in the Temple separated the Holy of Holies where the High Priest would offer sacrifices from the rest of the inner temple. Only the selected priest could enter the Holy of Holies which represented the presence of God. It was so holy in fact that a rope was tied around the ankle of the priest who entered the Holy of Holies in case the priest died due to sin or error. That way the body could be pulled out without entering.

The curtain being torn from top to bottom showed that the way to enter the Holy of Holies, the very presence of God, was now open for all who believe in Jesus.

In Hebrews 10 we read:

Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body,

We can enter the Most Holy Place, the Holy of Holies, the very presence of God because of the blood of Jesus. Jesus himself is the curtain. He is the new and living way to enter God’s presence.

We also read in Hebrews 10:

let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.

We can come to God not based on our own efforts. We enter because of Jesus. None of us are worthy on our own to enter the presence of God in prayer. But the wonderful news is that because Jesus died on the cross the way to the presence of God has been opened for us.

When we pray, we enter because of Jesus. If thoughts reminding us of our past hinder us, we can proclaim that we come to God because of Jesus.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

The Roman Soldiers at the Crucifixion of Jesus

Roman soldiers were men hardened by combat. They encountered many unfamiliar things to them as they served in the Roman army. One could say they would not have been easily impressed by what they observed.

Only hours before Jesus died, Roman soldiers brutally tortured Jesus taking delight in doing so. While Jesus was on the cross some of the same soldiers cast lots for his Jesus’ clothing. To them he was just another criminal to be executed.

But strange things happened while Jesus was on the cross and when he died. In Matthew 27:45 we read:

 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land.

In Matthew 27:51-5 we read:

The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 

So these battle hardened soldiers who had only a short time earlier cast lots for Jesus’ clothing an mocked Jesus saw the strange darkness that covered the land in the early afternoon, felt the earthquake when Jesus died and saw the bodies of dead people in tombs around them come to life.

Their response in Matthew 27:54?

When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”

Imagine yourself being there and seeing the eerie darkness, experiencing the earthquake when Jesus died, and seeing dead people in tombs come to life. What would you have thought?

The Roman soldiers at the cross came to their conclusion- Jesus is the Son of God.

Thank you for reading/ God Bless.

Jesus Was No Victim- He Permitted His Arrest

Even while being arrested for a mock trial, Jesus showed he was no victim. He voluntarily went to his torture and death on the cross because of his great love for us.

Imagine you are one of the detachment of soldiers sent to accompany the religious leaders to arrest Jesus. There are over 400 of you armed with swords, spears, and shields. A man comes out and asks, “Who are you looking for?” The religious leaders say, “Jesus of Nazareth.”

The man who asked, “Who are you looking for?” was Jesus himself. His response when the religious leaders said they were looking for Jesus of Nazareth was, “I am he.”

BUT

Something happened when he said, “I am he.” Simply by saying those three words, he knocked you and all of your fellow soldiers down on your butts. We see it in John 18:5-6:

I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.)  When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.

Just to make it more dramatic, imagine one of Jesus’s followers cuts off the ear of one of your fellow soldiers. We read about in Luke 22:49-50:

When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.

And then to amplify the intrigue, you see Jesus heal the soldiers ear. We read that in Luke 22:51:

But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.

So you came with over 400 fellow armed soldiers to arrest one man, Jesus. Jesus knocks all of you down on your butts with three words. Then when one of his followers cuts off the ear of a fellow soldier, Jesus heals the man’s ear and then lets you arrest him.

Perhaps you would be thinking, “this is no ordinary man” or “this is freaking me out.”

Dear readers, Jesus was no victim. He could have stopped all of it, but instead he permitted it all to happen because of his love for us.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.