Phew… it has been a full day of driving. I am super glad that Jodi and I got up early to get our 5k in before loading the van with kids, clothes, and gear, and heading out for Iowa!
It was a beautiful, brisk morning for a run, and we got 3.1 miles in at a 10:21 per mile pace for a total time of 32 minutes and 22 seconds.
We have been on the road now for a little over 12 hours (oh, the joy of traveling with 5 kids), and I’m feeling a bit cramped (and slightly over-caffeinated after several Starbucks stops), so I am super glad that we won’t have to get out and run when we get to where we are going!
This morning I was reading Matthew 25-27, and I was mostly blown away by how much Jesus was in the driver’s seat during his arrest, trial, and crucifixion.
Yes, absolutely terrible things were done to Jesus. He was betrayed, abandoned, falsely accused, misunderstood, beaten, and brutally killed. I am not in any way trying to minimize that. Nor am I suggesting in any way that Jesus was on a “suicide mission”, but he was definitely on a mission to save us from our sins! Knowing that his death on the cross (though he was completely innocent and sinless) was God the Father’s plan to pay the penalty of sin for all of mankind, Jesus not only willingly laid down his life for ours, but he made absolutely sure that nothing could mess it up.
Consider the following passages from today’s reading alone:
“You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.” – Matthew 26:2
In pouring this ointment on my body, she has done it to prepare me for burial. – Matthew 26:12
And as they were eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” – Matthew 26:21
Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ – Matthew 26:31
Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” – Matthew 26:34
These passages clearly show how AWARE Jesus was of what was about to happen.
Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.” – Matthew 26:46
Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you came to do.” Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him. – Matthew 26:50
Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? – Matthew 26:52-53
These passages clearly show how ACTIVE Jesus was in how own arrest.
He knew exactly what was coming and made sure that it happened without anyone messing it up. Why? Why would he do that?
Perhaps the best answer is found in Hebrews:
…Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. – Hebrews 12:2
He willingly and actively laid down his life for the JOY set before him -both the joy of knowing that he was making it possible for us to once and for all receive eternal life AND the joy of knowing that his faithful obedience to the Father’s will would firmly seat him at the right hand of the throne of God.