Jesus’ Sacrifice; April 4, 2023

Matthew 26:53 “Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?”

This is a verse I always reference when I’m telling the story of the crucifixion. I don’t think we often consider the degree of self-control necessary for Jesus to go through with what happened over the next several hours. It’s one thing to endure abuse when you are totally helpless, but it’s another thing entirely when you actually have the power to change everything with a word. That particular factor in what Jesus did for us is something I don’t think we often consider. Jesus took the insults, the physical and verbal abuse, because of His love for us and His love for the Father. His love for us was involved because we were why it was necessary, and His love for the Father was involved because this was sheer obedience, following through with the Father’s plan of salvation for mankind. We tend to stylize Passion Week and dress it up, so to speak, going all the way to bunnies and colored eggs and chocolates, when actually it was a raw, ugly exercise in sheer obedience. Just two days ago I wrote about obedience, and as in everything else, Jesus is our ultimate example. We can approach what He did only to the point that we allow His Spirit to fill and flow through us. I remind myself from time to time that everything Jesus did on this earth He did by the power of the Holy Spirit, and not by His unique power as the Son. Here, He was declining to use His authority as the Son to command legions of angels and was instead taking our position as a weak, finite human being, so that through His sacrifice we might receive the eternal life of sonship.

I tell others about this often enough, but I need to meditate on it more myself. Obedience isn’t casual, and it is certainly not just a word. I don’t have the authority to call legions of angels, so that isn’t an issue. However, I do have the opportunity for sacrificial obedience at times. I’ve never been confronted with all Jesus went through for me, so that’s all the more reason not to complain at anything I am asked to do. I like “the easy way out” as much as anyone, so I’ve got to be on my guard against the devil’s lying excuses for disobedience. I can’t get it right consistently on my own, but as Paul said, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank you that my “normal” schedule is kicking in full blast from today, with school classes and the like. Help me not “fall into ruts,” but rather approach everything as a fresh opportunity from You, acting as Your agent toward my students and everyone else, so that Your plans may be fulfilled on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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