It is finished. Looks as though the enemy has won the battle against Jesus and everything He stood for. But nothing could be further from the Truth. And that’s what makes this Friday the Good one.
The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life – only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father. (John 10:17-18)
Jesus is crucified, dead, and buried.
But, of course, there’s more to Our Father’s Love Story than meets the eye.
His Plan is working.
By paying for our sins,
Jesus is buying us back!
He declares, “It is finished.” (John 19:30)
We are redeemed!
Free from the bondage of sin and death.
And so much more …
Picking up where we left off … Jesus has supper with His disciples and shares disturbing news. One who’s eating with them will betray Him. Jesus will die, and they’re all going to scatter. They can hardly believe their ears. But it’s true.
He prays while they wait.
He’s betrayed and arrested in the Garden.
An interesting place for that to happen, yes?
His trial is mockery, and He is beaten severely.
That same crowd – the one that hailed Him into Jerusalem just a few days before – chooses a criminal to be released for Passover. When asked what to do with Jesus, the people shout,
Crucify Him! … Crucify Him!
It looks like the enemy is winning.
The Son of God’s beaten. Literally.
To be continued …
Yesterday, I wrote about our Defensive strategy. Today let’s review our Powerful First Line of Offense against the attack of the enemy of our souls. It’s not what we’d think of first, is it?
Jesus begins His ministry. He goes “around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil because God was with him” (Acts 10:38b). Soon He’s very popular. Which doesn’t sit at all well with the religious leaders. It’s time for the Passover, and they’re getting really worried about Trouble in River City. Not that Jesus is opening a pool hall, of course.
He’s just messing with their teachings.
He says dangerous stuff like,
“You have heard that it was said .… But I tell you that ….” (Matthew 5:27-28).
Despite what the people are saying – or maybe because of what the people are saying – the religious leaders don’t like Him at all. And they try to trap Him – more than once.
Can you imagine?
Trying to catch the Son of God doing something wrong? How crazy is that? Of course, they don’t have a clue that He is Who He is. They think He’s just some troublemaker dude from Nazareth. Boy, are they wrong!
At the peak of His popularity, Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a donkey. His disciples are more than pumped about His Kingdom. The people spread their coats on the road ahead of Him. Some are waving palm branches …
The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
“Hosanna to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!” (Matthew 21:9)
Well, you can just imagine how well that goes over
with the religious leaders. Their plot thickens.