Jesus Has It All Under Control!

Now as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside and said to them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!” (Matthew 20:17-19)

One would certainly be incorrect in saying that Jesus did not prepare His disciples ahead of time for His betrayal, beatings, death, and resurrection.

“Costly grace is the Gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock. Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son. ‘Ye were bought at a price,’ and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the incarnation of God.” -Dietrich Bonheoffer
It’s just that they didn’t seem to really get it. Perhaps they simply did not want to believe His warnings. We find earlier in Matthew our Lord’s words to them regarding what was about to take place–verifying once more that Jesus was not taken by surprise by anything that happened. He willingly gave of Himself to save us.

For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (Matthew 12:40)

From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” (Matthew 16:21-22)

When they came together in Galilee, he said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life.” And the disciples were filled with grief. (Matthew 17:22-23)

Surely, Jesus was in control of His life. No one took it from Him–He willingly gave it. He was sacrificially obedient to the will of God. His death was wholly voluntary and on our behalf. He was not a helpless pawn unable to save Himself. John records our Lord’s words proclaiming His Sovereign authority over His own destiny:

“The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my lifeonly 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)

Freedom is costly is it not? The Lord Jesus paid the greatest price for our freedom–ransoming our souls from the pit of Hell through His death on the cross. Christ–the Great Liberator–came to set the captives free from the bondage of sin and death. He liberated us from chains of decay and brought us into the glorious freedom.

“If there be ground for you to trust your own righteousness, then all that Christ did to purchase salvation … is vain.” -Jonathan Edwards

Paul warns us in Galatians against our being yoked again to slavery. As believers we are to stand firm in the freedom and liberty that Christ has fully and completely provided. We are not to choose to wallow again in the laborious slavery of sin:

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1)

God’s mighty strength sustains us, supports us, and holds us steady, lifting us high above the fears and concerns that drag us down. His hand has us firmly and lovingly in its grasp. This is the hand of the One who cherishes us, the One who died for us.

Take It to Heart

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”(1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

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